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GenZers Preach, Prophesy to Spark Revival in Texas High Schools

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Shawn Akers

Many, even in the Christian world, would like to give the impression that today’s generation of youth, Gen Z, is running away from God. They like to paint a picture that there is little hope for the future of America.

Studies, surveys and polls would suggest that GenZers are the first truly “post-Christian” generation.

The people who conducted the studies and surveys obviously have not spoken with the youth at New Life Church in Corpus Christi, Texas. New Life Senior Pastor Mike Fehlauer and Youth Pastor Mario Carrete say the young people in that city are “truly on fire” for God, much like what is now taking place on college campuses like Asbury University in Kentucky and Lee University in Tennessee.

Since 2022, the youth group at New Life has established Bible clubs at 20 different high schools in the Corpus Christi Bay area. And, with very little pushback from school administration, students have been bringing the gospel to those schools for a year now.

Additionally, college-age youth have been spreading the Good News of Jesus on the campus of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi for the past few years through massive community outreach.

“We’re seeing a mighty move of God outside of our four walls, it’s amazing,” Fehlauer says. “We’ve been watching what’s been happening at Asbury and other places, and we’re seeing true revival at those places. It’s incredible and we pray that it continues.

“As for us, we’ve got young people preaching and praying for the sick, ministering the sick. We’ve got student-led preaching and altar calls in numerous schools. They’re not just doing Bible study, and the schools are allowing this to happen.

“There has to be a spirit of repentance, and we’re seeing that a lot among our youth and the youth that are being touched by this ministry,” Fehlauer says. “But it’s not about us. This is only happening because the Holy Spirit has opened the hearts of these kids and you’re seeing true brokenness.”

The student-led services don’t take place during school hours, but they are held on school grounds before classes begin, at lunchtime and after school.

When Carrete took over as youth director at New Life Church in 2019, he said the Lord spoke to him and gave him a vision about the trials and tribulations of today’s youth. A Lifeway Research study revealed in 2019 that 66% of American young adults who attended a protestant church regularly for at least a year as a teenager say they also dropped out for at least a year between the ages of 18 to 22.

“The Holy Spirit dropped a picture on me of what is happening to these kids,” Carrete says. “You look at the percentage of students who fall away from the faith, and it really bothered me, especially as I was walking into youth ministry.

“The Holy Spirit told me that these kids are being fattened up like cattle, like sheep,” Carrete says. “They are being fattened up on the word, but there’s no other avenue for them other than weekly youth group. When they graduate, they are sent to the slaughter. It’s one of the hardest times in life for teens to navigate.

“These Bible clubs give them an avenue to carry on. It helps them to be bold with their faith and to exercise it with enthusiasm and gratitude.”

Jorge Garcia of West Oso High School says the boldness students have been showing for Christ has been “nothing less than amazing.”

“Students are giving their lives to Christ because of their obeidence,” Garcia says. “Boldness in the Holy Spirit is here already and will grow only as we move the heart of God in our schools. It’s an absolute honor to be leading the West Oso Bible Club, and, not just leading the students, but the teachers, staff and administrators, too.”

The Bible clubs go by two different names—Fellowship of Christian Students and Ambassadors of Christ.

When the New Life Youth Group came up with the idea of the Bible clubs, Carrete says, they realize there might be some pushback from the school administrations. But because they allow other before-school and after-school clubs, administrations didn’t make a huge fuss about a Christian-based club taking place at their school.

“The second I gave our kids the go-ahead, there was electricity in the room. They were excited,” Carrete says. “Four Bible clubs were birthed from that first night. The schools have been fairly agreeable, and we’re legally allowed to have this group because we’re not forcing it on anyone. We’ve continued to add more clubs to more schools, and we’re encouraging kids to spread the word about them.”

“Having a community where people can freely express who Jesus is in such a public setting … that shows there is an extreme hunger for God in education,” says Frances Monayao, a student at Veterans Memorial High School. “The Lord is taking back His city of Corpus Christi, and it starts with the schools.”

Carrete says the Bible clubs have made a huge impact on each school and in the community. With students leading the way, Carrete sees their kids preaching the Word of God and supernatural things are happening.

The students who attend the Bible club events have not only accepted the supernatural, but they have opened their hearts to it.

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“We’ve been seeing Joel 2 fulfilled,” Carrete says. “We are seeing special impartation for the youth to preach and prophesy. Teens, both boys and girls, together are making this work. Scripture says that the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives inside each one of us, and these kids are no exception. Through the Holy Spirit they lay hands on the sick. During the services, they walk up to people who have pain and pray for them. I haven’t preached one word in these club outings, but I’ve never experienced anything like it. These kids are amazing.”

Recent revival has not been restricted to college campuses. May the Holy Spirit continue to work in today’s youth! {eoa}

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Shawn A. Akers is the online editor at Charisma Media.

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Students gather at a local high school in the Corpus Christi, Texas, area for an after-school Bible club. (Photo courtesy of New Life Church)

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