As we continue to prepare for the Carry The Love tour, our team in Huntington Beach has been splitting up to make pre-trips all over the United States. Since a lot of our contacts at universities came as a result of people submitting their information during the Outcry Tour, we are purposefully trying to meet with everyone to establish real friendship. Last time I wrote, I was in Colorado doing this exact thing. This time, I’m writing from Knoxville, Tennessee as we start another week of meeting with students and leaders.
This afternoon we (Zach, Alyssa, and yours truly) met with a group of five girls from Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, TN. Carson-Newman is a small Christian school of about 2,500 students. These girls are all freshman at Carson-Newman and seem to have been divinely placed on their campus to pursue Jesus with all of their hearts. As we talked with them, they shared about how they want to see their school get set on fire for Jesus and for people to pursue him in ways that are more relational and less obligational. We talked about the Carry The Love tour and then got to pray for them and for their campus. We really believe Jesus is going to move in a mighty way at Carson-Newman that will see worshippers raised up, students sent to the missions field, and every student on campus given the opportunity to experience Jesus in real relationship. It blows my mind that God has even given us the opportunity to help encourage and come alongside students like this who are so clearly placed on their campus by God’s intent and for his glory.
Even though we’ve only been here for a day, the Lord’s hand is so clearly at work in our trip. On the plane yesterday, I sat next to a guy named Gregory who is a middle-aged believer who lives in Chattanooga and is involved in singles ministry. We talked for the entire hour and a half plane ride and then he invited us to join him after the flight for dinner. At dinner, we were encouraged by his father’s heart for seeing people grow in their relationship with the Lord. He also told us his testimony about how he, at the age of 15, was presented with the Gospel and immediately gave his life to the Lord and has never turned back. He said that moment was the first time in his life where he encountered truth. I think the Lord is going to give him more and more influence to teach others and lead them into the same kind of real, life-changing relationship with Jesus that he has. Our team is going to connect with him again when they pass back through in February.
For the rest of this week, we will drive through Tennessee, Arkansas, dip into Mississippi to visit Ole Miss, and end up flying out of Springfield, Missouri. In all, we will meet with 10 different universities Sunday through Friday. Pray for us!
As a quick follow-up to our trip in Colorado a couple weeks ago, God has practically flung wide open the door to schools in Colorado. It is unbelievable! Several months ago we didn’t have contacts at any universities in the state. Now, our spring tour will likely reach 13 campuses in Colorado as well as the University of Wyoming! Not only that, but we will be hosting a Circuit Rider training weekend in the midst of the tour to help equip students to reach their campus.
On my next blog post, I will probably write more about what the Lord has been revealing to me personally in the midst of everything happening. To just give you a sneak peak for now, the answer is simple. God has been taking me (and our whole Circuit Rider team) back to the simple and yet deeply profound and powerful revelation of the Gospel of Jesus. Students at colleges don’t need another good idea. They need Jesus. They don’t need another cool event. They need Jesus. It is the personal revelation of Jesus and his radical pursuit of our lives that changed all of us forever. It is going to be the preaching of the Gospel on campuses that will begin to see our young people stirred into faith and living differently. It’s hard to ask a dead man to live a certain way. However, when that dead man is raised to life by the power that God so mightily exerted when he raised Jesus from the grave, he can live a new life for the glory of God!
I love you all so much and deeply appreciate your prayers and constant support. I have an unexplainable expectation for this spring and what it will hold in seeing students saved and lit on fire for Jesus. To him be all the glory!
(Pictures from Knoxville)