How different would we live our Christian life if Jesus were physically beside us? How would our prayers sound? What would our worship be like?

Encountering Jesus

by Isaac Bennett
4/25/19 Awakening Teen Camps

If you’re like me, there is a certain familiarity that comes over the years with the routine of church and youth group life. You typically see the same people. You typically hear similar things and sing similar songs. At a certain point, things can become overfamiliar. Those songs just don’t move you in the same way. The words from the preacher don’t strike your heart in the way they used to. The overfamiliar is dangerous ground.

It is here that the Christian life can slowly die from the inside out. What was once passion and fire gives way to apathy and a “same ol’ same ol’” mentality. Overfamiliarity is the death of passionate exploration. What is it that will breathe fresh life again? Can the heart of American Christian youth burn with fire for Jesus?

When Jesus walked the earth, He recruited twelve young guys to be His main guys. At the onset of their discipleship they didn’t know He was God. They likely thought that He was another teacher that was going to travel around teaching his followers about the things of God. To them, Jesus wasn’t only a name or a causeHowever, they came to find out later that He was much more than their personal teacher. It was the experience of walking closely with Christ that led them into an impassioned desire to make Him known.

Sadly, often times when people in our generation talk about Jesus, they mostly sound like they’re talking about someone they’ve read about in history class. When they pray to Him, they mostly sound like they’re a robot attempting to convey a sober, rehearsed speech. When they sing to Him, they mostly sound like a religious, passionless choir.

How different would we live our Christian life if Jesus were physically beside us? How would our prayers sound? What would our worship be like? Oh, that God would awaken a real passion for Jesus in our nation! That our generation would act like we truly know the resurrected Man, walking by the Spirit into a true revelation of Jesus’ personhood.

The truth is Jesus is a real living Man. He isn’t dead. He isn’t invisible. He isn’t a spirit or a ghost. He isn’t everywhere at all times. Rather, He’s knowable, personal, and real. When He was raised from the dead, He came back as a man—an immortal man to be sure, but still a real man. The disciples knew a Man, not a teaching. They talked to a person, not to a silent ceiling. They followed a king, not moral principles. They were with Him, not attending His club on the weekends. Their passion was connected to their encounters with Jesus. Does our generation have a vision for that?

Jesus is the same Man today. The glorious truth is that we can know and encounter Him through the Holy Spirit and the Word of God in a similar way that the disciples did. We were made for it!

Do you know a teen or young person who needs a fresh encounter with Jesus?

This summer, the International House of Prayer offers Awakening Teen Camps (ATC) for junior high and high school students, and Signs & Wonders Camps for ages 4–12. Learn more about what could be a life-transforming summer for your child or teen at and/or Registration is open now!

Isaac Bennett


  • Lead Pastor, Forerunner Church

Isaac and his wife, Morgan, are full-time intercessory missionaries who serve at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri. They have five children. Isaac is the lead pastor at Forerunner Church and an instructor at the International House of Prayer University. The Bennetts’ heart is to see day-and-night prayer established across the earth and the next generation called into wholehearted love for Jesus.

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