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A Jesus Revolution Youth Group

How youth pastors can use the "Jesus Revolution" movie to inspire teens
Picture of Greg Stier
Greg Stier

I was blessed to see an early release of this amazing movie. To be honest, I wasn’t ready for it to be good—actually, really good.

I tend to qualify my reviews of Christian movies with statements like: “For a Christian movie, it was pretty good.” But with Jesus Revolution, I can honestly say it was a good movie, with no qualifications whatsoever. It received an A+ Cinemascore and  a 62% Tomatometer rating from the critics on Rotten Tomatoes (not usually a pro-Christian movie crowd). It also got a 99% rating from the audience.

The box office numbers surprised everyone. This movie is a hit.

But more than good, it’s inspiring to both young and old.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking this movie is only for the 60+ crowd who witnessed the actual Jesus movement of the late ’60s and early ’70s.

This movie can deeply impact your teenagers as well.

Hippies vs. Gen Z

There are so many similarities between the hippies of yesteryear and Gen Z of today. Both generations are open, honest, and looking for answers. Both are looking for purpose, transcendence, and hope. Both endured large-scale traumas (a perceived unjust war combined with the battle for Civil Rights for the hippies and the trauma of Covid-inspired lockdowns and isolation for our teenagers). Both tend to be looking for answers in all the wrong places. And both began to realize that those wrong places don’t satisfy.

When the hippies of San Francisco and SoCal started coming to an end of themselves and seeing that the aftermath of drugs, sex, and rock ’n’ roll wasn’t filling the gaping holes in their souls, many were open to joining the Jesus movement.

Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom, flat on your back, before you can look up. That’s what happened with the Jesus movement. When people came to the rock bottom of Timothy Leary’s philosophy of “Turn on, tune in, drop out” and realized that LSD didn’t bring them transcendence, communal living didn’t bring them peace, and countercultural chants didn’t change a thing, many were willing to give Jesus a chance.

The results are, well, historic.   

I believe the same thing is happening today with Gen Z. Teenagers are hitting the rock bottom of isolation and depression. Despite being ultra-connected, they’re the loneliest generation on record.

Lat month, the CDC put out a report indicating that 57% of teenage girls in the U.S. felt “persistently sad or hopeless.” It’s double that of boys. Around 30% of girls admit they’ve seriously considered taking their own lives. 

The bad news is that Gen Z is flat on its back, knocked down by sadness, loneliness, and anxiety. The good news is that now they can look up to Jesus.

And they are—in droves!

Gen Z and Jesus

I can testify to this personally. I’ve seen it at the events I’ve preached at over the last few years.

Two road-warrior evangelist friends of mine, Zane Black and Shane Pruitt, can testify to this as well.

Zane is currently touring with Winter Jam and is seeing massive numbers of teenagers not just attend the events, but respond to the Gospel. Tens of thousands of teenagers have indicated faith in Jesus, and the tour isn’t over yet.

Shane shared this on his Instagram post just a few weeks ago:

I’ve personally seen more college students and teens start following Jesus in the last 3 years than in the previous 18 years of ministry combined.”

Shane Pruitt

I applaud Zane and Shane in full agreement.

A Jesus revolution in your youth group

Now is the time for another Jesus movement! Now is the time to take your youth group to this amazing movie (if you haven’t already!).

Why not take your teenagers to a Saturday afternoon showing? Maybe have them dress up like hippies! Go back to your youth room afterward, explain revival in a simple way (if you need a little help in explaining revival, check out my article called What Is Revival? A Guide for Gen Z), and unpack the movie together.

Ask questions like:

  1. What would it take to see another Jesus revolution in our generation?
  2. What are the roadblocks to this kind of revival?
  3. How can we begin to live this out in our youth group?

You can use it as an outreach and give the Gospel!

Spend time in prayer, asking God to start that revival in your hearts and through your youth ministry! Then ask them to identify one person they want to share Jesus with this week. Why? Because it ain’t revival until it spills into the streets!

Youth leaders, take advantage of this unique opportunity to inspire your teenagers to live on mission and be a part of the next great move of God!

Watch the Jesus Revolution trailer:

Jesus Revolution (2023 Movie) Official Trailer - Kelsey Grammer, Joel Courtney

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