Tuesday, April 25, 2006

UCLA! - Jaeson Ma

This is worth posting from Jaeson Ma – seeing God work at UCLA

Dear CCN prayer team,

The below is a report of the Holy Spirit's outpouring at UCLA in the last 10 days. I have not been able to respond to email because outbreaks of revival are taking place on campus and I must focus my energies and time there. Please pray for me and our team as we continue on the work at UCLA believing God to start a new awakening here & on college campuses across this nation. Pray for our protection, strength and wisdom to carry on. Something is in the air, it smells like revival.

Under the mercy,
Jaeson Ma

[www.campuschurch.net, www.campustransformation.com ]

24-7 Prayer at UCLA Shifts the Spiritual Atmosphere!
Let us know,
Let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD.
His going forth is established as the morning;
He will come to us like the rain,
Like the latter and former rain to the earth.
Hosea 6:3

A few months back UCLA established a day of 24-7prayer for campus revival. Ever since this happened, nothing has been the same. The Holy Spirit has been pouring out His Spirit on this campus like no other. At the same time, our ministry ( www.campustransformation.com, www.campuschurch.net) has tracked over 80+ 24-7prayer rooms on different major universities all across the nation since the month of January. Something is stirring, the power of God is falling and the Holy Spirit is preparing a generation for a last great awakening that will shake the nations and finish the Great Commission in our generation.

We recognize without prayer nothing is possible, with prayer all things can be done. Prayer is the fuel behind our evangelism. The below is a report of what the Holy Spirit has been doing in great grace and great power at the UCLA campus. We are not just satisfied with good prayer rooms we want to see the power of God encounter a generation & we are seeing it happen right before our eyes here in Los Angeles once again. Yes, one hundred years after the Azusa Street Revival in LA an expectancy of God's visitation upon Los Angeles is pregnant in the hearts of many once again. Yes, 50 years since the beginning of the greatest student spiritual revolution started on the UCLA campus by Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ we are at the threshold of another great student revival awakening. Do not relent, press in with prayer, fasting and a bold Gospel witness. The below is my own story of the powerful things God has been doing through a small band of students in our house church network who are united with other like minded Christ followers at the UCLA campus.

Completely Satisfied yet Utterly Dissatisfied
When I came to you brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power. 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
What has been happening at UCLA the last 10 days is unprecedented. The spirit of God is stirring and we are experiencing a new outbreak of revival like we have never seen. In the last week we have witnessed scores of salvations in the middle of campus, divine healings and the power of God break in. This is just the beginning of something great. Please let me give a preface to what has been happening.

I thought I was losing my mind the last week. I had become so dissatisfied with the state of American Christianity and the lack of power in the preached Gospel. Why do we preach the Gospel and yet there is no response? Why do we see the power of God operating in the book of Acts but we don't see the power of God operating today? Where is the power & presence of God in my generation? I had lost it¡K

I couldn't do my regular ministry duties. I could no longer just settle for Church meetings, Bible studies and casual prayer meetings. I wanted something more. There had to be more. I kept reading 1 Corinthians 2 and Acts 4. Paul never preached with human wisdom, human knowledge, he preached with the power of God. Yet, today all we have is human knowledge from our pulpits, but no Holy Spirit power. A Chinese house church leader once visited some major mega-churches in Los Angeles California and when asked, "What do you think? He responded with, 'It's amazing what your American Churches can do without the Holy Spirit." Lord I pray for mercy on Your luke warm Church here in the United States. Last week I read Acts 4 over and over again.

Now, Lord consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy Servant Jesus. After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. All the believers were in one heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. Acts 4:29-33

The apostles preached the resurrection of the Lord Jesus with great power. I am desperate to see that great power at work in my generation. If not, I don't know what to live on for. I did not sign up for a program, an organization or a religious institution. I found Christ at the age of 17 & was radically changed. He transformed me, encountered me, saved me from going to jail and I have never looked back. But here I am again, desperate as the day I met Him. God where is your power in my generation?
I became so desperate last week. I simply prayed a prayer of Jeremiah 6:16
"Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls."

I lost it. I dropped everything and went back to the place of prayer. For days on end I just sought God's presence in the morning and through the night. I found rest for my soul. I found His presence and He had become everything once again. The only way I could describe how it felt and how I feel at this moment is this, "completely satisfied and utterly dissatisfied."

I am completely satisfied in His presence, but I am utterly dissatisfied with the state of Christianity in my generation. Oh God, oh God, oh God¡Kif you don't do something, I don't know what else to do? Where are the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in this generation? 40,000 students at UCLA and the majority do not know this glorious presence I know. Millions in my generation are leaving the Church because they have encountered a dead religion instead of encountering the manifest presence of God. I am distraught and God you must do something. I only live for one thing, to see your name lifted High, to see revival come, to experience heaven on earth, if not, take me home. Revival or death! I don't mean to sound extreme, but this is how I feel.
This last week at UCLA I sensed a stirring and experienced a Holy Spirit power I have not seen in a long while. God is here, He is moving and hell is shaking. This is just the beginning. I feel like we have struck water. The well of revival is stirring, but we have to keep pressing in. May God do what He did with Bill Bright 50 years ago on this campus once again! Start a spiritual revolution among students on campuses all across the United States of America, but this time even greater.

