In October 2014, I visited San Francisco for the first time. The first place I had to go was the corner of Haight and Ashbury streets. This street corner represents the epicenter of the hippie culture of the 1960s, and there was a hippie playing a guitar when I arrived, right on cue.
This is also where the earliest signs of what would be called the Jesus Movement began. A hippie named Ted Wise got saved, and then others joined him. Before long the movement went south, where a man named Chuck Smith and a church called Calvary Chapel exploded.
Thousands of youth came to Christ, while at the same time thousands of youth in established churches experienced a new zeal for Jesus. Churches filled with youth groups, and Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru) organized an event called Explo ’72 where eighty thousand young people came to Dallas, Texas, to learn to share Christ. On the Saturday following the event, some 150,000–180,000 youth gathered for a massive festival featuring Billy Graham, among others.
I was saved in those days. I remember young people who did not have a church background, who didn’t have a lot of theological training—okay, they had none—but who had a passion to tell others about Jesus. We had a name for them:
A Jesus Freak is someone who loves Jesus more than you do. It’s time to recapture the spirit of the Jesus Movement, to rekindle a passion for Jesus that spills out of hearts of love for God and others, and brings joy to those around us. I just wrote a book about sharing Jesus WITHOUT freaking out. But some things should freak us out.
The lostness of the world
The rise of the “nones,” those who identify with no religious preference
The vast numbers of the next generation we are not reaching and are hardly keeping in our churches.
That the God who spoke and made the universe loves us and came to save us!
That God uses the likes of us for his glory!
The forgiveness of sins, the grace of God, and the inheritance of the saints.
What freaks you out? Let’s be freaking out over things worthy of the sentiment.
Alvin L. “Doc” Reid serves as Senior Professor of Evangelism and Student Ministry at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, where he has been since 1995. He is also the founding Bailey Smith Chair of Evangelism. Alvin and his wife Michelle have two married children: Joshua and his wife Jacqueline, and Hannah and her husband Corey. Hannah and Corey recently welcomed Doc’s first grandchild, Lincoln James. He also serves as Pastor to Young Professionals at Richland Creek Community Church. Alvin travels extensively speaking and has authored a number of books. His most recent is Sharing Jesus Without Freaking Out (B&H Academic).