2,000 Years ago Jesus started a movement that forever changed the world… and He started it with a group of highly committed young adults. It can be argued that the twelve disciples were all under the age of 20 with the exception of Peter.1 Certainly none of them were over the age of 30. His extended group of 70 disciples would have probably been even younger. Jesus trained these young adults to be a movement that reached Jerusalem with the gospel and carry the kingdom of God to the world.
If we want to see the results Jesus had, we ought to do what Jesus did.
I believe that our Grace City team of amazing young adults has the potential to not only change a city, but to also impact the world. In the last 50 weeks, we have seen 50 people baptized. Our collegiate ministry grew from one student to over 80 involved weekly. We have launched a ministry to the poor which has led to a weekly gathering of 85 for Bible Study and worship. And we have only just started!
Fifteen months ago, as Cathy and I followed the call and example of Jesus, we led a pioneer parachute church plant to Las Vegas with a team of high quality young adults. Through them, we are seeing the beginning of a movement rise up that is starting to make a major missional impact in this city. The best is yet to come!
History is on Our Side
Often, when God is looking for a group of people to trust Him completely and to be greatly used by Him greatly, He findsthe willing hearts of young adults. Historically, massive movements of the Spirit resulting in revival and missions have been sparked by young people.
· When given the opportunity, a teenager named David Ben-Jessie, defeated the giant Goliath and led Israel into a season of great prosperity and victory over their enemies (1 Samuel 16ff).
· Beginning in 1886 with two hundred and fifty-one students from eighty-nine colleges of the United States and Canada, the Student Volunteer Movement yielded approximately 20,000 missionaries or more than 70% of the missionaries from North America in its first 30 years.
· Teenagers John and Charles Wesley planted the seeds of the first Great Awakening when they launched “the Holy Club” at Oxford University in the 17th century.
· Twenty year old Charles Spurgeon became the pastor of the London New Park Street Chapel (later called theMetropolitan Tabernacle). Under the preaching and leadership of the young man, the church grew to become the first modern day mega church with 10,000 people involved weekly. Under his leadership, the church planted 200 churches throughout London and the surrounding area. He also trained and sent many missionaries around the world. On top of that, he established a college for pastors, an orphanage, a widows’ ministry, a Christian literature society and a very popular weekly magazine.
· The Welsh Revival of 1904 came as a result of 26 year old Evan Roberts leading young people to confess sin and give their lives to obeying the Holy Spirit. Over 100,000 people were converted in Wales in one year. Plus, news of the revival sparked other revivals across the rest of Britain, Scandinavia, parts of Europe, North America, the mission fields of India, Asia, Africa and Latin America.
· John Calvin wrote his famous Institutes of the Christian Religion at the age of 26. The book is considered one of the most influential in the western world.
· In the German village of Herrnhut, 27 year old Count Nicholas Von Zinzendorf led a group of Moravian refuges to divide the clock into watches and took turns praying 24 hours a day 7 days a week. The prayer meeting continued unbroken 24 hours a day every day for over 100 years. Within five years, they were sending missionaries all over the world.
I could go on and on, but you get the picture. My challenge is simple.
If you are a young adult, join the movement.
If you are a bit more mature chronologically, give your life to
mentoring potential movement makers and history shapers.