Friday, February 16, 2007

Athens, GA...Oh how I love that place...

So I spent 2 days in Athens this week, and I realize everytime I'm there how special it is to my heart. Not just because I spent 7-8 some-odd years there, but because God is moving there. Having seen what it was like back in the early Tom Tanner days and having not lived there for the past 3 years, everytime I go back I see the mighty right hand of God resting on Athens. Take the Wesley Foundation for example: back in the day we met in a little room, with no air conditioning and about 50 people came (even less before I got there). Then God began moving in power and in a fresh annointing. He raised up one of the most annointed worship leaders I have ever had the priviledge to lead worship with, Kevin Mann. Kevin is one of my most favorite persons on this planet. I consider him my brother and my best friend. He definitely deserves a separate blog all to himself...that's how special he is. Anyway, I believe a revival started at Wesley back then and is still going today. I remember leading worship at a camp one summer and the speaker was from Omaha, Nebraska. We all introduced ourselves and said that we're from the Wesley Foundation. He immediately responded with, "Oh really?! I've heard about how God is moving mightily there, especially through the worship!" We were stunned! You mean to tell me that somebody we had never met before, in Omaha, has heard about the Wesley Foundation?! Even more, he's heard about the worship there, which I was a part of?! It was very humbling; that God was using someone as low as me to bring revelation of His Son to those who walked on the campus at UGA!

So yes, I do believe a revival began back then and is still going on to this day! Look at Wesley now. They average about 600-700 college students every Wednesday night; students that are going hard after God in worship and prayer, who are then being called to be faithful in both the mission field and workfield. It's not because of the number of students that attend Wesley that I say a revival is on-going, although it is impressive I must say. Students are coming in through Wesley, some devoted believers and some are non-believers that happened to come across there on a Wednesday night, and they are leaving there changed because God regularly shows up! They are becoming "leaders" at Wesley or other campus ministries or surrounding churches. Wesley has well over a hundred students on their leadership team and have about 40-50 interns! The room where we used to meet back in the day now is the intern office. Bible studies are being held in the different dormitories, the campus ministries are uniting together and the fire of heaven is falling! Please do not think that I'm implying God has done all He is going to do there. The beautiful thing about God is that there is always more! There are still tons of bars downtown, thousands of students who are lost! I believe God is going to blow through Athens with a fresh wind and a fresh fire (sooner rather than later) and the bars will become houses of worship and prayer! Lord do it!! He knows what a strategic battle ground college campuses are. His mighty warriors who will take the Gospel to all parts of the world are those who are in college now. There is a special calling and annointing on that age range, I truly believe this. His best wine has yet to be brought out (John 2:1-10)! So pray for Athens; pray that His mighty warriors who haven't encountered Him yet will!

I can't talk about Wesley without mentioning some very important people. First, Clay Kirkland. What can I say about him? Well one is that he is annointed! He is so in-tune with what God is saying and doing. He has a power and an authority that no one I know compares. I am truly blessed and encouraged everytime I speak to him and have the priviledge of having him pray for me! Second, his better half Deborah. Some of you ladies will have more testimonies than I do, but what I do know is that she is a PRAYER WARRIOR! She has a heart for intercession and has amazing compassion for everyone. Thirdly, Micah Eldridge. Micah is over the freshmen ministry at Wesley and he has a heart for raising up a new generation that will seek God and go hard after Him. God is using him, and will use him in a greater measure, to disciple and release other future disciple makers and world changers! And last but not least, Tate Welling. He is the worship leader there now. If I had to rank worship leaders that I have played with/led with, he's number 2 behind Kevin Mann. He has an annointing to lead others into the presence of our Almighty God!

Grace and peace.

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