The 7 foot Cross on Campus
I thought I was hearing things. But through a series of confirmations I sensed the Holy Spirit tell me to bring a 7 foot Cross into the middle of Bruin Walk and preach. A sister in our house church on campus had found this 7 foot Cross and borrowed it for our 24-7 UCLA prayer room. When I saw it, something in me stirred. I knew it was meant to be carried and preached with. I asked her if she could ask the owners to let us use it for outdoor preaching on campus. She asked the owners and they gave it to us graciously. This 7 foot Cross had been sitting in my room for over 2 months. I did not feel led to carry it on campus just yet. But this last week I was compelled to bring it out on Thursday April 13. I had told no one that God had purposed in my heart to take out this 7 foot cross to campus. But the night before Thursday a student leader asked me if I would go with them to worship and preach on campus Friday because it was "Good Friday." When I heard this brother tell me it was Good Friday, I thought to myself, "If there is anytime to bring out a 7 foot Cross on campus it would be Easter." I was encouraged, yet scared. What would people think? I would be labeled a freak, a fool and fundamentalist. I didn't care. I just had to take the chance to be obedient.

Thursday morning I get out to campus. The night before I had emailed out our house church to pray for me because I would be at Bruin Walk from 12-2pm to pray and seek the Lord direction. As I began to walk down Bruin Walk holding this large cross, students everywhere started looking at me with funny looks. Some laughed, others jeered, but I kept on walking.
I got into the middle of campus and with few of our student leaders we began to worship on the Bruin Walk steps. It was difficult to worship, it was hard to stay focused. The spiritual warfare was felt, but we did our best to keep worshipping and praying. A few of us got up to preach, but there was no effect. Students walked right by us. Others laughed as they saw us holding this large cross & preaching.

After about two and a half hours of no response I became disillusioned. I thought to myself, why does this Cross have no power? Why do I not see the book of Acts happen the way Paul and the early apostles did? Is it just because we are in a different generation and we are to resort to seeker sensitive, relational evangelism? I'm all for personal evangelism, but no, no, no, no, there has got to be more than this! I had lost it¡K

At about 3:30pm I was just standing still on the Bruin Walk grass hill with this large cross on my shoulder. I then made my way down to the Bruin Walkway where all the organizations were tabling. I began to walk up and down the walkway singing to myself my favorite Lifehouse song. "You are all I want, You are all I need, You are everything, everything!" Over and over again, I sang to myself for about a good half hour. I wasn't singing to get attention, I was singing to God. I had lost my sense of reality. I didn't know anymore what was real and what was not real. I just knew God had to be God and He had to do something.

All of a sudden I began to talk about God out loud. I began to share about the Cross. I shared about the power of the Cross and that it is not just a piece of wood. It is not just a religious symbol or something you hang around your neck for coolness sake. No, it is the power of God unto salvation! I preached passionately for a half hour to no one. I just preached to the air because I was so frustrated that the cross in the eyes of UCLA was just another religious ornament. Then something of heaven broke open.
People began to listen. Maybe 60-80 students started gathering to listen. One girl was sitting on the steps by herself. I preached to her. She was listening intently as I explained the power of the Cross. She began to understand that the Cross came with a price. It cost the Son of God His very life and blood. Others started gathering to listen. A fraternity member I had been praying for was gripped by the message. He almost converted on the spot when I challenged him, he said he wanted to, but still needed time to seek more. I prayed for him. Next thing you know, the UCLA TV station is filming the whole scene and asking to interview me.

After preaching an hour or so, a crowd of a hundred had gathered. The presence of God was thick and the Bruin walkway was silent once again, like it was earlier in the year when we preached outdoors. I didn't feel the need to challenge them to respond, I just needed to share my heart on how I felt about the Cross. Many did respond though, including a Muslim student, a whole Pilipino dance group and Latin sorority. When I had told the crowd I was done preaching, I walked down the Bruin Walk and the whole crowd began to clap for me. I thought it was interesting, I didn't know what to make of it. I just knew I had to share the message of the Cross. I had to get out my frustration to let UCLA know this Cross has power and it cost blood. It cost the blood of God's Son. Later, the UCLA TV station interviewed me asking me what made my message different than those other street preachers who condemn others to hell. I simply shared that I had no strategy, but simply was compelled to the love of God in my heart for all to hear. I preached the Gospel when they interviewed me and who knows how many students watched it and got saved. Whatever the case, in my spirit, I knew something had shifted. The heavens were opened over Bruin Walk in a different way. This leads me to the next part of the story where the real miracles begin¡K

Divine Healing & Prophetic Evangelism breaks out @ UCLA
"For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel---not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of is power." 1 Corinthians 1:17
"My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power." 1 Corinthians 2:4-5
"But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all. And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you." 1 Corinthians 14:24-25
The Gospel was meant to be preached with power, not with persuasive words. This last week God broke out in divine healing and prophetic power in the middle of UCLA. What happened was like it came straight out of the book of Acts. This is only the beginning¡K.

Monday - Asian Fraternity encounters the power of God
On Monday I was compelled again to bring out a 7 foot wooden Cross to the middle of the UCLA campus. I didn't feel like brining it. But when does your flesh ever feel like brining out a 7 foot Cross to preach with? When I got to the middle of Bruin Walk students everywhere were staring, laughing and giving me weird looks. I didn't care. I was at a place in my Christianity that if I didn't see God show up in power like He did in the book of Acts I wasn't willing to go on. I met up with a few of our house church student leaders and some of them began to preach. There was not much response from the onlookers. Once again, I became disgruntled in my spirit so I took the Cross and began to walk around Bruin Walk praying silently to myself. For over an hour I stood in the middle of Bruin Walk, holding the cross and staring at the hundreds of student organizations tabling. I felt Jesus heart of compassion for them, for they were like lost sheep without a shepherd.

