Something happened the first bank holiday in May that altered the battleground and changed the landscape of the fight that is taking place in the UK over the “lost generation”.
For 65-hours straight, victory was proclaimed, the kingdom was brought near, and our generation declared that a nation-changing shift is on the rise. It didn’t happen in Westminster, it wasn’t in a church building, or in any city of influence. No, this rebellious declaration, this physical statement, this righteous stand, was done by 20s and 30s from all of the corners of the nation who had one thing in common: Jesus.
The Pursuit started off as one giant experiment, but in hindsight was the beginning of something monumental. I had the privilege of dreaming up and envisioning this weekend with a great friend of mine more than a year before it actually came to life, and in all of the months leading up to it, never suspected what I was about to experience. I knew it would be different. I thought it would be cool. I hoped it would be fun and life-changing all at the same time, but I never really anticipated that The Pursuit would become a rallying call to all of the Jesus followers of this generation.
I’ve never been to anything so pure. I think that’s what has stuck with me most.
There were no elevated speakers, bandleaders, sponsors, or agendas the entire weekend. We worshipped and prayed in the round at our gatherings in the Tent of Meeting, people were free to come and go in the 24-hour worship space, we didn’t have seminars – we had conversations. It was absolutely beautiful to see Baptists, Anglicans, Methodists, Assemblies of God, pentecostals, evangelicals, New Wine people, Spring Harvest-ers, HTB-ers, the Soul Survivor crowd and everything in between come together in unity, take off their networks labels, and experience what it will be like in eternity.
There is a move of the Holy Spirit that is bubbling below the surface that simmers up often among this next generation. And that move is one of stripping off pretence to gather as authentic family. That’s exactly what happened at The Pursuit.
My favourite moment was on the final day in our last session in the Tent of Meeting. We were wrapping up our closing worship set when the worship leader backed off of the mic and invited anyone who had a song to step up. To be completely honest with you, I was nervous – this had all the right ingredients for us to go to Crazy Town before we went home.
But instead, this risk turned into something beautiful.
Person after person stepped up, grabbed an instrument, sang a line of his or her own new song, and glorified God in a way that could never be scripted. What a site to witness the beautiful chaos that the Spirit brought together in perfect harmony.
We pursued God in the middle of a field for 65-hours straight and simultaneously celebrated His relentless pursuit of us. This experience changed us. We examined what the intersection of real life and real relationship with Him looked like in our everyday situations. Then, we left to show the rest of our generation who does not know Him what this abundant life looks like. We declared that “the Church is not done in this day”, and that the Spirit is doing a new thing among us.
Kingdom ground was taken those four days in May.
The ground was softened, our affections stirred, and something monumental was birthed. My prayer and hope is that in a decade, we would look back with hindsight graciously telling the story of a generation that radically came together at The Pursuit, and God used that as a catalyst for revival in this nation.