Youth groups used to be pretty simple. A year's overview included a few pizza nights, several good speakers, a dozen testimonies, a couple of clean movie screenings and maybe a retreat or two. Spiritual revival may not have been a high priority in this plan, but as people say, "Hey, at least it keeps the kids off the street," right?
Not only is this approach superficial, it doesn't work, as evidenced in the Virginia Tech tragedy last year. In what is now known as "the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history," gunman Seung-Hui Cho, a Korean-American student, killed 32 students on campus and injured 25 more before committing suicide.
Seung-Hui had attended a denominational church from time to time in western Fairfax County, Va., where he grew up. But he was never reached. He never came to know the love of Christ. He never experienced a circle of friends in the Lord with whom he could share his life. He never caught hold of the true purpose for which he was born. His hatred and rage were finally released in a torrent of terror.
Yet God is redeeming the disaster. After the incident, Korean pastors in northern Virginia made a declaration to fast and pray, and come together to find God's solution and repent. They realized that while kids today live in a precarious and dangerous world, they are bored. They desire destiny and meaning, but they don't know where to look. Simply put, young people need more than "pizza parlor" Christianity.
Alvin Chun, a Korean-American pastor in our ministerial network, sensed that God wanted him to offer something once a month in Falls Church, Va. He rented a hotel ballroom and invited teenagers and young adults to come experience the fullness of God and discover His purpose for their lives. Chun wanted them to see, learn and receive the power of God in healings, miracles and the tangible presence of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit showed up mightily at the very first meeting. People were reeling and falling out in the Spirit and losing themselves in the liquid love of the Father.
In short, revival is breaking out! Each month hundreds are signing up at these "schools of the supernatural"—just by word of mouth. Many are hungry youth pastors and English ministry pastors from other denominations. Kids and parents are getting saved, and reports of healing abound. One young Korean brought a deaf Muslim as her guest, and not only was the woman healed of deafness, she was also saved! Many are receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit in powerful ways.
Although my schedule to oversee a network of churches tries to keep me tethered, I know the hand of the Lord when I see it and will follow where He leads. I know what is happening in northern Virginia is God's way of taking what Satan meant for evil and using it for good. I've committed to go to Virginia monthly to minister at these meetings. I believe the Lord is loosing revival fires to spread all over the nation, and I want to be a carrier too.
Right now, more than 60 campuses across our nation have 24/7 prayer going on. Following last summer's TheCall in Nashville, Tenn., students and families continue to gather to fast, pray and repent for restoration in America. Revival is rising. The ground is shaking. The earth is waiting. And, as much as I love pizza, this move of God is far greater than the best pizza could ever be!
Ché Ahn is senior pastor of Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena, Calif., and apostolic leader of Harvest International Ministry, a network of 1,500 churches worldwide.
Ministry Today Subscription Special - Subscribe to Ministry Today magazine today and get 12 issues (2 full years) plus Amplified Leadership, a free leadership book for only $24.
Order Life in the Spirit to actively grow your ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit. Your congregation will stay saturated in God's Word, learn to hear His voice, understand their purpose and calling and move into an active role in your ministry.