This morning, I saw this article from Collin Hansen, one of the speakers of at GCNE, and the editorial director for The Gospel Coalition. All I can say is, read it!
Here are some snippets:
“These are the best of times for Christians in New England. The body of Christ in the northeastern United States is seeking unity, pursuing mission, enjoying growth, and tasting the goodness of God. No one person or institution has planned this work. No single church or theological camp can claim credit for it. But you will find throughout much of New England today thriving college ministries, fledgling church plants, and revitalized colonial-era congregations renewed in their zeal to love their neighbors and spread the gospel.
I don't mean to underestimate the ongoing challenges…Even so, these are the best of times in New England---after all, there has never been a golden era free of temptation to love self more than God and neighbor.
These are the best of times in New England because we wrongly suppose that Christianity depends on the comfort of a moral majority who live out biblical values even if they don't quite grasp the biblical gospel. We give thanks for such common grace, but we dare not invest outward appearance with salvific significance. A book like Revelation comes alive in New England, where Christians often feel the palpable hostility toward God and brazen disregard for his Word. Christians in New England must be prepared that their reputation with family, neighbors, and co-workers may not survive revelation of their faith.
These are the best of times in New England because God has raised up local church leaders who love their communities, who have committed to staying over the long haul as they trust Christ to change hearts and redeem souls. They understand the challenges. The have endured hardship. They have been tempted to hunker down but defied Satan to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to their neighbors and encourage fellow believers to do likewise
God is moving as he has not moved in America at least for four decades and as he has no moved in New England for two centuries. . . . You do not have to wait till next year. You don't have to wait ten years. You don't have to pray anymore, "Lord, send a revival." The revival is here! Only God knows if these best of times in New England will develop along the lines of earlier revivals in the region. Our days need not look just like those days to reflect a powerful work of God. Local Christians will be appropriately reticent to claim too much for fear of drawing undue attention on themselves and away from the God whose grace keeps the church in good times and bad. But now is a time for giving thanks. To God be the glory, great things he has done!
As a born and bred New Englander with roots that go to the very founding of Vermont, I got goodbumps reading this thing. I cant begin to say how much my heart breaks for NE, and how much I want to see something amazing happen here. GCNE 2012 was awesome, and it was a pointed announcement that things are happening. It has started! Young guys are coming in, old guys are finding new life. Native guys like me are staying, guys from all over the country are coming. God is moving. The gospel is advancing... In New England! May we see God do something awesome here for the glory of His Name. I pray that these truly are "The Best of Times In New England". Read the whole thing here.
GCNE Photo by Scotland Huber
GCNE Photo by Scotland Huber