The Mall in Washington, D.C., is America's national soapbox. The long, green rectangle between the Washington Monument and U.S. Capitol has been the site of massive, historic gatherings focusing on war, abortion, and civil rights. But on October 4, Promise Keepers (PK) hopes to transform the Mall into a seedbed for national revival as the men's ministry hosts Stand in the Gap: A Sacred Assembly of Men, the largest event in its unusual eight-year history.
"The goal of Stand in the Gap is to gather a diverse multitude of men to confess personal and collective sin," says PK founder and chief executive officer Bill McCartney. "Ending racism, or being a better husband or father, begins at the cross of Jesus Christ. We hope to present to the Lord men on their knees in humility, then on their feet in unity, reconciled and poised for spiritual awakening."
Budgeted at $10 million, the noon-to-sundown event is expected to attract hundreds of thousands of men. Dale Schlafer, PK's vice president for revival and spiritual awakening, has been planning Stand in the Gap for three years. The event demonstrates the evolution of the ministry's mission: from sponsoring stadium rallies to serving as an agent of revival.
"We're in a prerevival state with little pockets springing up, but it's not a full-blown revival yet," Schlafer says. "If we would confess our sin and repent, perhaps God would ignite the church to be what he wants it to be."
Schlafer refuses to speculate how many men will attend, but he says "the first million men" will receive free Bibles, supplied by the American Bible Society. The Scriptures include an 80-page supplement covering the gathering's program of speakers, music, and prayer, along with material to be used afterward ...1
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