The Acts of God in the Next Generation

What Does Revival Look Like Among Gen Z?

By Luke LeFevre

“We’re seeing something different in Gen Z.”

I’ve heard this sentiment echoed by pastors and leaders across the country. Many add a similar sentiment: “We’re seeing a different level of hunger and passion for spiritual things—a greater level of commitment to Jesus and zeal for the gospel.”

Across the nation, the consensus seems to be the same. God is moving in a profound way among Gen Z. I recently spoke with a pastor who states, “I’ve never seen unity among believers like I’m seeing in Gen Z. They all want to be a part of each others’ ministries and go to each others’ events! Where is this coming from?”

I can say the same thing from personal experience. As a 24-year-old, I fall into the very first tier of Gen Z ( from 9- to 24-year-olds). What I have witnessed among college and high school students is nothing short of miraculous. In just the past three years, we have documented more than 1,000 responses to the gospel in Nashville, TN, where I live. The majority of these responses come from some of the hardest and darkest of places.

Greatest Days of Revival

Before I dive into some of the details of how God is moving, let me first state that I believe we are heading into some of the greatest days of revival and spiritual awakening that our nation has ever experienced. While it may not look like how we’ve always assumed revival will manifest, it is coming, nonetheless. There is an undercurrent of radical, audacious faith that is filling a generation. And with faith like that, the miraculous is never far behind.

Several years ago, I spent a season in prayer. The Holy Spirit spoke to me clearly, saying, “Luke, I want you to be very careful because your generation is about to reap a harvest that it did not sow. So, stay extremely humble and give honor to those who have labored for and sown the harvest that you will reap.”

I believe the unprecedented harvest we are getting ready to reap in America—and that we are already seeing—is the result of fathers and mothers who have labored, toiled, wept, and prayed for God to move. The miraculous fruit, the rare spiritual hunger, and the powerful moves of the Holy Spirit we are seeing among Gen Z are a direct result of the prayers of the generations that precede us. It is a multigenerational work. 

This mixture of the prayers and labors of fathers and mothers—and the radical faith and actions of the upcoming generation—make for an explosive combination. 

What If?

Growing up, I used to ride my bike to my grandparents’ house and listen to my grandpa tell stories about revival. He would describe Duncan Campbell and the Hebrides revival, Evan Roberts and the Welsh revival, the Great Awakenings in the U.S., and the stories about men like Reinhard Bonnke (an evangelist with significant gospel outreach in Africa). These examples set the standard back then for what I believed God could do in a generation. And they are the standard I still hold to as I ask God to do it again.

These stories of revival put courage into my heart later in my life when I first heard about the crazy, drunken parties among the high school students in my city. I remember my shock when I met with a couple of teenagers to catch up on their lives, and one of them handed me a phone. With discouragement in their voices, they asked if I had heard about “raves”—their terminology for “parties.”

I looked at the picture on the phone that showed hundreds of high school students, most of them inappropriately dressed, dancing like they were in a club. I learned two boys at a local high school had borrowed money from their parents to start a “business.” The business was throwing raves. 

When I saw the picture, my heart was gripped. I sensed the boldness of the Holy Spirit rise up in my chest. I could feel the presence of the Lord as He invited me to take a bold step of faith for the salvation of these kids.

But I didn’t know how to reach them or even contact them. I wasn’t the cool kid in high school or in college who could just roll up to one of these parties and fit in. But I sensed the Holy Spirit urging me further.

It started as a “what if.

 What if, I thought, the Lord would open the door for us to preach the gospel at those raves? It seemed like a crazy idea, but just the kind of crazy where God likes to show up. 

Launching of Revival

After hearing about the raves, I met up with one of my close friends who leads several ministries here in Nashville. Daniel MacLeod had heard about the raves as well. As we prayed, we sensed the Lord stirring us that He was going to open the door for us to preach the gospel at these parties. But we had no idea how it would happen. 

We’ve learned over the years that when God speaks, our job isn’t to figure out all the “hows.” We simply need to take the next step of faith. God will take care of the details as we take a risk. While there are too many pieces of the story for me to recount, I can say that miracle after miracle occurred after we stepped out in faith.

 The Lord miraculously connected us with the two boys who were throwing the parties. In our first meeting with them, both Daniel and I tried to mask our trembling hands and voices as we convinced them to let us preach the gospel at their next rave. 

We also reached out to our friend Kenny Alonzo, who is the director of a ministry in Nashville called Rocketown—a faith-based youth outreach facility. He allowed us to offer his state-of-the-art venue to the boys for free if they would agree to get as many kids there as possible. 

