Desperate For Change
Auburn-Opelika Area is Ready for Spiritual Awakening
March 25, 2010 - We spoke to one local pastor in the Auburn-Opelika area prior to the March 26-28 East Alabama/West Georgia Will Graham Celebration about the spiritual readiness of his region to hear the Gospel.
This is why this region is in desperate need for this Will Graham Celebration. The expected, routine, cultural church going has not changed lives. So, there is a lack of spiritual depth here.
By Joy Allmond
Steve Bass, Student Pastor at Opelika’s Trinity United Methodist Church, is in full swing preparation for the East Alabama/West Georgia Will Graham Celebration, which will be held on the grounds of Auburn University.
Before he headed to one of the last meetings for the event, he talked about what the members of the younger generation have been doing to help prepare their city spiritually for what they will hear preached from the stage.
“The kids in my youth group were among the hundreds that went through the FM419 evangelism training last month, and they have also been involved in the recent Community Action Projects,” said Bass.
As the head of the Youth Pastor Team on this particular Celebration Executive Committee, he is thankful to see some early fruit from the FM419 training. “We’ve seen some growth from kids; they are not as scared to invite their friends to church and to this Celebration. We’ve also had stories come in from other youth pastors about their kids leading other kids to make decisions for Christ. This process started before the Celebration.”
While this is a great start, he said that the Gospel needs to infiltrate the entire lower south culture and change the spiritual climate.
"I come from a big city, where people are either hot or cold spiritually. You are either Christian or you’re not,” he explained. “When I moved here, almost everyone I met claimed to be a Christian. I was really excited about that.”
“As I got to know people in the area, I began to notice that these same people, who believe they are Christians, were living lives not consistent with how the Bible tells us to live. I would even hear racist jokes in church.”
He explained that there is a very relaxed sense of Christianity in this region because it is the Deep South and many people grew up in the church, not knowing why they were there, or not really having the desire to be there. He is hoping for a revival.
“This is why this region is in desperate need for this Will Graham Celebration. The expected, routine, cultural church going has not changed lives. So, there is a lack of spiritual depth here.”
He continued, “We have been praying for something like this for a long time. We’re very ready for this. We know God has something big up his sleeve, and can’t wait to see He’s going to do.”