“It’s no secret that this church is in a great revival...”
Those have been the solemn words of our pastor over the last several months. There have been testimonies of miraculous healings, people getting saved, and families coming together to seek the Lord. God is at work at Central Church.
This visitation from the Lord has not been limited to the main sanctuary. God is also moving in the hearts and lives of our church’s youth. There is perhaps no greater picture of this than on Wednesday nights in the Varsity building.
Wednesday night services for the youth have become characterized by three things: worship, testimonies and prayer.
“I feel like that’s the closest we get to what the church ought to be,” said Varsity Pastor Justin Long about Wednesday nights. “It’s us coming together with no agenda but to honor the Lord and pray, open up and share each other’s burdens. We pray for people like we pray for ourselves.”
On one particular Wednesday night, a courageous young man spoke in front of the entire youth group telling his peers that he was seeing victory over the power of lust as a result of turning to Christ. Feeling encouraged by the testimony, the students began to pray for one another and ask God to give them power to overcome temptation.
Several more students raised their hands saying that they needed prayer. Following this, their peers circled around them and began to lift up their voices in prayer for their friends.
It’s easy to see this and believe that God answered the church’s fervent cries just one month prior.
On Sunday, Oct. 13, Pastor Livingston gave a stirring message in which he challenged the church to pray for the youth. He shared the story from Acts 12 in which the apostle Peter found himself locked in a prison bound between two soldiers. But then…“An angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up saying, ‘Arise Quickly!’ And his chains fell off his hands.” (Acts 12:7)
From that passage, Pastor challenged the church to pray in faith that God would dispatch angels to rescue our sons and daughters from despair. Like Peter, many of our children have found themselves bound in chains. But if we pray in faith, God is willing and able to send help from Heaven in time of need.
It’s striking to hear Pastor’s prayer of faith during that Sunday morning service: “I thank you God that you’re releasing our children from the chains. The very children that have no interest in you whatsoever are going to sing about you, preach about you, teach you, live you in front of everybody. They’re going to become the greatest testimony to the world of the mighty power of God!”
We are seeing those things come to pass. Testimonies of lives being changed are pouring in.
“I see a youth group that wants to pray,” Pastor Justin said. “A youth group that is hungry for the Word of God. And they’re asking me about doing Bible studies and how to grow and how to walk.
“When I first got here, kids were closed off and not talking,” Pastor Justin said. “I couldn’t get anybody to talk about anything. And now I can’t get ‘em to shut up… My phone is blowing up! They’re sending me messages and parents are emailing me saying there’s something going on in my kid… There’s a hunger going on.”
So what’s next for this youth revival at Central? How can we support this next generation in their walks with Christ?
“They want to be heard,” Pastor Justin emphasized. “Listen to them. They’re dying to share something with somebody.
“Just pray that God would open up doors for them to share their faith with their friends and their coaches. That God would give them boldness to act on what’s taking place… This is just the beginning.”