The boys agreed to our proposal, and on the night of the rave more than 1,000 high school students from all over Nashville came through the doors. 

We also got connected with Josh and Victoria Rich, who lead a ministry called Crave, which specifically hosts raves for the sake of gospel outreaches. The connections God provided and the synergy in united outreach efforts were just some of the miracles that were overflowing. 

On the night of the rave, God moved powerfully through the gospel presentation. And out of the 1,000 students who came, nearly 400 responded to the gospel—with one of the first responses coming from one of the two boys who started the raves!

Out of that rave, the Lord launched a revival that has now led to nearly 900 high school and college students responding to the gospel. 

First Fruits

I believe this is just the first fruits of what God is preparing to pour out in this generation. The Lord spoke to me several years ago by saying, “I am going to begin to open the door for the gospel to be preached where the lost are already gathering in the masses.”

The rave was a confirmation of this. I believe more and more in the coming days, the Lord will miraculously open doors where the lost have already gathered—if we will step out in radical faith. And out of these bold steps of obedience, the gospel will continue to do its work in saving souls and transforming lives. 

In the days ahead, my sense is that the Lord’s call to Gen Z is one of wholehearted consecration—a consecration to holy lives and to God’s mission.

The great evangelist D.L. Moody once said, “The world has yet to see what God will do with a man fully consecrated to him. By God’s help, I aim to be that man.” I believe God is looking for just such a generation, who will say alongside D.L. Moody, “My aim is to be fully consecrated to God.” 

This renewed dedication to holiness and to God’s mission will stir a fresh move of revival within the Church in America. And if we see revival in the Church, we can see awakening in America once again.

And if America awakens, perhaps these could be the days when the gospel reaches the very ends of the earth and the ears of all nations.

LUKE LeFEVRE lives with a passion to see revival in the Church and awakening in America. He is the visionary and director of Consecrate, a young adults conference calling his generation to radical holiness, audacious faith, and a renewed commitment to the Great Commission.

Let the Next Generation Arise

The Power and Purpose of Young People in Revival

Why does God like to use young people? Because praying for revival requires child-like faith, humility, and submission—and usually the ones most willing to make such changes are the young.

Great Awakenings and Missions

Early in the 18th century, when God began to reignite the fires of 24/7 prayer, revival, and world missions, He used a young Moravian in his mid-20s by the name of Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf. A few years later God used the Moravians again to help ignite revival in England by inspiring two young Wesley brothers (John and Charles) and 21-year-old George Whitefield.

These young men preached the gospel with power and passion to tens of thousands, and Britain was awakened and rescued from moral collapse and certain destruction.

By the end of that century the fires of revival had given birth to the modern missions movement in the British Isles. Soon William Carey, Henry Martyn, Robert Morrison, Robert Moffat, Alexander Duff, David Livingston, and James Hudson Taylor—all men in their 20s—were setting out to share the hope of Christ with a gospel-starved world.

The Haystack Prayer Meeting

In 1806, Samuel J. Mills, a 23-year-old freshman at Williams College in Williamstown, MA, found the campus stirred by the recent move of the Holy Spirit. Mills and four other students were praying in an open field when suddenly they were caught in a thunderstorm. They took shelter in a nearby haystack and finished their prayer meeting. They pledged to take personal responsibility for the Great Commission.

Just six years later, America sent out its very first missionaries to Asia—all because a handful of young college students dared to believe God’s Word and pray it into action.

The Welsh Revival

By 1902, many believers in the British Isles began to earnestly pray for another outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Then in 1904, God surprised everyone by using an unknown 26-year-old coal miner named Evan Roberts.

The revival started at a mid-week young people’s meeting as Roberts shared his vision for revival in Wales. Soon, everywhere Roberts and his young ministry team went, the fires of revival followed.

The Jesus People Movement

God delights to send revival through flawed and broken people. This is what happened in the late 1960s and early ’70s during the Jesus People Movement.

It was an age of political and social unrest—an era of defiant self-expression. War, riots, and assassinations cast a dark shadow of fear over the whole nation.

Then in 1967 revival broke out in an unexpected place—among the hippies of Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco. From there the revival gained momentum in Orange County at Costa Mesa’s Calvary Chapel. Soon a wave of revival was washing over the whole California coast, transforming thousands of young drug addicts and runaways.

The revival moved east and broke out in places like Asbury College in Wilmore, KY. God was especially moving among the youth counterculture.

If we want to see revival, God may be asking us to cultivate in ourselves the tender heart of the young—a hungry heart with honest faith.

DAVID SMITHERS, condensed from original article in Issue 19 of Prayer Connect: