The Asbury revival continues into its tenth day and new colleges are joining in

by mcardinal

Matt Bush, FISM News

On Wednesday, February 8 at 10:00am, students at Asbury College met for one of their chapel services that take place three times each week. Today is February 18 and that chapel service is still going strong.

Not only has the chapel been full for more than a week, but the revival being experienced at Asbury has also spilled out into other college campuses across the nation. Reports have come out that schools like The University of the Cumberlands and Samford University are beginning to experience similar revivals, while events at the University of Georgia, Iowa State, Minnesota, Texas Tech, Wisconsin, and others have seen more than 2,000 students repent of their sins and turn to Jesus.

There are now reports of thousands of people lining up outside of the Asbury chapel with a second and third chapel on campus being opened to seat some of the overflow. People are traveling for miles to the campus and then waiting for hours just to get inside.

Evangelist Jon Burdette described the revival to the Christian Post like this: “Attending the revival at Asbury was an unforgettable experience. We could literally feel the ‘weighty’ presence of God as soon as we walked into the building. Sensing God’s presence in that way and knowing that this was an unplanned service that had continued since Wednesday morning, I got emotional within the first few minutes of being there. There was passionate, authentic worship, brokenness, people praying at the altar, people praying at their seats, and people praying with each other in groups around the room.”

The Gospel Coalition lists nine things to know about revivals in America, and two of them are very important with regard to what is happening at Asbury. 

The first is that there is no scriptural word for revival in the Bible and there is no consensus on how to define the word as it applies to Christianity. There have been discussions on whether what is happening at Asbury is a revival or “a move of the Spirit.” Either way, the students at Asbury and other campuses know that the Holy Spirit of God is moving, and the definition of what is happening and the rhetoric surrounding it means a lot less than the number of people who are coming to Jesus.

A second important point notes, “Colleges have been a primary location for revivals.” As many adult church leaders have been skeptical of the move of the Spirit, college students are flocking to Kentucky or trying to usher that same type of revival to their own schools.

Some leaders are downplaying the emotion of the revival. Others are emphasizing the lack of projectors and the use of clapping and acoustic guitars. One pastor tweeted, “I can say what is happening there is special. And rest assured it’s not being driven by emotionalism. For starters there are no fancy lights, no smoke machines, no high-end lighting, etc. The chapel is older and dated. The only instruments being used when I was there was a piano and a guitar.”

Those things do not need to be downplayed for the revival to be real because an outpouring of the Holy Spirit is being poured out on students at Asbury and around the nation. If it is emotional, it should be. If there is loud singing and praising God, there should be. If pastors are coming to speak and share the Gospel, they should be.

It is possible that the emotions of the past 10 days will run dry and people will go right back to their old lives.

It is also possible that we’ll see what former Asbury Seminary professor Howard Snyder said revivals are supposed to do: “Authentic revivals return the church to what it is supposed to be: The people of God faithfully following Jesus.”