Last week I had the privilege of facilitating times of prayer, worship, and devotion at a conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The conference gathered 85 young Christian leaders from over 30 nations, seeking to mobilize a great move of God among my generation around the world. And helping to lead the conference truly left a profound, and surprising effect on my heart since that I would love to share with you today.
“Do Not Fear…”
The gathering was birthed in response to the startling statistics about my generation’s engagement with God. So coming into the conference, there was a real urgency in all of our hearts about turning around the declining tide of church and faith engagement, especially in the United States.
To give you a glimpse, statistics show that apart from a new move of God in America, 1 million youth, at least minimally engaged in the church today, will choose to leave the church each year for the next 30 years (The Great Opportunity). That means that 35 million youth raised in families calling themselves Christians will say that they are not Christians by the year 2050.
(Here’s a link to The Great Opportunity if you’re interested in diving deeper into the research)
That is a massive decline of church engagement among my generation. And while church engagement isn’t the only barometer of faith, traditionally and biblically, corporate expressions of faith have always been a pillar of our faith practice.
But, at the conference there was a surprising, and peace-giving revelation that took place in my heart, and I believe in the hearts of many.
Every time we gathered to pray, God showed up in power. Every time someone spoke about what God was doing, rather than seemingly not doing in our spheres of influence, our faith lifted. And by the end of the conference, faith rather than fear became the driver of our conversations.
The agency of our urgency moved from looking at what wasn’t happening, to asking ourselves what could happen if we were to band together and make more space for God to move in our hearts, and in the hearts of those we represent.
God never asks us to be driven by fear, but by faith.
He is working. He is moving. He is drawing the world to himself every day in meaningful ways.
As I sit here today, I am less afraid, and more sure than ever that God is advancing his kingdom, with or without me. And that brings a profound peace, a profound purpose.
Inside of the revelation that God doesn’t need me, that he and his kingdom are and will be fine without me, is the invitation to work with him from a place of joy. And flowing from the revelation that God doesn’t need me is a culture, an ethos to my work that invites the world into a gospel of rest, rather than works and striving.
In praying, speaking, and listening to leaders representing their own movements around the world, I found a truly life-giving principle that cross-cultural relationship and unity brings:
Unity in a cross-cultural context breeds a healthy humility, positioning us not as the leaders of God’s kingdom, but God alone.
The Next Move
So my question for you is simply this: what are you afraid of today? Right now, where are you operating from a place of fear? And would you be willing to give that fear to God, and receive a greater measure of faith from him in response?
Know this, you are wanted in this move of God happening around the world. You have a unique role, a unique anointing, and a unique opportunity. But the weight of this move, the weight of the salvation of those you love, the health of your church, the faith of your part of the world, is not on your shoulders, but on the shoulders of a good and capable God.
Let’s join him today, across cities and across nations to simply say, “Here I am God, Send Me” (Isaiah 6:8).
Practically, we as a group committed to pray every day at 8:50, or 2050 military time, to see God move in power in our lives and in our world across the next 30 years.
Would you join with us? Would you set an alarm for 8:50 so that across every time zone at that hour we’re praying for a great move of God in the younger generation?
May God establish us in power and humility, as we work together to see the whole world restored to true relationship with him.