Together 2016 was a large-scale Christian event meeting at the US Capitol Mall. For the last five years its visionary, Nick Hall, had been traveling the nation calling people to what he said could be the largest gathering for Millenial Christians in this generation. Together 2016 used multi-media to the best of their abilities; not only through social media platforms, but also through the 700 Club, the movie ‘Woodlawn’ and other Christian venues. It was during the Winter Jam Tour of 2014 where I first heard the vision as Nick Hall was the keynote speaker, spreading the message of “reset,” and publishing a book called ‘Reset’ this year. The moment I heard the vision cast at Winter Jam I committed to bring my family, reminiscent of The Call DC in the year 2000 I was part of which was my generation’s solemn assembly for prayer and fasting during an election year.
Pastor Glen Gram from Kirkersville, Ohio, and I arrived early in order to reserve a location for our families in the shade in one of the few areas with trees on the Mall. From that area I observed the flags around the Washington Monument were half-staff due to the recent tragedy in Nice, France. Seeing this also reminded me of the current state of our nation, needing Jesus. After praying silently about this, the Together phone app notified me of the ‘7 Day Reset with Jesus’ bible reading plan through YouVersion and the livestream broadcast on the internet. The hashtag #jesuschangeseverything was promoted continually throughout the day to share pictures and thoughts through social media.
At 9 AM Micheal W. Smith led worship with a powerful rendition of, “Let it Rain,” after Lecrae, the Christian hip hop artist, read Isaiah 58:6-10. Later, Nick Hall introduced Lou Engle who has led The Call assemblies who reminded us of Bill Bright’s vision to have 1 million people pray and fast for our nation. Lou challenged the audience to participate in corporate fasts this upcoming October and November.
Nick said, “What a divided nation needs is a united Church. We can come together to lift up Jesus.” He then asked Lou Engle pray for revival across America, and leading the Prayer of Jesus, “That they may be One,” he petitioned God to bring a miracle to America.
The Passion Band led worship as the heat of the day began to bear down. As they sang, “Bless the Lord, O My Soul,” a fresh wind came over us with much needed relief. Then Louie Giglio shared with the tens of thousands present the importance of humility, quoting 2 Chronicles 2:17 which was shared several times previously in the day, bowing on his knees with thousands of others in repentance leading prayer. Crowder then sang, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away my sin,” followed by a collaboration between Crowder, on his electric banjo, with Tedashii rapping on the song, “Lift Your Head Weary Sinner,” which states, “See the walls start crumbling.”
Afterwards, Nick Hall discussed the importance of engaging scripture and sharing the gospel. He testified how his father was invited to Explo ‘72 in Dallas, TX, which was another large-scale Christian gathering. According to Nick, his father was saved at Explo ’72 where Josh McDowell was a speaker who was then introduced. Josh encouraged us to share the gospel message with others and on the importance of the Church.
Later on, I was impressed with students on-stage praying for schools around the US. It was a reminder to me of how children and youth are the largest generation around the world needing the gospel and empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Encouraging the audience to pray in groups for the lost.
People were reminded to drink water throughout the day, which was announced by Nick as well as through messages displayed on the jumbo-trons, the app shared how ice and water was continually brought in. Emergency Services monitored the event throughout the course of the day and even though first aid and air condition tents were available, the event had to close earlier than planned because over 400 people were treated for heat illnesses which overwhelmed EMS, and a storm-front was moving in.
After Tim Tebow and Francis Chan shared, Lecrae’s performed, and Hillsong United led worship Nick Hall closed the event a little after 4 PM. He humbly stated, “This has not been about coming to the Mall, but it’s been about Jesus. Go love Jesus, follow Jesus and keep going after God to the ends of the earth.” Even though the shadow of being closed early may be cast on this Millenial gathering, there may be smaller Together events that will be hosted across the country in these desperate times, calling people to Jesus.
Fellowshipping over pizza later that evening as the storm rolled in, Pastor Glen Gram said his takeaway was a reminder, when one of the speakers said, “Every Goliath had a David, every Jezebel had an Elijah, and every Jerusalem is rebuilt by a Nehemiah.” The story of Nehemiah was an inspiration to him when he planted his church, Crossway Community Church. His wife Bernie reiterated this and said she was reminded of how everyone has something to do to spread the Kingdom of God. And in order to accomplish this, we need to be together.
This article will soon be published on The Message of the Open Bible here:Together 2016
Jared Laskey is starting Destiny Open Bible Church in Virginia Beach, VA, and is a contributing writer to Charisma Media. He served in the Marine Corps from 2006-2011 and ministers living to see Jesus awaken this generation to the power of His Holy Spirit. You can follow him on twitter @jaredalaskey, or contact him through his website, www.firebornministries.com. He recently co-authored ‘Veronica’s Hero’ that can be found on Amazon.