In the early 1970s I was working with high school kids at a church in Palo Alto, California when the Jesus Movement started. In a matter of weeks, our attendance went from 30 to 300. And they didn’t come to youth group to socialize or play volleyball. They came with their Bibles and wanted to study the word. They were hungry for truth.
That was remarkable, but even more remarkable was the fact that they came with already gifted leaders among them. For example, in our group there was Ernie the prophet and Lloyd the teacher. Ernie would preach during lunch hour at Palo Alto High School and Lloyd would teach them the Bible, and then they’d come to youth group at the church for more. We didn’t train these guys.
We didn’t even know where they came from. We just encouraged them and gave them opportunity to use their obvious spiritual gifts. For a while there it was like we were just directing traffic.
But there’s also some not so good news that might say something about the nature of a spiritual movement to look out for. I heard that both these guys later struggled with their faith and walked away from it. Whether it was a permanent departure, I do not know, but I think it might indicate that when the Spirit moves, it’s possible to get swept up in it and blow right past your own personal faith development. Who knows that they may have passed over a couple important steps in their own search that they had to go back and find.
Paul mirrors this when he said, “I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:27). In other words, watch yourself. Realize that the search is never over.
In a week and a half, we will have the wonderful privilege of hearing from eight original Jesus Music artists. Each one of them will tell you that the Jesus Movement isn’t over — was never over — and they have consistently been doing the same thing they always did — singing and preaching the gospel. If someone put the word out that the Jesus Movement was over, they never got the memo. You need to hear them. Don’t miss this opportunity to have eight of them in the same place discussing where Jesus is moving today.
So, what does this mean for us today? It means that the process of asking, seeking, and knocking is never over. That we should be aware of the fact that people can be spiritually gifted beyond their grasp. That we all have to pay attention to our own spiritual process. And finally, there’s no resting on your laurels — because are no laurels to rest on. Rest comes at the end.
Is it only streaming on FACEBOOK? Where else might someone not into social media get to view this live?
We will be providing a link.
Looking for the time of the streaming? Will this be viewable after the event?
I believe 43pm Pacific. Yes, it will be available to those who register. More information about that coming.
I remember both Ernie and Lloyd. We had a similar emergence of “leaders” at my Gunn High School in Palo Alto.
As a High School student myself, the Jesus Movement took on an international flavor. I yielded to Jesus in early 1970 in Maryland as a sophomore. I was not alone, something was happening. Little did we know about the revival events transpiring at Asbury at that same moment. Then my family moved to London in mid-1970 and I discovered something was happening there too! It tasted the same. Finally, we moved to Palo Alto in mid-1971 and, sure enough, it was happening there! My first Sunday night at Body Life later that year was eye-opening.
And you are right. There was an insatiable hunger for the Word among us. Only the Holy Spirit can account for such a hunger.
And only the Holy Spirit can account for the international scope that I witnessed of the movement.