Nick Hall, founder and chief communicator for Pulse, a millennial-led ministry of prayer and faith outreach, is in his 30s. Yet already he’s shared the Good News of the Gospel with more than five million people during hundreds of events around the world.
And to speak to him one-on-one is to hear the fervent hope and deep aspirations of this Christian leader to reach even more people—young people, especially—with the Word of God and the promise of Christ.
“These have been very difficult days. Almost everyone on earth has struggles and trials, and has experienced challenge and pain,” he told Christian News Journal in a phone interview. He was addressing the larger context of recent mass shootings in America—including in the Minneapolis area, where he is based—plus the lockdowns, isolation, and restrictions across the country over the past year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“But I love how the Bible suggests to us that in times such as these, we need Solid Rock,” said Hall. “We need the Lamp to show us the way. It is the only way to stay oriented and connected to God, and to make sure we have an intimacy with the spirit of God. We need connection with the Father and with the heart of God. That is our North Star.”
Hall spoke about his own personal relationship with God, as well as the fact that each of us “needs others in our lives.” Communion with others helps our faith grow and flourish as well.
We need to stay connected with others we care about by reaching out to them in whatever way we can, he noted—“by picking up the phone,” by talking with people, being with people, interacting with other humans on a regular basis. “We’re not made to be isolated from other people,” he stressed. We need community.
Given the enormous difficulties so many people are enduring, Hall explained that this current time “could be the greatest moment for the Church. This is a time when our light can shine the brightest” as people of faith, he said—toward both “our neighbor and our enemy,” and toward those who are like us and unlike us.
“I believe we are living in the greatest evangelistic opportunity of our lifetime,” he said. “That is what is happening right now. For those who can find their foundation and recommit to where faith and hope actually come together, I feel our light has never been brighter.”
Hall shared a poignant experience that both strengthened and tested his own faith. “I would say that the year 2020 for me—and even before that, in 2019—these were really the dark nights of the soul in my life,” he said. He lost his first close friend—his older sister—to cancer last year.
As he wrote in a Fox News op-ed in April 2020 about the wrenching loss, “My sister was diagnosed with cancer seven months ago. Six months later, she passed away. Her illness and death were devastating. I had many moments where I was angry with God for taking her too soon. I still miss my sister terribly and I always will.”
But he added that in his grief, “I have begun to understand that God does not condemn us for our feelings or our questions—or even for being angry at Him. I believe God sometimes uses our suffering to show us where our hope is and where it should actually be.”
As he told CNJ, “I can share [this story] today because my sister, and that experience, really changed me forever. I was brought face-to-face with what I believe. Do I believe heaven is better? Do I believe that God is in control when things are out of my control? I would say that the faith I saw in my sister, and her trials, and then the faith that was served up in me to honor Jesus and wanting to share Jesus and His message with others—this was a life-defining experience for me. And it has impacted me greatly in terms of my wanting to share the Gospel with others.”
Because of those tragedies, Hall said, and because he’s been able to share them, many more people have discovered their own faith and their own path to God.
He emphasized that God finds us where we are, even if we’re feeling angry at Him for trials and troubles in our lives. “The Bible doesn’t condemn us for our feelings. If we feel angry at God, it’s a normal response to the brokenness around us. God welcomes us to come to Him as we are.”
And often it is through the hard times, he added, in those times of pain and anguish and heartache—experiences that we were not planning—that we find a transformation of faith.
“It wasn’t God’s plan to heal her and keep her here,” he said of his sister. “It was God’s plan to heal her in a different way—and to bring her home to Him.” When we fully embrace our faith, and trust in God, we come to understand that He is in charge—that He has a larger purpose.
“When the trials come, that is when your faith is defined,” he said. “That’s when it’s loudest … Faith and belief in God are the distinguishing marks of the Christian.”
Hall is president and CEO of The Table Coalition; he also sits on the board of the National Association of Evangelicals. He and his wife, Tiffany, have three children. He is the author of Reset: Jesus Changes Everything (Multnomah, 2016).
Hall has a degree in business administration, as well as a master’s in leadership and Christian thought from Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota.
His founding of Pulse sprang from a paper he wrote for an English class during his college years. “We were praying for revival on our campus,” he has said earlier. “There was substance abuse. There was all kinds of brokenness, and I wrote this paper that was a vision of seeing God move. But in essence, it was taking the model of Billy Graham … and it was adapting it to say, ‘What does it look like to reach an 18-year-old kid, a millennial? So that’s kind of how we started.”
In today’s hard times, Hall told CNJ, he’s seen more people question what’s around them—and yearn to seek God. “There is a spiritual hunger today. There are issues of loneliness, of mental health—and this is all around the world. [It’s because of] politics, the economy … People are asking now what we all should be asking all the time: What actually matters?”
He said he’s seen tremendous growth in terms of those reaching out for spiritual fulfillment and a deeper faith in God.
“We all pray for revival. We all pray for change … But in the very toughest of times, all you have is God. And as believers, we say to ourselves: Is Jesus my treasure?”
People of deep faith—people like Nick Hall—know the answer to that.
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—Maureen Mackey is a writer, editor, web content executive, and regular contributor to Christian News Journal.