The Common Good


In The Great Awakening, I wrote,

Imagine something called Justice Revivals, in the powerful tradition of revivals past but focusing on the great moral issues of our time.

Imagine linking the tradition of Billy Graham with the tradition of Martin Luther King Jr.

Imagine a new generation of young people catching fire and offering their gifts, talents, and lives in a new spiritual movement for social justice.

Imagine disillusioned believers coming back to faith after many years of alienation, while other seekers discover the power of faith for the first time.

Imagine politics being unable to co-opt such a spiritual revival but being held accountable to its moral imperatives.

Imagine social movements rising out of spiritual revival and actually changing the wind of both our culture and our politics.

Last week in Columbus, Ohio, that vision came to life. The first night, as I stood on the stage looking out over a church filled with 3,500 people inspired by Matt Redman's opening worship music, I felt a sense of amazing grace. Over the next three evenings, more than 10,000 people attended. There would have been more if they could have gotten into the Vineyard Church -- this largest church in Columbus seats 3,500 people, but it turned out to be too small for the crowd. Pastor Rich Nathan of Vineyard and Bishop Timothy Clarke of the First Church of God, the co-chairs of the revival, led the services. My three sermons focused on the call to conversion, the call to community, and the call to justice.

Hundreds of people came forward to commit their lives to Christ for the first time, and thousands came down the aisle to commit themselves to the social justice that is core to the kingdom of God, to the "least of these" whom Jesus calls us to care for. The Columbus Dispatch headlined a story, "The Justice Revival: Faithful aim to aid poor, as Jesus did", and wrote:

The revival

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