The Sound of Revival – An Evening inside the Treffpunkt Building
Good food, dancing or drinking. These delights could be considered commonplace in the city of St. Louis on Friday nights. Delights generally reserved for the those seeking activities that feeds a person’s flesh instead of one’s soul. On this particular Friday evening, however, South Jefferson Ave in St. Louis was filled with those hungry, thirsty and eager to dance for Christ.
My friends and I walked down the stairs of a former church building turned venue space that were lit with strands of white Christmas lights. At the bottom of the stairs, a tall man dressed in casual black attire named Isiah Williams welcomed the gathering crowd with hugs and handshakes. Isiah and his wife, Jai, put this event together through their own Alive Ministries.
Isiah — who has worked and preached in various places throughout the country, felt called to come back to his hometown and begin a process of building refueling stations for the Christians who were running on empty. Not just that though, a ministry built to believe and expect the presence of God at their meetings. A place to come in a be healed, touched or changed in a way that could transforms one’s future.
The first thirty minutes of our experience reminded me of how I once spent my Friday nights as a young teen – which was at the former St. Louis hot spot Saints roller skating rink. There was loud music playing, people sectioned off in groups and movement. Lots of movement.
The space was bustling with people trying to find chairs, others taking pictures and volunteers helping guests with refreshments. I was captivated by the energy. Jai, who was greeting folks on the street when we walked in was now on stage letting everyone know that even though the worship music hadn’t started that the event was already underway.
I understood the heart of that comment – which is that God is not on a clock and that fellowship is a part of building up the body of Christ as much as praise and worship. Her heart, however, didn’t seem to match the attitude of the crowd. The crowd stayed mostly separated and weren’t interacting in ways I think this intentionally built time of fellowship was developed for. Thankfully, the separation of any group or seated section of the audience was quickly brought together when worship began.
The first words I heard Jai – who is a worship leader at Faith church sing were, “This is the sound of revival.” I knew instantly that I was in the right place. Together, along with every group who had mostly ignored each other for the first thirty minutes were now singing in full unison the words given to us and with an emboldened attitude to believe them.
“This is the sound of revival. Sound of revival” the crowd repeated to the continued refrain of the keyboard melody. I felt a stirring in my spirit that seemed to be careening off the multi-squared crown molded basement roof from the worship team. Isiah took the stage to announce they would be praying and laying hands on those who needed freedom from depression or physical healing.
Isiah and his team maneuvered through the crowd to pray. One woman was shaking with what looked like joy while taking tiny steps in one place. Others found prayer with arms lifted high. It was a sign of both surrendering to God while also acting as receiving hands for whatever word God had to give them. These types of expressions of our inward faith and the practical application of God’s word through laying of hands are commonly seen and experienced at services earmarked for revival, however, they are uncommon in Sunday services around St. Louis.
I am hungry for revival, but not just for myself. I want to see my entire city of St. Louis to be changed and transformed because they have heard the word of the Lord like I saw in the early churches (Acts 13:44-49). I am desperate for the lost and hurting (which sometimes includes myself) to find the answers to all they need through Christ. After spending some time with other hungry believers this past Friday night, it seems I am not alone.
The intensity of the meeting seemed to build early on. A fevered pitch was reached within the first twenty minutes of praise and worship. Isiah tapped into this powder keg moment when he asked the gathering crowd to express our love for God as if He was in the room with us. 3…2…1. Collectively, we sang, shouted and cried out. An explosion of volume that seemed to shake the rafters and windows of this well-built but old former church building. I have never heard anything quit as loud or personal in such a confined space, especially the name of Jesus!
The biggest testimony of the night came later in the unassuming form of a homeless man who heard the noise from the street and was drawn into the meeting. The man had approached the offering bucket and asked for change for his donation. Instead, the man received so much more.
Isiah told that man it was no coincidence – a word that means come together, that he was there that night. Isiah prayed over the man that God was about to do a restorative work in his life. The homeless man came in hurting and broken in various ways, but before the end of the night this formerly homeless man would be given long term housing and entered into a rehabilitation for his addiction.
This is the sound of revival.
What is not as easily seen as the above testimony will be the testimonies of attitude changes of the people in the crowd that were not shared that evening. Those that received a release of sin or a power charged word that will catapult them to the next level of promotion God has for them. Stories like these will mostly be heard by the family and friends of these revival hungry Christians when they return to their normal Sunday services.
I hope that their hunger – which has been partially satisfied through this meeting begins to grow in their fellow church members. I hope that the entire body of Christ becomes hungry to eat the bread of a Christ focused revival. I pray that people are willing to give up their normal Sunday service in exchange for a service that looks more like this Friday night gathering.
I am excited that Isiah, Jai and Alive Ministries are fostering an attitude of expectation and faith for revival. To see St. Louis changed, however, we can’t rely on one group or meeting. Instead, these types of meetings need to be as commonplace on Sunday mornings in St. Louis as a bi-monthly revival meeting or a night out at a restaurant, dancing and drinking is.
When that happens, I hope to hear the screams of the city shaking the nation like I heard the cries of that room shake the walls of the Treffpunkt building.
That will be the sound of revival all of us can hear no matter what room we are in.
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