DALLAS — Evangelist Nick Hall urged hundreds gathered at the Cotton Bowl in downtown Dallas for the Together ‘22 evangelistic event to truly "see" those around them and "go out there and listen, go out there and love" in an increasingly polarized society.
Together ‘22 saw hundreds of people come out to Fair Park for the revival event aimed at marking 50 years since Billy Graham hosted Explo ‘72 in the very same venue. That event drew upwards of 150,000 people to the stadium in what later became known as one of the largest religious gatherings ever.
While Together '22 fell far short of drawing those types of numbers, Hall greeted those in attendance with an acknowledgment of the unpleasant weather.
“You think it’s hot in Texas? We’re about to bring the fire back home, are you with me?” said the evangelist. “We out here in 98-degree heat because we love Jesus!”
Hall also reminded the crowd to reassess their priorities, especially with so many distractions in today's culture.
“The most important thing to tell people about Jesus is to make a priority to listen, to slow down and see people around you," he said. “The greatest thing we can do as evangelists is go out there and listen, go out there and love."
Along with a series of evangelistic training sessions, the multi-day event culminated this weekend with musical performances from Jeremy Camp, Chris Tomlin, Lecrae and other Christian music artists.
Several guest speakers shared words of encouragement and evangelism with the crowd, including prerecorded messages from David Platt and Francis Chan, and a live appearance from apologist Josh McDowell, who shared a message on doubt.
McDowell urged the crowd to “not only know what you believe, know why you believe it.”
"I don't think I ever had doubts about the deity of Christ, the resurrection and the scriptures,” he said. “Now doubt is not saying I don't understand it, and a lot of times, I don't get it. But deep down in, I know it was true but I couldn't understand why it was true.
“But eventually I did."
Dallas Jenkins, the creator of the hit streamer “The Chosen,” called on attendees to stop worrying about figuring it all out and just start with what they have in front of them.
“It’s not your job to figure out how to feed the 5,000,” said Jenkins. “Your job is to just provide the loaves and fishes.”
Friday’s slate of events started within minutes of the Supreme Court overruling its landmark 1973 decision of Roe v. Wade, concluding that there is no constitutional right to an abortion.
In the decision released June 24 in the case of Thomas Dobbs, et. al. v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the high court ruled 6-3 to uphold Mississippi’s Gestational Age Act, which bans most abortions after 15 weeks into a pregnancy.
While there was no official response to the ruling from onstage, Hall issued a statement through a spokesperson challenging the church to step up in the social issues that will come as a result of the landmark decision.
“We may be pro-life, but are we pro-living?” Hall said.
Still, many who showed up to the Cotton Bowl were unfazed by the heat or the ruling.
“The non-stop worship and Gospel was amazing,” said 16-year-old Brooke Watkins. “I got to meet so many new people and hear my favorite artists.”
“God opened my eyes to a whole different perspective of life these past two days through praying with strangers, listening to such powerful sermons, listening to worship music and many more things,” student Chloey Carroll said.
Hall is best known for organizing the Together ‘16 event, which drew nearly half a million people to Washington, D.C., and featured various artists and ministers who addressed the vast crowd, commissioning the next generation to unite under the banner of Jesus.