Fast-forward two years.
In 2013, we were in the middle of a season of extended fasting and prayer and someone in our community had a very vivid dream of a gathering on the east coast where the church would come together. Shortly after this time, I texted Lou Engle that God was speaking to us about an East Coast gathering, perhaps on the Mall in DC. Lou immediately replied saying that he had just been in a prayer meeting where they had been praying these gatherings and he sensed the same authority as when he prophesied the first Call in DC. Immediately, I called Andy Byrd (Fire and Fragrance) to see when he might be in LA so that I could plan a trip there around the same time and, perhaps, we could all meet to talk about this storyline. We set up a meeting in October of 2014.
After I booked the ticket to fly to LA to meet with Lou Engle, Andy Byrd, and Brian Brennt and their teams, I was on a conference call with another friend. He told me that he had a dream the night before that I was meeting with Andy Byrd. I was shocked. I told him that I literally just booked flight to meet with Andy Byrd. What he said next shocked me even more. He said there is a massive gathering coming on the East Coast. He used the exact same language as the dream we had during the fast. Was God leading us to launch a gathering on the National Mall?
When I landed in LA, realizing that we were in a divine moment, I called Benjamin Atkinson. At that precise moment, he was actually standing on the Lincoln Memorial, and he shared with me that for the previous seven weeks the Holy Spirit had been leading him to call Lou Engle and tell him that God was going to fill the Mall. I asked Ben what the Lord had shown him about this gathering, and he said that he knew it has to be Psalms 27:4 and it had to build David’s Tent in Washington D.C.
As I was in a follow up meeting with Lou a short while later, talking about a D.C. gathering, Isaac Middleton texted from Ohio. He had a dream the night before I arrived in L.A. that there was a massive gathering on the Mall in D.C. Isaac had no idea that I was actually sitting with Lou when he texted about his dream. In the dream, he saw the Mall in D.C. and it was the night before a huge worship and prayer gathering. He saw many people that had been involved with Call over the years. Lou Engle was in a tent playing his guitar and weeping for a dream fulfilled. Then the dream shifted and he saw high school students, specifically African American and Hispanic students. This movement was going to touch the youth of America.
ACCELERATION AND CLARITY
At this point in the story, I began to personally wrestle with why I was involved in this storyline because up until this point, I had assumed these words were for others. There was not a question in my mind that gatherings were coming on the Mall, which were God’s will and that God would supernaturally mobilize these events. I knew it was not about the gatherings but about Jesus’ fame and a new Jesus movement in America. My concern was what God was asking of me in the process. As I submitted this storyline to Lou Engle, he stated multiple times that since God seemed to be speaking to me, we should initiate this gathering (knowing that this event is far bigger than anyone person and that this is not and never has been about me). This proposition was both perplexing and intimidating to me, but it became like fire in my heart. I have since been unable to shake this burden. It has been perpetually in my prayers and thoughts.
I decided to go on a fast with my wife to seek the Lord about whether he was asking me to take a concrete step to initiate this gathering. In the middle of the fast, amazingly, I got an email from a friend that I had not talked to in a few years. He said that he had just dreamed that he was in a large gathering that I was helping to lead. In the dream, he walked up to me in the crowd and told me that the Holy Spirit said I should “not be afraid to do the new thing that God had been talking to me about”! This was in the middle of my fast to ask the Lord if I should pursue this new gathering. Incredible.
A couple weeks later, I was with Lou Engle in Atlanta. Again, he reiterated his previous counsel that I should pull the trigger on a gathering on the East Coast if I had faith for it. I dropped Lou and Therese off at the conference in Atlanta and one of the last things Lou said to me was that “we should talk to Chris Berglund” about this gathering. I agreed.
An hour or so later, as I was standing in line at the airport in Atlanta to fly home, I was honestly astounded to see in front of me none other than Chris Berglund! Truthfully, I could hardly believe my eyes since I had just come from my conversation with Lou Engle where his final suggestion was to talk to Chris. So, we sat next to each other on the plane. I realized that this was unquestionably a divine set up. On that flight, Chris said that he saw 2017 as the timing for this gathering. Though I didn’t tell Chris, the truth was that 2017 was in my heart, and it was growing more and more unshakable. Chris had read my mail.
AIRPLANES AND MOVEMENTS
Before I continue this narrative, let me share one more significant insight. In 2013, when we had the dream about the gathering on the East Coast, someone else had a dream that I was flying a new plane flying over the open ocean. The plane was new and I did not know how to fly this new aircraft. The computer on the plane was giving instructions. God helped us and the plane made it.
I initially brushed this dream off. A few days later, that changed. My father-in-law came to me to share a dream. I can’t ever remember him sharing a dream with me before. It immediately had my attention because of how unusual this was. In the dream, I was flying a new plane that had never been flown before. The computer was giving me instructions. He knew it was a virgin flight. It was a new work–something from God. Now God had my attention. It was the identical dream! He was asking me to step into an expression of faith that would challenge any previous ministry experience or prototype with which I was familiar. This is a movement, not a gathering. It is a movement of prayer,worship, missions and sending.
UNPRECEDENTED EXPRESSION ON THE NATIONAL MALL
Jason Hershey (Founder of David’s Tent in Washington, D.C.) and I met, God gave us the strategy. Not one or two tents, but A TENT CITY of 50 tents on the national mall, one for every state. This is an exciting mobilization strategy as state-wide mobilizers will gather their states and regions in a relational, grassroots context. This will be a gathering around the presence of God and the worth of Jesus in a fresh and unique way. Then we will preach the gospel and send out the youth of America for a new Jesus movement and the completion of the Great Commission in the nations. Perhaps the unity we have been praying for will come as we gather, not primarily around each other, but around the presence of God and the Great Commission.
We have reserved the National Mall for October 6-9, 2017. After we reserved these dates, we realized that October is the 20-year anniversary of Promise Keepers when a million Christian men gathered on the National Mall to pray for revival in our nation! God is still moved by these prayers, and we believe He is calling us back to the Mall at this time!
This gathering is also during the Feast of Tabernacles when all of Israel would gather to their nation’s capital in tents!
Succat Hallel in Jerusalem will be doing a tent gathering in Israel during the same dates!
We believe that Jesus is actually leading in this process. We believe that He is calling us together. He set up this unique convergence at this time!