Following up on my Missionaries to Marxists: the Rise and Fall of SCM, here's an article by one of the great historians of revival movements, Dr J Edwin Orr.
Read it and ask yourself, “Why can't this happen again?”
Can you imagine...
one third of a university's student body coming to Christ in a single year?
50 percent of those new believers going into full-time Christian work following graduation?
more than 20,000 students eventually serving Christ overseas due to the influence of a few of these students? Imagine it, because it all happened!
It began in the early 1800s at schools like Amherst, Dartmouth, Princeton, Williams, and Yale where up to half the students turned to Christ. By 1835, 1,500 students had committed their lives to Christ in 36 colleges. Impressive statistics...especially when you realize that in those days student bodies numbered only 100 to 250. Similar results continued to be seen from one generation of students to the next. In 1853, 11 New England colleges with a total enrollment of 2,163 reported that there were 745 active Christians on campus. Of this number, 343 planned to go into the ministry.
Then in the 1880s, an unprecedented missionary enterprise known as the Student Volunteer Movement came into being. “The Evangelization of the World in This Generation” became its rallying cry. This spirit was evidenced in the movement's results - more than 20,000 serving overseas mission fields in half a century.
To read on, download: Why Campus Revivals Spark Missionary Advance by J Edwin Orr