One student organization tabling in particular was one of the largest Asian Fraternities. I had been praying for the salvation of this fraternity for over a few months. As I stood there praying for them I felt the Holy Spirit say to me, "Today I give you this fraternity!" I thought to myself, could this be? I began to envision myself preaching the Gospel in front of their table and seeing members call out to God for their salvation. Then it happened¡K

As I was standing their praying to myself in the middle of Bruin Walk I began to pray out loud. Pretty soon, my out loud prayer, turned into preached words and then into a rap. I had never done this before but I began to rap out loud the Gospel message. It sounded like slam poetry, but the message of the Gospel was communicated clearly through each rhyme and sentence. Students around the Bruin Walk began to stop and listen. In a moment it looked like a crowd of 100 had gathered to listen. Next thing, I found myself in front of this Asian fraternity table and preaching the Gospel directly to them. There were maybe a dozen or more frat members and they were all listening to me preach for at least one hour and a half. I shared about the meaning of passion and the suffering Jesus went through to save our souls. I explained the Cross is not just a religious symbol, but the power of God unto salvation. I shared my life story and called the entire crowd to Lordship in Christ and repentance towards God. By then, Bruin

Walk had been dead silent for over one hour listening to me preach the Gospel. As I gave the challenge to commit to Christ, students everywhere began to raise their hands to give their lives to Jesus. It must have been at least a dozen and half committing their lives to Christ. More importantly, many of the members of the Asian fraternity raised their hands to give their lives to Jesus just as I saw beforehand in my spirit. It was a holy moment. They prayed out loud with me and when they had done so, I shouted for joy! I explained angels were here and in heaven rejoicing at their decision. No one wanted to leave, so I continued to preach the kingdom.

In my heart I felt led to teach them how to pray. I was amazed, all around the hundred over students continued to listen to me teach in the middle of Bruin Walk. I then went on to teach about the power of the Holy Spirit, the gift of tongues, the power to cast out demons and to heal the sick. It was at this point a divine out break of miracles happened¡K
Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding 1 Corinthians 14:13-15

As I preached about the power of the Holy Spirit I felt inspired to speak a message in tongues. I began to speak out loud a divine message in tongues from my spirit. I asked God to give me the interpretation once the tongue was released. I spoke with my understanding and the interpretation spoke of God's hand being sovereign over creation, His power to do all things and the need to forgive others. At this point, many all around the Bruin Walk were coming under the power of God and were beginning to tear up. I knew at this moment the Holy Spirit wanted me to pray for the brothers in this large Asian fraternity. Looking at them, I asked them if I could pray for them, they all nodded. I walked up and stretched out my hands to pray a prayer of blessing over each.

Once I began to pray, immediately I received a word of knowledge about one of the fraternity members there having a mother who was sick and needed prayer. I asked, which one of you has a mother who is sick in this fraternity? There were maybe a little more than a dozen frat brothers there and one raised his hand. He told me his name, his mothers name and then I said, "The sickness is cancer isn't it?" He said, yes! The moment this word of knowledge went forth the entire crowd was astonished. One fraternity member who was not a Christian began to break down crying uncontrollably. I looked at all of them and told them to immediately pray and believe his mother would be miraculously healed.

I began to explain that it was God who knows all, is sovereign over all, and has the power to heal. They were all bewildered. Then I looked to my left and saw one of the frat brothers who listened intently the whole time sitting on the table with crutches. I knew in my spirit God wanted to heal him. I asked him, "Why do you have crutches?" He said, "I think I broke my foot yesterday playing basketball, I can't walk or move my foot at all and it hurts like hell!" I told him, "Jesus has the power to heal the sick and I'm going to lay my hands on your foot right now and you will be healed." The moment I laid my hands on his broken foot I felt the power of the Holy Spirit shoot through my hands. I knew God had healed his foot. I told him to immediately take of his crutches, stand on his two feet and walk. He looked at me like, "Are you for real?" I told him, "Yes, get up right now and walk in Jesus name!" He got off the table without his crutches and was at first hesitant to take a step, but I encouraged him to step out in faith. As he took his first step I asked him what is happening? I said, "The pain in your foot is leaving isn't it?" In shock he responded, "The pain is leaving!" I said, "Keep on walking and the pain will completely go away!" A miracle happened. He began to walk all around the Bruin Walk in front of over a hundred onlookers. The entire crowd was in awe. As he took each step, his eyes began to well up with tears. He kept saying, "The pain is leaving, it's almost completely gone!" The power of God was healing him and it was a witness for all to see the miracle working power of Jesus.
And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. John 20:30-31

Many of the fraternity members were locked in, watching, amazed and in the presence of the Holy Spirit. The one frat brother who was crying uncontrollably began to explain to me, "Many people have shared the Gospel with me, but I could never believe in a God I couldn't see, but when you told my friend that his mom had cancer, I knew that was impossible, because we don't even know that!" Paul said, "That your faith would not rest in the wisdom of men, but the power of God."
We owe this generation an encounter with the power of God. If we think it is only seeker sensitive evangelism strategies that will win the lost, then we are going to lose a generation. I am convinced God's word is true, that if we preach the Gospel He will confirm it with signs, wonders and miracles.

What happened at UCLA Bruin Walk this Monday was proof. More than half a dozen of the fraternity members gave us their contact information & have committed to meeting regularly to learn obedience to Christ. We will now plant a house church among their community.

