The Jesus Movement

The Jesus Movement, what a great time that was!

This was a time of what I believe was a genuine spiritual revival that took place in the late ’60s through the early ’70s. Many of the mega-churches that are impacting our culture today were born during this time of the outpouring of the Spirit of God.

It was during this time, in 1970, that I came to faith in Jesus Christ. I have a whole section on the Jesus Movement in the film, Lost Boy: The Documentary, and have even thought of writing a whole book on it someday.

A key figure of the Jesus movement was Chuck Smith, the pastor of Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa. Chuck was willing to let young people with long hair (I was one of those kids!) into the church without a haircut. Now I wish I had any hair!

Chuck’s contribution to late 20th-century and early 21st-century Christianity has been significant. Our church, Harvest Christian Fellowship, was one of the very first Calvary Chapel outreaches in the early ’70s.

Chuck and I will be on TBN tonight!

I bring this all up because Pastor Chuck, along with my friends Raul Ries (Calvary Chapel of Golden Springs) and Mike Macintosh (pastor of Horizon Christian Fellowship) and I, will all be guests on TBN tonight. They are having a “Jesus People”-themed program on their Praise the Lord broadcast.

It all starts at 7:00 P.M., Pacific Time, and can be seen around the world. I hope it will be part of your world tonight too!

So check it out, if you can.

Ben Born Again

During those early days of the Jesus Movement, I came up with a cartoon character named “Ben Born Again”. (Get the play on words… “Been Born Again?” Hey, I never claimed to be Shakespeare!)

Some people said Ben was just a cartoon of myself. That may have been true. So, here is a drawing I did today of Ben to take us down memory lane from the old days, and then a new, updated version for 2008.

When you see Ben in the future, he will not look like the ‘older’ version but the young one. That is one the great advantages of being a cartoon character. You only need 3 fingers (think Mickey Mouse) and you never, ever age (think Charlie Brown)!

6 thoughts on “The Jesus Movement”

  1. David Sloane says:

    Greg, those times we spent evangelizing at the pier in Newport Beach from that rented store front were some of the best ever.

    That was when none of us understood the callings of God.

    You were getting revelation from the Word of God and were so excited that you had to share what you were learning with anyone that would listen.

    We had no idea that God had called you to feed His sheep and to evangelize on a much greater scope.

    To watch how God opened doors and lifted you up over the many years has been fascinating.

    Greg I am really pleased how you stuck to the course that was set for you so long ago when all of us were only 17.

    I constantly tell people that you have not changed one bit.

    You are just the same as you were at 17.

    Totally dedicated to Jesus Christ and doing exactly as you did way back then.

    When I am told you are in it for the money I always correct that person and let them know that you are no different than you were when we were teens when hardly anyone knew any of us.

    You are a man of God who can’t help but share the gospel message under compulsion of who you are in Christ Jesus.

    Once again, as one who has known you from the day you got saved out on the lawn of Harbor High school,I can honestly say you are exactly the same as you were way back when we ministered on the beach from that small store front at the Newport pier.

    You have not changed one bit, still sold out for Jesus.

    I am so proud of you!!!

  2. lbl says:

    Hey Greg,
    I came to faith in Jesus Christ in 1970, as well. I was six years old, and the husband/wife team leading our junior church gave me a piece of paper to give to my dad informing him that I had prayed to receive Christ. Although I remember vividly that experience, I didn’t start living for the Lord until I was seventeen. During my childhood, God always made sure that I had a way to get to church and hear His truth. I had a knowledge of Him in a legalistic way, but my heart had not been changed. I rebelled against my parents from ages fourteen to seventeen, stopped going to church, and looked for love in all the wrong places. I still called on God whenever I was in difficult circumstances. Somehow I knew that He would always be faithful to me even though I was not being faithful to Him. I did feel guilty doing this. Despite my bad choices in relationships, God had His hand of protection upon me.

    When I came back to church at seventeen, it was clear that God had changed my heart. This shy girl confidently headed straight down to the front row because I didn’t want to be distracted from receiving the teaching of God’s Word. I couldn’t get enough of it. I wanted to surround myself with His people and His truth. I praise Him for not allowing me to wander away from Him permanently, and for all of the godly people that He put in my path along the way to direct me to Him.

  3. levi says:

    Tivo’d the show on TBN, will watch it tomorrow. It’s crazy how much that picture of you with the pooka shells looks like Jonathan.

  4. Jeff says:

    Greg you should do a spin off site of Harvest and make it an online Christian comic book… Or maybe a whole site geared to younger kids..and the site could be made to look like a giant comic book. Their seems to be so few kid friendly places on the web. You know… in your spare time hahaha

  5. Anne says:

    I always enjoy your cartoons and hearing about the Jesus Movement. I think you should write about it. I’ve ran into quite a bit of Christians who didn’t know there was a Jesus Movement and I will admit I first heard about it while studying at APU.

  6. Sarah says:

    I’m 18 years old and some of the most inspiring things that i have ever watched were some of the clips on the Jesus movement!! I started a Friday night ministry at my dad’s church and had different “christian” bands from around our area come and play, and most of the “bands” that i booked were worship leaders, and leaders within their churches. But when they got up and played i was was so non substantive and lacked anything to do with Jesus, my heart was burdened because my generation doesn’t know what truth is they are just interested in entertaining people and making them “feel good”!! I have been so blessed to study and learn more about the Jesus Movement! I want to see what happened with your generation happen with my generation… what made the Jesus movement such a powerful period of time was simply JESUS… people were not ashamed of JESUS!! There was no watered down messages (there are still wonderful churches, but for the most part so watered down.. non substantive) it was strictly biblical and powerful… i want to see that again and i hope that i can be a part of the start of a Jesus movement in my generation!! So thank you for sharing old clips i really enjoy them! God Bless

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.