Is it Revival? Thoughts on Asbury University

            Lord, send a revival. If you are like me, you have been praying for a move of God to sweep across our nation for many years. I realize I need revival, First Southern Baptist in Salina, KS, needs revival, and the Church in America needs revival. By now, many of you are hearing about a worship service on the campus of Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky. The worship service started last Wednesday and ended at the regular time, but no one left. As of the writing of these thoughts, the worship service has not stopped. Has revival broken out on the campus of Asbury College?

            I am no longer surprised at how American Christians respond to matters of faith. The Asbury Revival has had its critics. If, like me, you have been praying for revival, why do we so often disregard a perceived move of God? I’ve seen critics say it can’t be revival because they are singing the wrong songs. They are not preaching; they are not talking about the gospel enough. It can’t be true revival because it’s on a Wesleyan campus (As if God can only move on a Baptist or Presbyterian campus). It doesn’t fit into their perceived “God Box,” so it can’t be genuine. Is what is going on true revival? My answer is relatively simple, I haven’t been there, so I don’t know, but I fervently pray it is genuine.

            Here are a few things from people who have been there (Don’t listen to critics who only judge based on a 15-second Twitter clip here and there).

Here is a report from an eyewitness, an Asbury professor:

Some were reading and reciting Scripture. Others were standing with arms raised. Several were clustered in small groups praying together. A few were kneeling at the altar rail in the front of the auditorium. Some were lying prostrate, while others were talking to one another, their faces bright with joy.

They were still worshiping when I left in the late afternoon and when I came back in the evening. They were still worshiping when I arrived early Thursday morning—and by midmorning hundreds were filling the auditorium again. I have seen multiple students running toward the chapel each day.[1]

A respected Baptist pastor, Bill Elliff, has spent time on the Asbury campus. He has a history of firsthand knowledge of revivals in America. He notes the following about the move of God in Wilmore. [2]

  • Vibrant, powerful worship
  • Intense and intentional humility
  • Life-changing testimonies that give all glory to God, are brief, and current.
  • Guided Prayer
  • Spiritual, emotional, and even physical healing
    • The theme is Jesus, exalting Jesus, surrendering to Him, testifying about Him
  • Preaching
  • Wise leadership
  • Consistency with the ways of God
  • Giving God time and waiting
  • Spreading
  • Overwhelming love

As I read this, my heart is overflowing with hope and joy. You and I have been praying for this for many years. I know there is a new and sincere delight in God in revival. There is a desire to live holy and a great need to exalt Jesus as Lord. It is not about the individual person but about God. In revival, there is renewed joy and love for others. There is a restoration of marriages and a renewal of hope. There is deep confession and repentance. Revival changes people.

Is it revival? There seem to be indicators of genuine revival. However, I’m not sure; time will tell. Nonetheless, don’t simply disregard what God is doing. Don’t listen to critics who have not been there. Instead, join me in fervently asking God to send revival and pray revival continues to spread across college campuses. Join me in asking God to send revival to our hearts and churches. May God begin revival in me. If God wills, could this be the third Great Awakening? Oh, God, may it be so.


[2] Spend some time reading about the revival here:


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