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A Worldwide Movement of the Holy Spirit

 

There are few Christians in the West who have not heard of the revival that started around 1906 usually referred to as the Azusa Street Revival. This outpouring of the Holy Spirit on evangelical Christians, mostly from the holiness stream literally changed the history of Christianity and the world. People came from all over the world to Los Angeles, and after being baptized in the Holy Spirit took this fresh Pentecost, this Full Gospel, to the whole world.

From this sprang the many Pentecostal denominations that today boast some of the largest churches in the world, and later various movements such as the Latter Rain Revival, the Charismatic Renewal, Vineyard Movement, Third Wave, Toronto Blessing, etc. which impacted hundreds of millions all across the globe. Today, probably the vast majority of mission-related Christian organizations have their roots in this revival.

On the 100th anniversary of the Azusa Street Revival, over 10,000 Christians gather in Los Angeles for a centennial meeting. Leading pastors and evangelists from every persuasion and stream in this great movement both shared the Word and reported on the progress, obstacles, and future vision of preaching the Full Gospel and planting churches throughout the world. Dozens of workshops covered virtually every aspect of the movement.

This is no longer just another series of meetings, but a part of a world-wide movement.

The leaders then called a second large conference that they named Empower 21 that first was held in Tulsa Oklahoma at Oral Roberts University in 2010. The following description taken from the website is self-explanatory:

In 2008, the Empowered21 initiative was launched in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to focus on new generations and the power of the Holy Spirit. Today, Empowered21 spans the entire globe through twelve regional cabinets. Each regional cabinet focuses on pursuing initiatives and events in their area of the world to address the future of Spirit-empowered Christianity.

The purpose of Empowered21 is:

  • To unite the global Spirit-filled movement together intergenerationally for the purpose of seeking a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the 21st century
  • To focus the energy and resources of the Spirit-empowered global church on the harvest and challenges before us
  • To provide a platform for addressing the crucial issues facing the 21st century Spirit-empowered church
  • To discover contemporary methods, vocabulary, spiritual grace and relational favor needed for engaging every generation in Spirit-empowered living
  • To witness greater convergence and collaboration of Spirit-empowered ministries around the world

The 2010 conference, held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with over 10,000 participants, was exceptionally meaningful and powerful. I have been in this movement for 53 years and as a young man actually met a few who were in the original Azusa Street outpouring, but we learned so much more in Tulsa about this whole movement, its roots and impact on Christianity. The workshops also were extremely inspiring and informative.

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About the Author: Dennis Balcombe knew he was called to be a missionary to China while he was a teenager, and was one of the first to enter the mainland when it opened to the West in the 1970s. He founded Revival Christian Church in Hong Kong in 1969 and continues to plant churches, travelling and ministering in China and internationally. He shares his story in One Journey, One Nation: Autobiography of Dennis Balcombe, Missionary to China (2011) and he is the author of China's Opening Door: Incredible Stories of the Holy Spirit at Work in One of the Greatest Revivals in Christianity (Charisma House, 2014). Revival Chinese Ministries International

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