More than 100,000 people from dozens of countries across the world indicated they wanted to put their faith in Jesus after hearing the gospel during recent, virtual, evangelistic events hosted by Nick Hall and Pulse.
The responses, which came via international call centers, email, website and text messages, are evidence that God is at work in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Nick Hall, who founded Pulse and was the creative mind behind the Good Friday outreach.
"We were literally getting smartphone photos from all over the world—from Nigeria to India and China—of families gathering in their living rooms around 18-inch cathode-ray TVs, laptops and HD screens watching our services," Hall said. "The doors to our church buildings may have been closed, but the church has not closed. We are living through a Great Quarantine Revival, and I think God is just getting started."
Pulse saw the gospel responses come through two major events over the Easter week: Leader Check-In and a Good Friday service.
Pulse's Good Friday featured talks by Hall, renowned apologist Ravi Zacharias, bestselling author Max Lucado, NFL Super Bowl Champion and Hall of Fame Coach Tony Dungy, Francis Chan and Rev. Samuel Rodriguez. It also had worship by Lauren Daigle, Michael W. Smith, and singing duo Kari Jobe and Cody Carnes. The service was broadcast in nearly 100 countries, including Japan, China, Nepal, Thailand, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Ukraine and Russia, and was translated into 40 different languages.
"We had translators working in closed countries who were risking their lives to bring this message in their language to their people, because that's how precious the gospel is to them," Hall said.
On Wednesday, April 8, Pulse also hosted another event called Leader Check-In to encourage and uplift ministry leaders and pastors ahead of the Easter weekend.
"This Easter may have been the most significant in a century," Hall said. "The fields have never been more ripe for harvest as people search for hope and meaning during this global pandemic. It may very well be the greatest opportunity we've had to share the gospel—but we will miss it if we don't care for our pastors and ministers now."
Leader Check-In brought together some of the most influential Christian voices to offer perspective during the pandemic. Bible teachers and bestselling authors such as Ann Voskamp, Beth Moore, Francis Chan, David Platt, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, Priscilla Shirer and Lecrae offered practical advice anchored in the Word of God. Award-winning artist Matt Maher, along with Smith, Carnes and Jobe, led worship for hundreds of thousands of viewers across the world.
"This happened because I had a lot of friends that were calling me crying and in tears, overwhelmed by the situation—whether it was at home, in their business or in their church," said Hall, who hosted the event. "And I simply called out to God and said, 'God, what would it look like to bring together men and women to offer hope and perspective in this moment of need?'"
The answer to this prayer came in the form of dozens of Christian leaders offering timely biblical advice and encouragement.
War Room actress and author Priscilla Shirer spoke about trusting God when we feel exhausted and hopeless.
"Please know that if you see that gap that exists where you have done the best you can and now you recognize that unless God comes through this ain't gonna go so well—trust me, that gap is supposed to exist," Shirer said. "God allows it. He asks us to trust Him with that margin. Because as the apostle Paul would say, come New Testament, is in that gap, that weakness, that His strength is made perfect."
Grammy Award-winning hip-hop artist Lecrae also reminded viewers that when everything seems to be spinning out of control in our world, God is still in control.
"No one in the last 100 years can say they have walked through a global pandemic. But God isn't intimidated by this," Lecrae said. "And you may say, 'The Creator doesn't understand my situation. It's different because my job here ... or my mom here ... or there's illness, there's sickness. Let me tell you something: I don't understand, I may not get it, but I know a God who does. I know a God who has been around for plagues, for famines, for diseases and pestilences. I know a God who can handle all those things, and He can handle what we are dealing with right now."
Several speakers, including Bible teacher Beth Moore and Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, encouraged viewers to keep things in perspective during the COVID-19 pandemic, remembering that God is at work.
"Here we are all scattered and separated, and everything about it seems completely backward to us for the makings of an epic harvest. But that's just how He works. That's just exactly the way God would do it, is it would seem absolutely impossible, and only possible if He comes thorough," Moore said.
"I am grateful—not for the pandemic, not for COVID-19—I am grateful that God will turn things around for the collective good of His children," Rev. Rodriguez said. "He will work these things out: All things work out for the good of those who believe. I am grateful I am alive for such a time as this to experience this fresh awakening."
Leader Check-In not only featured Bible teachers and speakers, but also public officials who joined the conversation to give updates on the government's response to COVID-19.
Sen. James Lankford and Sen. Tim Scott spoke of the economic relief opportunities in the CARES Act, and America's surgeon general, VADM Jerome M. Adams, M.D., M.P.H., provided infection prevention advice while asking viewers to pray for him and others who are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Both Good Friday and Leader Check-In provided viewers the opportunity to respond to the needs of others who are experiencing economic hardship due to the pandemic. Pulse raised $80,000 for Churches Helping Churches, a campaign to provide financial assistance for churches who are on the brink of closing, and partnered with World Vision to raise money for their COVID-19 domestic and global relief efforts.
An estimated 1.7 million people from 167 countries across the world turned to Pulse's Easter week events through Facebook and YouTube, but through broadcast in national channels, it's estimated that tens of millions may have participated in them.
Both Leader Check-In and the Good Friday service are available on-demand on Year of the Bible (YearoftheBible.com).
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