Sophomore pastoral ministry major Bryce Bauman desires to see revival on SAU’s Spring Arbor Campus.
Together with freshman special education major and Cougar baseball player Josiah Kitchen, Bauman helped plan and execute “Let’s Fly,” a twelve-hour session of worship, prayer and testimony. The event, which Bauman describes as “intimate” and “powerful,” was held from 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 23 to 8 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24 in SAU’s Ralph Carey Forum (RCF). Bauman estimates that 20-25 students were present for the entirety of the event, with 40 students present at peak attendance around 10 p.m.
During the event, which was intended to bring students and other members of the SAU community together to praise God and share encouragement, worship sessions lasting 30-40 minutes were held at the top of each hour. The remainder of the hour was spent with those present sharing testimonies, passages of scripture and prayers over an “open mic.”
Several groups of musicians took shifts on the worship stage, which was situated in the middle of the room. Sophomore pastoral ministry major Jonah Engle coordinated musical talent, sourced from campus, other colleges and local churches, for the event. Brothers Michael and Curtis Popenhagen, worship leaders at Radiant Church Jackson, where Bauman is an intern, led during several slots.
Bauman and Kitchen found inspiration for “Let’s Fly” in a portion of the Gospel narrative, when Jesus spends an entire night in prayer before choosing his disciples. The title “Let’s Fly” comes, in part, from Isaiah 60:8, which says, ““Who are these that fly along like clouds, like doves to their nests” (ESV)?
The “clouds” remind Bauman of “a large group of people who have one heart, one reason for being together, and that’s to glorify God.” They also remind him of the ‘bigger picture’: “When you’re going through life, you can look at your circumstances head-on, or you can look at them from God’s perspective,” says Bauman.
Before the event, Bauman and other event leaders walked a collective twelve laps around campus — one lap for each hour of the event — to pray over the event and its attendees. They were “singing praises, singing prayers for people to come to Christ,” says Bauman. He attributes the success of the event to this prayerful preparation.
Bauman hoped that “Let’s Fly” would lead people into full surrender to God. “We wanted people to truly experience God, where they couldn’t leave the same,” he said.
Bauman says that every day for a week after “Let’s Fly,” students broke out in worship in the plaza. He’s excited to continue to help organize “Let’s Fly” and other events in the next academic year.
“For me, revival is when single hearts are awakened and [set] ablaze. That’s when things start to happen,” says Bauman. “I’m honored that the Lord placed this idea on my heart, but I don’t deserve credit for the night. If it was my planning and my ideas, it wouldn’t have been what it was.”