A Pre-History of the San Francisco Revival

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“Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” – Matthew 26:13 (NLT)

April 1st, 2024 A.D.

By now, one-quarter of the way through the 21st century, almost everyone has heard of the San Francisco Revival.  While skeptics question its longevity — and theologians its validity — there is no denying the impact it has had on the city and the region: the eradication of homelessness, conversion of red light districts into family neighborhoods, stadiums full of young people dedicated their lives to Jesus, legions of techies quitting their VC-backed startups to pursue social entrepreneurship, etc.

There has also been endless coverage both lauding and critiquing the organizations responsible for shepherding and publicizing the Revival: YWAM SF, TBC, and of course Harvest Evangelism.  Regardless of how you feel about their methods, you have to admire those organizations for having the foresight and courage to invest in the region and move quickly to capitalize on this strange phenomenon, despite the enormous risks.

Yet there is another, deeper story that still hasn’t been told. Unlike the general public, scholars are well aware that the revival first started in the South Bay before spreading up the Peninsula to San Francisco and beyond.  But even most of them are unaware of how it all began.

Allow me to explain.

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The Criminal’s Prayer

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A hardcore version of The Sinner’s Prayer. From a dream I had on December 26, 2015.

God, I am a f***ing sinner, and I deserve to die.  Save me from myself.  Do whatever you have to do to burn away all the sin in me, so that I can become like you.  I ask this by the blood of Jesus, Amen.

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RohAnjali’s New Year 2016 Prayer

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Dear God,

Thank you for the new year, and new beginnings.

Please make us more like Jesus

So everyone will know how much you love them.

Lead Daddy to the right job.

Draw our family and church closer together.

And help us have fun!

We ask this in Jesus name, Amen.

RohAnjali’s Thanksgiving Prayer

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Dear God,

Thank you for the wonderful life we lead

And all the ways you bless us.

Help us experience and share

Your peace and joy

At home, school or work

With family, church and neighbors

So others will trust you to take care of them.

In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Fixing Saint Paul, Scene 1: Awakening Barnabas

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The Story

Acts 13:13

Paul and his companions then left Paphos by ship for Pamphylia, landing at the port town of Perga. There John Mark left them and returned to Jerusalem.

The Backstory

Scene 1: Awakening

“Barnabas? Are you awake?”

Barnabas rolled over on his cot to gaze at the younger man who had just walked in.  He smiled sadly, as he saw John Mark’s nervous face and guessed the errand that prompted his late night visit.

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Wise Risk: Faith in Two Syllables

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Part 5 of Concise Theology

As children, we express faith in our parents by obeying them to stay safe. As adolescents, we risk danger in order to express faith in ourselves.

I have come to believe that the hallmark of a mature faith is wise risk. Which implies we should be designing our lives — and churches — to maximize learning rather than avoid failure.

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