That same day, an Indian student was listening to me preach the Gospel the whole time at Bruin Walk. While I shared the need to repent, be baptized in water and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2), he immediately, rose his hands in the air and said baptize me! We took a large water bottle and immediately poured water over his head and baptized him in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He began to give praise to God and was a public testimony for all to see. It was a beautiful moment.
Many more God encounters happened on Monday, too many to count. The Holy Spirit has been pouring out His presence at UCLA like we have never seen. There is something in the air and it is the power of God. This generation is hungry for a real encounter with the Holy Spirit and not a dead religion or social program. We must contend for heaven to encounter earth. This can not just be talk it must be put in action. God's power does not come without spiritual violence.
And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force Matthew 11:12

If we want to see God's power show up on our campuses there is a price to pay. We have to press in, pray, fast, do spiritual violence and soak in the presence of the Holy Spirit until we are so filled with Him, nothing but His presence and authority flows out of us. When that presence flows out of us, it manifests itself in a bold Gospel witness where we see the Cross preached with power, sicknesses healed, demons cast out and souls saved soundly. Now is not the time to hide in our prayer meetings. If we truly believe for God's power and revival to show up when we pray, then we must step out in faith to see it happen. Faith without actions is dead. A revival prayer meeting on our campus that does not result in us taking the Gospel to the lost¡Kis just a prayer meeting. We must be moved from prayer to action. By sustaining both, in the power of the Holy Spirit, we will see our campuses flipped upside down for the glory of God! I challenge every student who reads this to go out two by two on their campuses and preach the Gospel. Whether it been in the middle of campus, in a dorm, a classroom or anywhere, believe God to encounter the lost! Step out in faith, preach, prophesy, let the Holy Spirit lead you to pray for the sick and down trodden! Change your campus in the power of the Holy Spirit!

Oh God, would you raise up a generation of fools! Those who will be fools for the Gospel, those who would not so much care about their reputation, but would only care about advancing the kingdom of God in their generation. No matter what the cost! This is the hope we have, what are doing with it? Are we going to settle for just good church meetings, campus fellowship gatherings, social events, outreach activities week after week, school year after school year? I didn't sign up for a Gospel without power. God is God and let Him be God. Stop putting God in a box with your theologies & believe Him to be the God of the Bible, the God of Acts, and the God of now! Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever and I refuse to believe anything less, but to see him walk the streets of our campuses in divine power.
I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son my bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. John 14:12-13

Jesus may you send revival to my generation. Send revival to the college campuses of America. Send revival to this nation and bring glory to your Father. This is just the beginning¡KGod continues to move daily at UCLA there is more to come....
Tuesday ¡V Latin Fraternity encounters the spirit of prophecy
Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." Revelation 19:10
But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. 1 Corinthians 14:3

On Tuesday I went out once again with the 7 foot cross to the middle of the UCLA campus. As usual, I had no plan but to seek the face of the Lord. There were a few of us from Passion Church and students from other fellowships meeting at Bruin Walk to worship and pray. As we went out there one of our student leaders Sam began to preach in the middle of the square. He spoke with passion & there were some listening. After a time he felt led to walk up to students to speak with them. I followed suit. I didn't sense the Holy Spirit telling me to outdoor preach that day, but waited on Him for guidance. As I walked down the Bruin Walk I saw one of the Asian fraternities passing out flyers for an event they were promoting. I told them I would help pass out flyers for them and they laughed, but I really did it.

It was fun, but also strategic. I began to announce the hip hop event they had going on with jokes and humor. The surrounding organizations were laughing with me. One of them was a Latin fraternity. They are the largest Latino fraternity on campus. I asked them if they wanted to attend the event and struck up conversation with them.

I began to ask them if they went to church, some did, most were of Catholic origin. For some reason one student begins to open up to me. He tells me that his best friend had been killed in Mexico over the weekend after I shared with him about God's love. I began to share with him comforting scriptures from Psalm 23 & 91. I asked if I could pray for him and as I did, the Holy Spirit gave me a few words of knowledge to comfort him. He showed me, "his best friend was a child hood friend who grew up on the same block with him, both their parents were very close, he and his best friend played a lot of sports together and that his friend's death was quick and not painful." As I spoke these words of knowledge over him he began to cry, he affirmed that each was true, and at that moment we both knew God was present. The funeral was the next day and I know Holy Spirit used that moment to give him comfort for the trial. He was so thankful. As his other frat brothers witnessed this we were able to get their contact information and get a few of them to start a Bible study to learn more about Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit.

That was Tuesday, more of God's power to come on Wednesday¡K

Wednesday ¡V Christians at UCLA unite to worship in the public square!
"And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation." 41Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. 42And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 46So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved." Acts 2:40-47

On Wednesday we tasted a bit of Acts 2:46 so continuing daily with one accord in the temple. Christian students from different campus fellowships and local churches gathered together in the middle of the Bruin Plaza to worship God together in unity. From 12 noon to 2pm student leaders from different Christian groups gathered to worship, intercede, and declare God's glory over UCLA. It was a humble yet powerful beginning. All together maybe 50 students had come together, but it was a powerful bunch. As they gathered on a grassy hill next to the Bruin Walk steps you could sense the unity & very presence of God. The praise went up and it could be heard above all the other student organization activities surrounding the Bruin walkway.
Some students began to exhort the Christian's there through Scripture. They shared and declared God's Word while explaining the purpose and power of worship. They shared how blessed we were to have the freedom to worship in public and declare God's fame without fear of persecution. I can't explain to you in words what I felt at that moment. It was an Acts 2 moment where the Body of Christ had truly come together in unity, love, prayer and purpose. For when God's people will love one another, the whole world will know we are His disciples. That is what happened¡K

The early church did not meet inside the four walls of a building as we do today. Instead, they met daily in the temple courts, which was a public space for religious activity. The temple court was full of different philosophies, religious practices and public speech of non-believers. Similarly, the courtyards of our nation's universities can be likened to modern temple courts where bands of students share their philosophies, beliefs and practices daily in the public. It was in this kind of public place the entire early church would gather daily to worship, pray, break bread and give themselves to the apostle's teachings. No wonder God added to their number daily! The early church had a citywide presence that was powerful & visible. The power of God was displayed daily in the public through the unity of the Church and the miracles of the believers. They had favor with all the people meaning those who were not of the faith. This means they must have been visibly in the public declaring their faith to the world. Those who were added to the Church daily were made healthy disciples from house to house in networks of simple house churches. It happened then it can and should happen now!

