'A Little Taste of Heaven': Thousands of GenZers Worship, Give Hearts to Christ At Summer Camps
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A recent Pew Research study claims that Gen Z is losing their religion, but in reality, there is a spiritual awakening that is happening among that generation.
Thousands are hearing the gospel message, making professions of faith in Jesus Christ, and answering the call to ministry.
"Culture understands and calls them Gen Z, but we have been calling them the revival generation," Shane Pruitt, national Next Gen director with the North American Mission Board told CBN News.
Evangelists and ministers who are working with Gen Z have acknowledged that while young people have been getting saved for decades it appears to have exploded in the last few years.
"In probably the last three years of ministry to young adults, college students, and teenagers I've seen more and more young people make professions of faith for Jesus in the last 3 years than in my previous almost 20 years of ministry," said Pruitt.
"We've had over 1,100 first-time salvation, so far this summer," Clayton King, pastor and founder of Crossroads told CBN News. "It's a miracle."
Pruitt and King are best friends who have been ministering in different parts of the country for more than 55 years combined.
Yet, the pair cannot deny that God is moving powerfully among the youth in many states.
Amazed by w/ what God did again this week @fallscreekok!— Shane Pruitt (@shane_pruitt78) July 8, 2023
790 decisions for the Lord, including 366 professions of faith for salvation, 116 surrendered to ministry, many saying they’re already saved but need to be baptized,& more!
Always love preaching here! To God be the glory! pic.twitter.com/GgrkVvo1sP
"It's definitely a spiritual awakening," Pruitt told CBN News.
Pruitt and King have been a part of meetings where thousands of students are worshipping the Lord, praying, and even getting baptized.
Thankful for coop. partnership of @OKBaptists churches that make possible a place like @fallscreekok where last night around 5,000 teens sang about Christ being magnified through their lives. Thanks @shane_pruitt78 for skillfully & boldly proclaiming the gospel to these students. pic.twitter.com/oGduM3PKTO— Todd Fisher (@etoddfisher) July 6, 2023
A Post-Pandemic Revival Movement
While studies have shown that the COVID-19 pandemic is directly correlated to an increase in depression, anxiety, and suicide among youth and adults in the U.S, it has also supercharged this spirit-filled movement.
"The pandemic didn't create new problems for Gen Z but I think it poured gas on some problems that were already there. You have a whole generation who has come to the end of themselves at a much earlier age," Pruitt explained. "They are looking for hope and they are looking for answers."
"We get to slide in with the gospel and say 'The hope you are looking for, the truth your looking for actually has a name, and His name is Jesus'," he added.
King says the demographic of students coming to these camps is entirely different and that is why students are responding more readily to the Gospel invitation.
"This is a new generation of students," he explained. "A lot of these kids that are coming to camp have either never heard the Gospel or they've only heard it once or twice or they've never been told how they can be saved and so I think that we are dealing with students now that are very different."
"Ten years ago most of the students that came to our camps came from a church background. Most of them came out of Christian families," he added. "We have a generation of students coming to camp now that have not been exposed to the Gospel or Church."
Preaching the Good News in a 'Culture of Evil'
In a culture that is inundated with division, gender confusion, and moral relativism the evangelists points out that Gen Z is hungry for truth.
King summed up that today's youth are fed-up with "just how dark and deceptive and evil our culture is growing."
"While Satan is blatantly going after our kids with relentless deception and distraction, God is calling this generation of young men and women to salvation, boldness, and surrender," he wrote on Instagram.
"The culture is so dark and depressing. They come here and they are like 'I want Jesus'," he also shared.
Pruitt told CBN News he was preaching a message at Falls Creek Oklahoma Youth Camp on Genesis 1:27, which says "God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them".
In the middle of reading the scripture the atmosphere suddenly changed.
"There was almost like this tension in the room just from reading the verse. Where it says we are made in the image of God and he determines male and female. And I was like,' Hey, let's just address it.'"
He told the crowd of 5,000 students that they are made in the image of God and that He determined their gender before birth and that He doesn't make mistakes.
"It's not hateful to believe that, to help others believe it. In fact, it is probably more unloving to affirm someone in believing that God made a mistake on them somehow," he shared.
Pruitt said the "crowd erupted" with applause when he shared that simple truth.
"The lines of culture have continued to shift so when you stick to the true Gospel, you stick to the Word, and you preach the Word in an authoritative way with kindness...you're seen as radical," he explained.
Pruitt and King believe today's youth don't need the truth sugar-coated.
"For Gen-Z we don't need to dumb it down. We need to disciple them up," Pruitt said.
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