DALLAS – Shane Pruitt, national director of next gen evangelism at the North American Mission Board (NAMB), has been praying for the next generation to awaken to the goodness and glory of Jesus, and he wanted church leaders to have a resource that could spur students to deeper faith that extends beyond platitudes.
Through Lifeway Christian Resources, Pruitt released a Bible study called “Revival Generation” on January 2. The study walks students through eight words—such as repentance, holiness, surrender and obedience—and explores what it means for students to experience personal revival in their walk with God.
Pruitt built off the legacy Christian leaders of the past to emphasize that true revival will not take place in the abstract.
“Others before me have pointed this out, but the nation will never see revival until the churches see revival,” Pruitt said. “The churches will never see revival until the individuals who make up those churches see revival. As Anne Graham Lotz once said, ‘Revival begins when you draw a circle around yourself and make sure everything in that circle is right with God.’”
Last year, one of the biggest stories in religion was the spiritual movement that took place at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky and spread to other college campuses around the nation. Pruitt has seen this hunger developing in young people over the last few years.
“Several years ago, I started calling young adults and students the ‘revival generation,’ but at the time it was more a prayer request over a generation—that they would experience a move of God,” Pruitt said. “We were using the phrase before the pandemic, then I sensed that the pandemic in 2020 ushered in a shift. All the chaos surrounding that year poured gasoline on the problems and challenges young people were already facing, and they started looking for hope, looking for answers, looking for truth. We have been proclaiming to that generation that hope has a name, the answer has a name, truth has a name. It’s Jesus.”
Pruitt has been a frequent speaker at student events for the last 20 years, and he described how, in recent months, he has seen more young adults, college students and teenagers come to faith than the previous 20 years combined.
“I’ve been seeing this renewal taking place. There’s something happening. Every event, people are responding to the gospel and answering the call to ministry,” Pruitt said. “Then I also started hearing more anecdotal evidence from other student leaders around the nation.”
The “Revival Generation” curriculum is designed to help leaders walk students through how to establish deep roots in their faith as they respond to the ways God has been moving over the last year.
Eight video sessions and the corresponding study tells the stories of individuals who took personal revival seriously in their own lives and the ways their response generated incredible momentum for the sake of the gospel going forward in North America and around the world.
One example Pruitt highlights is the story of Annie Armstrong, who surrendered her life to Christ at the age of 20 and went on to become a key part of forming the Woman’s Missionary Union and mobilized Southern Baptists to raise awareness about and support missionaries all around the world.
“The headlines these days can be incredibly discouraging, but in the lead up to the Jesus Revolution of the ‘60s, those headlines sounded about the same as they did today,” said Pruitt. “God can still move like he did then. Let’s pray for it and encourage others to seek God in their own lives so that, if the Spirit lights a fire, we’re ready to ignite as part of that renewal.”
To learn more about the resource, “Revival Generation,” visit http://www.lifeway.com/revivalgeneration.
Published January 5, 2024