What happened at UCLA on Wednesday was to me a glimpse of the early church. As this band of 50 Christian students worshipped in unity thousands of UCLA students encountered the presence of God. Many walked by, many stopping to listen and some to watch. It was powerful. As we finished the time of public worship and declaration you could sense a wonder and awe in the atmosphere. I was walking down the Bruin Walk when an unbelieving student sitting on a table said, "Thank you for singing today, it was great!" I realized as I left the Bruin walkway we had Church in the public square of UCLA. It was more church than I had ever experienced in a long time. God was making Himself known and His glory famous to UCLA.

What would happen if daily hundreds or even thousands of Christ-followers worshipped God daily in the middle of our university campuses? Not to protest, not to promote, or to even evangelize. Rather, it was simply to worship God and do what the early Christians did: break bread, pray together, fellowship, devoted themselves to the apostles teaching, shared all things and showed compassion to the lost. This would transform our campuses and turn them upside down. The Church would be an unstoppable force of love in the eyes of the unbelievers. In the days to come, when the great revival hits the shores of our college campuses once again, you can be sure that daily outdoor worship, or may I say Church will be happening in the middle of our universities with hundreds and even thousands bringing glory to God daily! As souls are won, simple networks of house churches or missional communities will be established among every pocket of students on our universities and into our cities to disciple the great new harvest.

Thursday ¡V The Holy Spirit falls & fills students on Bruin Walk!
I was amazed when I witnessed the power of God encounter students on Bruin Walk again on Thursday. I really didn't expect God to show up with the same level of intensity as He did the days before, but our God goes from glory to glory. On Thursday I had arrived to campus late and got to Bruin Walk around 1:15pm. I only had 45 minutes till my next meeting, but I still wanted to believe that God could do anything, even in a short time.

Some students from other fellowships had heard what happened the previous days so they joined us to pray and worship in the public. About 1:45pm I was carrying the 7 foot cross again and began to walk up and down the Bruin walkway where all the student organizations were tabling. I started praying to myself asking God to move in power. Again my prayers turned into preached words and a crowd began to gather and listen.

This time I sensed I was to teach on the Holy Spirit. I began to preach on the person, power and presence of the Holy Spirit. I was then led to share about an encounter I had with almost being killed in a gang fight & having the hand of God save me from death. I continued to preach on the Holy Spirit and its power to save and deliver. Finally, as many students were gathered around & listening I challenged them to commit to Christ. I couldn't believe it, but again more than a dozen began to shout out the sinner's prayer as I led them into repentance and faith in Christ.

I asked the crowd if anyone was sick and needed prayer, believing God would heal them. As some students shared their sicknesses (minor colds, coughs, headaches) prayers for divine healing went forth. An interesting thing then happened. There was a woman who walked up and asked us to pray for her digestive stomach problems. Recognizing this opportunity to glorify Jesus I asked the entire Bruin walk crowd to believe by faith for her healing and straight out their hands to pray for her. They did it. After we prayed for her she said she immediately felt her bloated stomach was shrinking and being healed!

At this point, I knew the crowd was hungry to understand the power of the Holy Spirit. I shared with them the only way to live a righteous life was not in our own strength, but in the power of the Holy Spirit. I asked them if they wanted God's power to live holy and many all over raised their hands. I then told them they would have to surrender their lives to God so they could be filled with the Holy Spirit. With that, I challenged them to pray for the infilling and baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues or any other spirit given manifestation. All over students began to pray with me out loud for the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Once they prayed I began to ask Jesus to fill them with the power of the Holy Spirit all over the Bruin Walk.
Behind me there were two brothers from the Latin fraternity who had prayed out loud the prayer. I asked them if I could lay hands on them to pray and they said yes. As a few of our student leaders and I prayed for him to receive the Holy Spirit he closed his eyes and came under the power of God. He looked back up at me and told me that he felt like waves of energy were going through his body. Then he said he could feel his tongue moving and wanting to pray out loud. I knew he was being filled with God's Spirit!
He then looked at me and said, "Hey pray for my friend!" So I turned to his friend and his friend prayed with me to receive the Holy Spirit. Again, he looked up and said he could a feel a warm presence over his body. I told him it was the presence of the Holy Spirit. I said how do you feel? he smiled and said, "Great!"

The same thing happened as I went to go pray for another Asian fraternity member who prayed the prayer also. We prayed on the Bruin Walk steps to receive the power of the Holy Spirit and he was touched deeply. Immediately, he decided to join the house church we had planted among their fraternity community. God is good!

More and more students all over Bruin walk that day committed to Christ were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and are now being grafted into the family of God.

What has happened in the past week is unprecedented at UCLA. We hear of reports of God moving in power through other Christ followers all over campus. In my spirit I believe there is an "open heaven" over Bruin Walk. Since the beginning of the school year we have been praying and asking God to breakthrough in power. We are now beginning to see the fruit of these prayers. Students are open to the Gospel and desiring for the presence of the Holy Spirit. This is just the beginning. These last few days have been but a tiny glimpse of what God wants to pour out continually, daily and extravagantly in our generation. God wants to encounter this generation in the power of the Holy Spirit. He is jealous for their hearts and so must we be equally as jealous. Let us seek God relentlessly and pursue this generation fearlessly. I believe with all my heart we are at the tipping point and the beginning outpourings of the greatest revival this nation has ever witnessed. Another spiritual revolution is stirring. May we ask God to give us a passion for prayer, a passion for power in evangelism and a passion for planting simple churches to take in & multiply the harvest at this hour!

