90,000 Gather to Wage War Against Spiritual Inaction at The Send by TAYLOR BERGLUND for Charisma Mag
If Christians want to pray for awakening and revival, then they need to actually go out into the world and get to work. That was the message of The Send, a charismatic mega-event that continued without ceasing for nearly 12 hours straight on a sweltering Saturday in Orlando, Florida. According to the event’s leaders, 90,000 people registered for and attended the free event, held in the Camping World Stadium.
“We are here because we are crazy enough to believe that we are here for the greatest move of God in human history,” said Youth With a Mission’s Andy Byrd. Though The Send is not led by any one individual or ministry, Byrd has been one of the event’s primary collaborators and acted as de facto emcee, transitioning speakers and artists on and off the stage.
That’s a full-time job, particularly when the exhaustive guest list includes Byrd, Francis Chan, Daniel Kolenda, Bill Johnson, Hillsong Young & Free, Lou Engle, Todd White, Jeremy Riddle, Jesus Culture, Mike Bickle, Lindy & the Circuit Riders, Michael Koulianos, Matt Gilman, Banning Liebscher, Darwin Hobbs, Cindy Jacobs, Loren Cunningham, Dunamis Music, Teo Hayashi, Tasha Cobbs, Steffany Gretzinger, Heidi Baker, Yasmin Pierce, Marco Barrientos, Nick Brennt, Amy Ward, Claudio Freidzon, Ruddy Gracia, Dominic Russo, Ben Fitzgerald, Sammy Rodriguez, Brian Barcelona and Loren and Darlene Cunningham. Frequently multiple speakers would share the stage simultaneously, passing off the microphone to one another as someone indicated they had a new thought or prophetic word to share. At one point during his message, Chan wryly remarked how unfair it was that The Send attendees got “20 speakers and 15 bands” while there are people around the world who have never heard the gospel.
Fixing that disparity was the main goal of The Send, to hear its speakers explain it. Evangelist Kolenda said he’s used to seeing crowds this size in countries like Africa or Asia, quipping that in Africa, “We do our counselor training in a stadium this size.” But he said he regularly fields questions about when a similar evangelistic outpouring would happen in North America. Kolenda said he believes wholeheartedly a new era of evangelism started Saturday in Orlando. He hoped The Send would be responsible for 5,000 people registering for missions training: “the greatest number of people who have ever signed up to go to the nations of the earth with the gospel.”