As American mainstream culture continues to enshrine the religion of secular humanism in our metamodern world, there is hope that someday there will be another Great Awakening in this country.
Preachers like Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield led the first one, while James McGready and Charles Finney were at the forefront at the second. A possible Third Great Awakening will only come about if the laity leads it, because too many of today’s pastors are caught up in celebrity pastor narcissism.
The seduction of becoming a famous, celebrity pastor is too much of a temptation for those who have fallen prey to the belief that the only way to be effective is to build an empire and legacy around oneself. The explosion of conferences and events built around particular pastors’ personalities to gain a following could be evidence of this seduction. As such, many pastors are so caught up in gaining Twitter followers, writing fluffy books, and making a name for themselves as an “author, speaker, teacher, pastor” that they have disqualified themselves to lead cultural renewal.
An example of a lay-led movement is the Cal-Pac Prayer and Repentance conferences emerging in the United Methodist Church on the West Coast (see conference video below). In the spirit of the Methodist-influenced Second Great Awakening, lay leaders like Eaar Oden are on a mission to lead his church to revival on the basis of gospel-driven repentance and prayer. On the movement’s Facebook page you’ll find references to J.C. Ryle, Charles Spurgeon, R.C. Sproul, and Bible quotes from the ESV.
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SOURCE: World Mag