The Cost of Suffering for Revival
Revival does not come without suffering. Revival is warfare. It is a spiritual battle where the enemy will want to intimidate each one of you who contends for this vision. On the first Thursday when the Holy Spirit broke out at Bruin Walk there was a direct spiritual attack on my family back home. I will not get into details, but my mother was robbed and assaulted the same day the power of God broke out at UCLA. Interestingly, before I got out to the middle of campus on Thursday, I was reminded of my mother being spiritually and physically attacked in a similar way when God used me in Hong Kong and Taiwan two years ago to birth a revival among the youth. When I was reminded of this memory while walking to Bruin Walk, I stopped and prayed for my mother's safety and protection. Hours later I get the news she was robbed in front of our new home, assaulted, but by the grace of God was not seriously hurt.

I am thankful to God my mother is okay. Yet, I am furious at the enemy for violating my family. My mother is strong and full of faith. She even prayed for the robber who assaulted her afterwards for his salvation. I ask each of you to keep my family, especially my mother in your daily prayers. She is the most precious person in my life. Please I ask you for your daily prayers and protection for my family. Thank you.

Do you understand the cost? There is a cost to revival. There is a price to pay and a real battle to be fought. But whatever the enemy throws at us, we will not give in or give up. We must press on towards the upward prize in Christ Jesus. We must not only start the race for revival, but finish the race for revival. In this world we may have troubles, trials and persecutions, but fear not Jesus Christ has overcome the world. Following Jesus is not a game, it is not a Sunday service ritual, it is a denying yourself, taking up your cross daily and following Him even unto death. You may pray and contend for revival and never see it happen, but maybe your children will. What are you contending for? Are you going after revival and God's purposes for your sake or His?

When things don't go your way, when you face a little persecution, when your prayers don't get answered or your hopes for revival get shot do you throw in the towel, or do you keep walking by faith? We must walk by faith and not by sight. This world's got nothing on me. I don't belong to it! I don't want or desire anything in it. Give me revival or give me death. By God's great mercy, may we be completely and utterly obedient to His will and His will alone, no matter what the cost. For He is worthy of our worship! Send revival to this generation Lord, start with me.
We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed-- always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 2 Corinthians 4:8-12
When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, "Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels." Mark 8:34-38

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Holts on Leadership

A few months ago I happened to be boarding a plane and was in line behind Lou Holtz former Notre Dame and South Carolina football coach and now a commentator with ESPN). I recognized him and struck up a conversation (while he was on his way to first class and I was headed to the middle seat near the bathrooms). We chatted about his travel and the differences in commentating vs. coaching.

A few weeks later I happened to watching a bit of college game day and there was Lou. And he made this little comment about leadership on teams – I found it quite applicable. Lou pontificated that “A leadership title is given from the top, but a leader is recognized from the bottom up.” In other words, there is a difference between recognized leadership and assigned leadership. And, it seems to me, that the church historically has focused best on recognized leadership verses positions that are divvied out from on high.

Just because I give someone a title and a piece of turf, it does not mean that they are truly a leader. However, if the system is constructed (or kept free) so that those who desire to lead & are capable of leading can chart their own future, then leadership is freely recognized as pieces of the kingdom are built. This is the huge advantage the local church has over the para at this point in history. The church as a whole has moved away from greater hierarchies beyond what is constructed locally – meanwhile other missional groups have built large systems and methods that appoint leadership and impart control rather than opening up a system to freely recognize the what true leaders move forward and build. This level of control keeps things organized, but may constrain the rapid advancement of the kingdom by kooky and fruitful free agents.

Freedom and Leadership

A few months ago I read an old article (interview actually) from Rick Warren. For the first time he said something that really rubbed me wrong (as for me, I am happy to have Warren as the new protestant pope – he is winsome in many categories – gotta love it). What he said was:

I think a fourth trend that you might be interested in as journalists is the move – the shift in power – in evangelicalism from what's called para-church organizations to local churches. In the last 50 years, most of what was new and innovative that's been done in Christianity was done by para-church organizations, not actual congregations. Things like World Vision, World Relief, Campus Crusade for Christ, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Billy Graham Organization and on and on. And America in its entrepreneurship has started thousands of these para-church organizations since the 1950s. And in the '70s and the '80s particularly, all of the bright minds were not going into local churches. They were all going into these para-church organizations.

But all the smart people I know are now working in local churches. They're moving there and the power is moving back to the local congregations. Regardless of size, they just happen to be there.
When I first saw that, it rubbed me wrong (for I myself work with a para . . . .which most of us ‘para’ people never liked that distinction in the first place – it almost sounds like choosing to play JV). But ner the less, it rubbed me wrong.

But as I began to think about it, I totally agree – and here is why. Freedom.

In the 40s & 50s the para was so new and young that a ton of white space existed. Bill Bright, Billy Graham and their contemporaries were doing something that had not really been done and leaders gravitated to the vacuum. At the same time, the church was ruttted –deeply. You had a handful of major denominations that were mostly declining. In 1950, if you, me and someone’s brother-in-law got together to start a church . . . . .well, we would have been considered a bit strange and possibly even apostate. You just did not do that kind of stuff. If Bill headed over to UCLA to start a campus church (and him with no degree and the church with no building) it would have looked a bit scandalous. Even Henrietta Mears may have frowned. The timing was not right – thus para was a good option.

But now, the freedom is in the church. No one would bat an eye if me and two guys from some bar started a church - people would scarcely pay any attention. “Good luck and if you invent something cool, put it on your website.” Since 1950, the church has lurched back toward spontaneity (a bit). There are other factors, but big time thanks to Chuck Smith (I should say Lonnie Frisbee) and the Jesus people of the 70s – the reformation mentality has continued a slow expansion. The priesthood of all believers careening toward some very natural conclusions.

So now, the para has become stiff and the church has become an open world of chaos of all kinds (and I mean this as a good thing – a really really good thing). So, if I am local pastor I can preach like a want, hire who I want, go where I want, minister to whom I am called and generally create a future out of the freedom I have.

