USA (MNN) — The “revival” sweeping college campuses in the United States needs to find a new home base. Asbury University, where the movement began, is closing its campus to public gatherings effective today.
So, what happens now? “That’s the test of whether this could accurately be called a revival,” Ron Hutchcraft of Ron Hutchcraft Ministries says.
“You don’t know something is a revival until you see the effects of it. Historically, revival is evidenced by an explosion of outreach, evangelism, and rescuing people.”
Listen to an in-depth conversation about what makes a revival, what happened at Asbury, and “next steps” here on the Go M.A.D. podcast.
Hutchcraft points to Isaiah 6 as one example of what to expect following an encounter with the Lord. “It goes from worship – how awesome God is – to how broken I am, to how lost the people around me are,” he begins.
“When Isaiah saw the glory of God in the temple, he saw how awesome God was. Then, he saw his sin as a result of having seen God’s glory and holiness. Next comes, ‘who’s going to go for us?’ and he says, ‘Here I am, send me,’” Hutchcraft continues.
“If it (the event) doesn’t result in repentance and an increased witness for Christ, it either was a very short-lived revival, or maybe not that.”
Some critics say the events of recent weeks are not true “revival” but emotion-driven hype.
What happened at Asbury?
Events started on February 8 when a regular Asbury chapel service ended. A few dozen students stayed to continue worshipping and praying for one another. As the gathering grew and hours became days, videos went viral on TikTok.
“Previous revivals didn’t have social media. If God wanted to start something, He has some massive accelerants in our culture today,” Hutchcraft observes.
Yet, as explained here, those who gathered on the Asbury campus weren’t seeking internet fame:
In a time of factionalism, celebrity culture, and performance, what’s happening at Asbury is radically humble. And it gives me great hope for the future of American Christianity.
On its website, Asbury University calls the events of recent weeks an outpouring. “A theology prof called it that, and I agree. I think there is evidence [of] an outpouring of the Holy Spirit,” Hutchcraft says.
“The more you get into this story, the more you see that everybody [who stepped on campus] talks about love, peace, and worship. Those are characteristics of the holy presence of God that are hard for man to generate, [let alone] sustain around the clock for two weeks.”
Ron Hutchcraft Ministries compares the events to spontaneous combustion.
Why does it matter?
How one classifies or defines the events at Asbury and on various campuses nationwide doesn’t matter. “The bottom line is if there is a wave that God is launching in our generation, I want to catch that wave,” Hutchcraft says.
“I don’t want to be so busy trying to measure the wave that I miss the wave.”
Of greater significance is the action you take now that you know.
“I think what God is looking for from all of us is to empty our hands of comfort, our safety; our addiction to scheduling God, programming God, and perhaps, putting him in a box, so we could raise empty, hands up to Him,” Hutchcraft says.
Does your spiritual life resemble the Laodicean Church described in Revelation 3:14-21? As author Dennis Prague once penned:
Very rarely do people make big compromises with their integrity. Almost every compromise is a small one that is easily justified. The downhill slide is usually a result of many little compromises.
“[Let’s] listen to what God is saying to us about sin that we perhaps have allowed to take root in our heart, [causing us] to drift from a closeness we once had [with God] toward dark things; things that we used to know were wrong, and we wouldn’t go near them,” Hutchcraft says.
“[Let’s] let Him speak to us [about] repentance and worship. Let God know you want in on whatever He wants to do.”
Header image depicts crowds in the Asbury University chapel. (Photo courtesy of Ron Hutchcraft Ministries)