In June 1972, Campus Crusade for Christ sponsored Explo ’72, a music, evangelism and training event featuring the Rev. Billy Graham and Dr. Bill Bright. They brought together artists like Love Song, Andrae Crouch and the Disciples, Larry Norman, Children of the Day, Johnny and June Carter Cash and Kris Kristofferson.
Around 80,000 college and high school students came together at the Cotton Bowl stadium in Dallas, Texas. After training in evangelism, the students scattered across the city to spread the good news, before heading back home to share their faith in cities across the country.
Together ’22 is taking place this June 24-25, to mark the 50th anniversary of the event and to “empower the next generation of Christians to ‘Make Jesus Known.’”
Evangelist Nick Hall is spearheading the free stadium event. The founder and president of Pulse Ministry, he has a desire to lead people to Christ and equip others to do so. He’s bringing together speakers, teachers and Christian music artists for the weekend of worship, evangelism, prayer and training.
For Hall, there’s a personal connection with Explo ’72. He told The Daily Citizen that students from North Dakota traveled to Dallas and heard the gospel, then they took it back to their state to share with others.
Hall’s father became a believer through those students, a direct result of Explo ’72.
Hall has preached the gospel to more than five million people and has seen almost two million people respond to Pulse initiatives.
He’s studied Christian revivals and awakenings throughout the centuries. One of the characteristics he sees is a heart level awakening and transformation in individuals, that then leads to societal reformation. Surely, we desperately need this today.
Hall believes Millennials and Generation Z, who are cause-driven and willing to sacrifice and give up safety and security for their beliefs, are ripe for such an awakening.
“Only God can satisfy their ultimate need and give them a cause to live for,” he said.
There are two goals for Together ’22, Hall told us. The first is to equip these young people to share about Jesus. The second is to send them back home – to tell about their experiences with the Lord and lead others to Christ.
Rather than playing it safe, these younger generations can channel their enthusiasm to revolutionize the world – just as Jesus did.
Just as Explo ’72 joined together the youthful enthusiasm of the Jesus Movement with evangelical leaders like Graham and Bright, Together ’22 links the passion of young people with seasoned Christian leaders like Frances Chan, Tony Evans, Chris Tomlin, Jeremy Camp, Lou Engle and the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez.
Other speakers and artists at the free stadium event include Jonathan Evans, Lecrae, Israel Houghton and New Breed, Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Will Graham and Miel San Marcos.
We the Kingdom, Evan Kraft, Ebony Small, KB, Anne Wilson and Dallas Jenkins, director of The Chosen, will also appear.
Jenkins will air a documentary about the impact of The Chosen. Like Hall, his father, author Jerry B. Jenkins, was deeply affected by Explo ‘72. In fact, Dallas Jenkins was named for the city where the event took place.
Josh McDowell will be speaking at Together ’22 and Love Song, the Christian group that was part of early Jesus music, will be performing. Both appeared fifty years ago at the original gathering. Hundreds of others who attended that event have also signed up for an Explo ’72 reunion.
Hall’s vision is that young people will be trained and encouraged to use their talents for the gospel in all areas of life – media, social media, business, music, education and the arts.
He’s very excited about $500 grants that will be offered to young people who submit proposals for projects that would utilize the money to share their faith. The ministry is offering 500 such grants.
The Billy Graham Evangelical Association, Compassion International, The Send, UpperRoom and other ministries are partnering with the event to offer practical ways for young people to get involved in ministry.
Together ’22 kicks off on Sunday, June 19, with a week of trainings and nightly events before the featured weekend events at the Cotton Bowl.
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Watch clips from Explo ’72 – complete with all those groovy ‘70s fashions, hair and Jesus music.