At the same time, most directors within the context of para-church are much more constrained. These groups who initially organized around a mission have become large corporate structures. To move quickly is not an option.

In some ways I see this as the natural melding of the para and the church. Bag the para! We are all the church is various forms and functions. The kingdom expands as godly men and women wage war in the battle for souls. For our part (the para), we must get back to freedom at a very high level. It is this freedom that built us and it is the by the lack of freedom that we will cease to serve our purpose before God. Freedom!! (a little William Wallace comes to mind here) - this is where we need to be.

Black People Love Us

Key insights in reaching ethnic audiences (feel free to laugh)


Canada Happenings

Gregg Hinzelman is a good friend and co-laborer – who is leading to make it happen in the frozen north of Canada (Ontario to be specific). This is an update from him from January – but it is good stuff on prayer, setting goals, acting according to what is essential – in this case – evangelism. Go Gregg (and Ontario Cru).


- Queen’s just held a “Does God Exist?” debate with 1200 in attendance (the room can seat 900). They had to turn away about 200 people who couldn’t fit in. The next day, following on the momentum of this event, Robyn, one of our staff, went out sharing with a Queen’s student, and had a girl trust Christ with them.

- At York, staff member Wendy and her students (two of whom came to faith in the fall) helped organize a Jesus video giveaway for Chinese students for Chinese New Year. They gave away 80 videos during the day, and had 50 of these Chinese students sign up to join them for a dinner they hosted this week, where they will had a chance to talk further with them.

- At Waterloo and Guelph, Michael Horner spoke at 8 different smaller, targeted outreaches – several in dorms, and others in various faculties. The events averaged about 30 people each, so over 200 people heard the gospel in smaller groups, which is fantastic! I expect we will be hearing about a flurry of these types of outreaches in the weeks ahead.

We continue to pray that God will allow us to see 130 people come to faith during these 130 days of classes. Today is day 82 of 130 class days. So far, from what I have heard, we have seen 108 students come to faith.

Praise God for what He is doing on the campuses.
By the way – they hit the goal of 130 students. I believe the latest total was 152. Go God.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Movement Stages

Our good friends on the Great Lakes Regional Team (this is schools in IN, MI, IL, OH) have been having some good discussions on planting and growing movements – and what happens at different stages. Here is a rough overview – courtesy of Nancy Bartolec <Nancy.Bartolec@uscm.org>.

Defining the Stages of a Movement

1. Launching - this is when and how a movement starts. The movement is started with W/B/S DNA from the beginning. It is throwing lots of outside resources at the target (campus, ethnic group) to share Christ with everyone and try to find insiders. You don’t move from Launching until you have at least 1 KEY leader ( team of leaders) and 5-10 mission aligned students (and some followers). ( It could be best to have a team of leaders as the bridge point between launching and growing - the number is vague - it could be 3 or 4 in some situations or 12 in others- this generation just functions so much better with a team. if we just focus on getting one leader and not a team we are too dependent on the up and down cycle of riding with that one person)

2. Growing - W/B/S is at the heart of this movement and the ministry of the HS is evident. It still involves lots of evangelism from the outside but it means you have some insiders (your leadership team at the least) starting to join you as well. during this time student multipliers should be raised up. A movement in this phase begins to put strategies in place to reach their scope (could involve freshman strategy…specific strategies for the type of movement being launched). They would stay in this phase until there are enough laborers to allow every student in the ethnic community/ campus/ target audience to know someone who knows Jesus.

3. Transforming - there are numerous student multipliers and leaders involved in W/B/S. we are at the point where we are positioned so that everyone in the target(campus, ethnic group) could know someone who knows Jesus and those people tell them about Jesus(the key bridge here is they tell them); evangelism is done largely now by insiders.

4. Movement launching - at a stage where this movement can now launch a new movement because they can free up leaders to go and be outsiders and penetrate into a new community without hurting the sending movement. Because this isn’t linear we could start to see Sending before we have Growing /Transforming. There are several ways to launch a movement. A movement that naturally raises up a key insider in an ethnic community could launch another movement much earlier. A movement that wants to "shock and awe" a community to find leaders inside could do this earlier. A movement that wants to release current leaders to become leaders in a new movement would wait till here.

One more key observation - evangelism is at the heart of each phase - Launching can involve outsiders doing lots of evangelism. Growing involves both outsiders and insiders doing lots of evangelism. Transforming involves the insiders actually telling everyone they know about Jesus. Outsiders (i.e. staff) then become more coaches at this phase (although they can sure still share their faith a lot here) Movement launching involves going back to #1.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

More Semler

Over the last few years I have felt that our the divisions we have in Staffed Campus, Catalytic and Ethnic Student Ministries have created a tribal cultures that do not allow us to maximize our effectiveness.  In some places these divisions have lead to isolation and views of status (or lack of it) that do not allow us to fully engage with each other to accomplish the mission.  In the name of ministry philosophy, we have gravitated into camps – even though each ‘strategy’ has proven to be quite effective with good leadership.  In some locations there has been a very healthy shift in which leaders borrow from each camp in order to get the job done.  Dan Allan, a very gifted and godly leader, is such a case in St. Louis.  Dan and his team approach Washington University (small elite liberal arts school) very much like a staffed campus situation.  If memory serves me, a handful of interns run the show at Wash U as their primary focus.  The rest of Dan’s team focuses on the whole city by accessing the best of all strategies and inventing many of their own.  Dan leads from a deep heart and pursues a deep wallet to get the job done.  As he looks macro, he is able to release people to function in ministry to the best of their gifting.

Semler talks about the results of tribal thinking.  “It’s not a perfect world.  We know that some strife among different groups will occur.  But we’re willing to accept that and open ourselves to diversity . . . We’ve found that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.  Cliques, sects and clubs that reinforce tribal affiliations in harmful ways can be easily dismantled when employees manage themselves.  What’s more, the overall tribal bonding mechanism loses traction.

