'Almost' is a difficult word. Maybe you 'almost' won. Or, maybe you 'almost' did something. That would be difficult to experience. But we have all heard that close or 'almost' only counts in hand-grenades and horseshoes. One of the things that American Christian teenagers have 'almost' seen is revival. At least that is what they have heard about for years.

Over 30 years of ministry I have heard people talk about revival and renewal. The coming transformation of our nation, and, ultimately, the world. Ad Nauseum, we have preached, taught, prayed, and promoted the idea of revival. And, although I do not think that we are wrong to do this, we are still waiting for 'a breakthrough'.

Reading the stories of previous US Christian revivals, I have seen moments in the US that have approached viral proportions. Almost. It seems that there are greater movements globally - the epic growth of the underground church in Asia, the supernatural aspect of the South American revivals in Argentina and Brazil, and the legendary attendance of the African crusades. Each of these are drawing millions of believers and seeing reportedly tens of millions of converts and miracles and healing. But, what most American Christian teenagers have lacked is a true revival of undeniable affect.

History is clear that every renewal of significance in America was begun by young people. And the Spirit is no less powerful and real today. But, western Jesus-followers have yet to see an awakening of epic or viral or supernatural proportions as Asia, South America, or Africa. Whether that is because of materialism that causes a lack of dependence upon Almighty God, or, post-modernism that has given America a breadth of gods and religions to turn to, we haven't seen a significant revival in the lifetime of US teenagers.

One might argue that the following awakenings have shaped the US markedly:


Although significant in some manner, these have had a periodic affect. One that most teenagers today would not even know about. And maybe more regional than national. So, what are we asking for when we talk about revival? What is a significant affect? I am asking for 4 things to usher in and define the next US awakening:

A REPENTANCE IN THE CHURCH that brings about a leadership authority and integrity in culture
A SUPERNATURAL OUTPOURING of signs, wonders, and miracles that cannot be denied
A GOVERNMENT SHAKING impact upon the behavior of our leaders and resulting legislation
A NATIONAL MEDIA FILTER that returns our behavior and programming to conservative content
A RESULTING FRUIT OF MANY SOULS BORN AGAIN and added to the kingdom and church

Wow. I said it. These would be shifts of national proportion. Measurable assessments of revival. And, although these all need to be defined practically, I would define an awakening or revival with these kind of changes. The American Christian teenager will not see this kind of movement by mistake. It will take many things. Let me leave you with 2 for now:

1. We identified materialism earlier in this article. It will take humility and simplicity. I'm not sure we can see a move of God in our nation if we do not become desperate for Him. And for most of us stuff does not allow us to be desperate for God. Stuff has become our trust. And the materialism in America is only growing and shows no sign of relenting. It is one of the major causes of this lack of hunger for God in our lives.

Save it. The arguments about how the rich and wealthy can pursue God and be spiritually hungry. I know them. A few of them. But, how has that worked in America? Money (or stuff) is not evil. It is a love for money (or stuff) that is a great evil. And requires our attention and time. The same things God longs for. And it cripples more of us than you think or could argue.

2. The other cause identified earlier in this blog was post-modernity. It will take a focused pursuit of Christ. Of course post-modernism is broader than the religious argument, but, it has brought a tolerance that has moved the US further away from a spiritual absolute. A once Christian nation (arguably) has become so open-minded that our absolutes have fallen out. And post-modern thinking has leveled the ground so to say. All truth is subject to the culture and to norms.

Christianity has become an option. Not 'the way'. Simply 'one of the ways'. And most religions today are not transformation theology. But, a COEXIST mentality that has removed the impact of transformation and promoted a self-help theology. I'm ok. You're ok.

America almost has it. They know of the Father. They talk openly about Jesus the Son. But, if American does not find its relationship with the Spirit, we will not see revival. We cannot lose another generation of Christian young people. I believe that the Spirit's role in our lives is to bring us a greater dependence and a greater commitment to Christ.

Hope is a powerful place to live in. But, I want more than a hope. Let us not be a generation of teenagers who 'almost' see an awakening in America.
Jeff Grenell