Jonathan Bellamy reports on a new youth movement creating a buzz.
In the last decade Soul Survivor has emerged and connected with thousands of young Christians. Arguably the biggest thing that has happened is that young people have been turned on to worshipping God - finding a whole new expression and a youthful contemporary voice to express their love for God.
More recently the 24/7 Prayer movement has flourished, seeing staggering thousands and thousands of young people get extravagantly passionate about prayer. One famous product of this movement was 'The Vision' a poetic, militant declaration of an army of young people still to rise in our nation; a monumental declaration including such staements as: "The vision is an army of young people. You see bones? I see an army. And they are FREE from materialism. They laugh at 9-5 little prisons...They could eat caviar on Monday and crusts on Tuesday. They wouldn't even notice...Laying down their rights and their precious little wrongs, laughing at labels, fasting essentials. The advertisers cannot mould them. Hollywood cannot hold them. Peer-pressure is powerless to shake their resolve...With blood and sweat and many tears, with sleepless nights and fruitless days...they pray as if it all depends on God and live as if it all depends on them".
So where is this army?
In the last few years a new movement has been quietly gaining momentum. Emerging from Youth Alive, the youth arm of the UK AOG church, Audacious has excited a raw nerve among the young people who have discovered the new move of the Spirit of God it carries. Lead by Glyn Barrett, the national week long gatherings look to impart a passionate, radical commitment to faith and following Jesus. Glyn declares: "There is a revolution fast shaping youth culture! The Audacious revolution is comprised of a generation of young people who are bold, fearless, cheeky, daring, dangerous, unrestrained by convention, spirited and original. They live lives that are totally sold out for God and will not compromise what they stand for regardless of the cost."
Get along to an Audacious event and this is exactly what you'll see: young people who stand up waving their Bible and cheering everytime the word of God is read; groups who spontaneously engage with the preaching while it goes on, or jump up in outrageous applause for the declared word from the stage; and when it comes to the worship it is full on, expansive, expressionate and totally heart committed - we're talking about a group of 2000 young people who gave more than £28,000 in one offering! They give everything!
In Australia there is a similar movement called Planetshakers, and some of the influential pioneers of this event are close supporters of the UK Audacious initiative, coming over to help impart what they carry in Australia. This is significant. There's a sense where there's a 'youthfulness' coming out of Australia complete with the youthful characteristics described above. In the UK we need help to raise these characteristics in the church. We can be too quiet, too 'safe', too measured, too...in fear! We need a bit of abandoned grrrr, some fire in our belly, and it's the young of this land who are most likely to grab hold of it - if their God and their faith can mean much more to them than the things of this world.
Despite the Australian involvement, Audacious is home grown - emerging from the Hope City Church in Sheffield. And their newly released album .Revolution consists of songs all written by the Audacious band - songs that are dripping with the passionate Audacious spirit. Check out the lyrics to Shaken: "My God I will not be shaken, I'll fight for this generation, 'cause you are the King that gave everything for me...I will not be shaken, I will not be shaken, I will not be shaken, One God I will never be shaken." Or Live Fixed: "I'm fixed on you, I'll honour you, I look to you, You're everything to me. I live fixed on you." Or the title track, Revolution: "I'm gonna burn for you, God in this life you're the greatest prize, I'm gonna burn for you, God in this life that you've given me. With one desire, to start a fire, that the world will see, and be a revolution."
As a recording, it's the first Audacious release and it's well done. It could be, and no doubt will be in the future, a little better in the production. Nothing can beat being a part of the Audacious events but this new release is a milestone. It captures a moment, at the beginning of a movement that this reporter, for one, believes will have significant influence and effect in our nation in the years to come.
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