In this age of movements everywhere (whatever it takes!) we need to move more toward a synergistic effort in making it happen.  In light of this reality, I see no reason for CAT/SC/ESM grouping to every meet, strategize, dream and plan apart from being deeply bonded to each other.  There is little reason why we should not do this all together!   Every leader has something to gain from good leadership in each category.  Movement building cannot be the domain of only staffed campus because we must all know how to help a plant grow.  And everyone must know how to initially plant in any soil.  The divisions represent volume geography and people focus – we must all learn to take advantage of the best in each category.

In Ethnic Student Ministries we need to learn how to see movements grown and flourish under the leadership of students.  I am sure Catalytic schools can benefit from this as well.  In staffed campus, the ability to plant a new work is HUGE!  This is something that our CAT brothers do often and well, and they have learned that false starts, poor leadership and experimentation are all part of the growth equation.  Staffed Campus needs to see this as a positive reality as well.  Not every location was Philippi – Paul wandered into Athens as well – but the Philippi's made the Athens experience seem just part of the routine of a new work.  Let us lead together for a better future!

(Staffed Campus is a team focusing on one major university (UCLA), Catalytic is a team overseeing numerous universities over a broad geographic area (Chicago Metro), and Ethnic Student Ministries is just what it sounds like)

Observations from Seven Day Weekend - Semler

Over the past few months I have been looking for ways in which organizations have organized the organic.  In other words, how does a behemoth structure capitalize on the organic flow of the mission.  I have written before on how the church (the kingdom in fact) spontaneously expands, grows and continues to develop.  The parable of the seed is not only true on a micro level – it is true of the whole kingdom.

In this quest I stumbled across a book by Ricardo Semler who run Semco – a large Brazilian company that does just about everything and anything that contributes to their success.  Semler is leading a company that desires to change the way work works and, in doing so, capitalize on the realities of worker passions, self determination and democracy.  And by all accounts – they are doing it.  This is a fiery book to read, even though it is built on anecdote more than definable principles (ok, the principle is let people do what they want!).

This stirred my thinking – and there is plenty more.

Organizations mistakenly believe that productivity can always be raised.  Productivity stagnates or falls when workers are waiting for someone to tell them what to do, or when they’re following a formal plan, or confining themselves to the dictates of their job descriptions.  . . . . Self organized employee groups have discovered that they can harness extra productivity by eliminating the immense daily waste of time lost to unclear goals, adolescent-style rules, infighting and gossip . . .

Monday, April 10, 2006

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Local Leaders West

I just returned from Estes Park where a group of campus ministry leaders gathered for a few days of strategery, prayer and r&r. As always, it is great to be with friends. This gathering represented all the Cru leaders from the 5 western regions. Small campuses, large campuses and whole cities. It was a fun gathering with lots of godly brain power in the room. Our discussions centered around two main themes. 1. The win, build, send dna of campus ministry. 2. Launching new movements of win, build and send.

One of the highlights for me was an early morning gathering put together by Mike Kelly. Mike works in Montana and has been diligently pursuing ministry opportunities in Native American contexts. He, along with other directors in Montana and a few men from North and South Dakota, are heading up our effort to establish a viable campus ministry for Native-American’s. They have consulted with Donnie & Renee Begay in New Mexico for insight and direction. These men, listening to God and trusting him in moving forward, are learning how to minister effectively in this cultural context.

They are planning to host a “Nations Summit” the first week in December 06 (in the Dakotas no less!). By this time they will have put together some information on a web site and build a Nations Freshman Survival Kit (Bible, Music, stuff to give out to incoming Freshman on campus). Already they have gotten some testimonies on CD from a partnering ministry and are working on a DVD to help explain the vision of Nations.

Mike and his posse are leading in a way that is absolutely necessary if we (Cru or the kingdom at large) are going to see success in untouched areas. These are the places where business as usual will not get it done, and we are in desperate need of leaders to step up and step out to create a new future. This is simply how the kingdom grows.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

A short from Katrina Relief

Bryan Murray is a good friend and part of the Impact staff team (Impact is an outreach to African American college students).

“In New Orleans I had a wonderful opportunity to lead a young man to faith in Jesus. Here's a recap.

Moshe (Arabic for Moses) started attending Impact meetings on his campus as a way to investigate Christ. At a particular meeting, he heard about the Impact Now: New Orleans Work Project and decided he wanted to go. Moshe was not a Christian at the time and told me about his spiritual journey. That same night we talked about faith in Christ further.

Because Moshe wasn't clear about what it meant to trust Jesus for salvation, I told him about a man who strung a tight rope across Niagara Falls and walked across it. The crowd was amazed so the man took a wheel barrel and walked it across the Falls too. The crowd was astonished. The man asked the crowd, "Who believes I can walk a person across in the wheel barrel?" The crowd said, "You can do it." "Who'll be my first volunteer, " the man asked. No one raised a hand.

This story illustrated to Moshe the fact that knowing Jesus can save and trusting in Jesus' death (getting in the barrel) to save him are very different. Moshe decided to "get into the barrel" the night we talked.

Moshe called my cell phone yesterday and left the following message (I was in a meeting):

"Hey, Bryan this is Moshe Walker from Wisconsin. I'm the guy who got in the barrel that day and went to the other side. I just wanted to thank you again for encouraging me and giving me words of wisdom. I just want to thank you again. I'm taking small steps here in Wisconsin with the others in Impact. Right now Me and Samantha are going to a local radio station and talking about Impact, how it [Impact] helped us, and the Katrina situation. Thanks again. Take care and God bless."”

Pray for Moshe and for Bryan’s continued ministry.