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The 700 Club

How God Transformed a Generation

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Author of: Jesus Revolution, Baker Books, 2018

Pastor, Harvest Christian Fellowship w/campuses in CA & HI

Over 5.6 million people have attended his Harvest Crusades since 1990, 500K registered professions of faith

Host, radio program, A New Beginning, on 1000K radio outlets worldwide

Married to Cathe for over 40 yrs., 2 sons & 5 grandchildren.

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During the 1960’s and 1970’s, the youth were turned off by big establishment and rules. It was a time of social upheaval—Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, JFK shooting, Women’s Liberation Movement, etc. The youth wanted authenticity, community, and social justice similar to that of millennials today. The churches back then were not open to new ideas, social justice wasn’t a priority and most parishioners didn’t feel comfortable sitting next to people that didn’t look like them. In disgust, the hippies rebelled against authority but God stepped in, inspiring people to find a new way in reaching the outcasts. People like Chuck and Kay Smith and Lonnie Frisbee, amongst many others were instrumental during that time. Kay Smith remembers watching kids getting off the bus with long hair, looking disheveled and high on drugs. With compassion, she began praying for them. Little did she know that one of the young hippies she was interceding for was Greg Laurie. God also used a hippie that loved Jesus named Lonnie Frisbee, who held a Bible study at Greg’s school. Greg shares, “Then, Lonnie said something that forced the point, ‘You are either for Me, or you’re against Me. There’s no middle ground with Jesus. So, which side are you on?’ Lonnie asked.” That’s when Greg decided he wanted to follow Jesus. Thus, the Jesus Movement began, not as a campaign or outreach, but it was the Holy Spirit opening hearts and linking people together. It would become known as the largest public movement of the Holy Spirit in the United States since the celebrated revivals of the nineteenth century.

Fast forward fifty years and megachurch Pastor Greg Laurie is noticing similarities between the Woodstock generation and millennials. He explains, “Today there’s a growing sense that history has run one of its cycles, and we’re back in the 60’s mode… millennials have a dim view of church. They are highly skeptical of religion. Yet, they are still thirsty for transcendence. But when we portray God as a cosmic buddy, we lose them (they have enough friends). When we tell them that God will give them a better marriage and family, it’s white noise (they’re delaying marriage and kids or foregoing them altogether). When we tell them they are special, we’re merely echoing what educators, coaches, and parents have told them their whole lives. But when you present a ravishing vision of a loving and holy God, it just might get their attention and capture their hearts as well.”  

Greg Laurie and Ellen Vaugh partnered together to write, Jesus Revolution. When writing the book, Greg envisioned sitting across from a millennial, over a cup of coffee, and explaining that what God did in the 60’s and 70’s He can still do today. It might look different but God’s power is still the same. “The revolution Jesus brings,” says Greg, “is more than just a sudden, radical new beginning. It’s not just a one-time, dramatic upheaval. It’s the process of an ongoing relationship with God.” He believes we are ripe for another huge revival, especially since our society has become so morally defunct. God specializes in turning the most unlikely people into His followers for His glory. In addition, we are increasingly seeing Christians being persecuted by just showing a Bible or expressing their belief in Christ. Greg was also a target of this persecution last year when he was advertising for a crusade. Some people were offended by his Bible inspired billboard and wanted it taken down. Never had Greg experienced such apprehension to the message of Christ. When moral decay becomes rampant and Christians gather together to cry out to God, miracles happen!

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