I’ve heard, “Revival meetings are a thing of the past. People don’t even come back on Sunday night, and they certainly won’t come to a four-day meeting.” So, why would I leave a healthy church, a great staff, a wonderful community of people, and a steady paycheck? Obedience. Stacey and I stepped into this ministry with one conviction – this is what obedience to God looks like for us.
God called me out of the pastorate to be an evangelist. I sought confirmation through prayer, Scripture, and godly counsel. I didn’t do it in response to the trends of the day but in response to the call of God. He is still calling me to serve the local church, just in a different capacity.
I believe that in order for the church to be truly burdened for those outside of Christ, we must first become sensitive to and burdened by our own sinfulness. People need to reach a moment of decision in their relationship with Jesus. We need to be challenged to intentionally take up the cross of Christ daily. My fear is that we have let the response of the world determine the effectiveness of God’s work. We have contextualized and marginalized Scripture so much that we’ve neutralized its impact, leading to the current decline in church attendance and evangelism.
If you’re considering holding a revival meeting, let me encourage you with two thoughts:
First, pray with anticipation for those outside of Christ to be saved and for Christians to live in obedience to Him. We’re not asking God for something He doesn’t want to do. The question is, “Do we want what He wants?” Remember, God changes obstacles into opportunities and anxieties to anticipation through prayer.
Next, go with the goers. We can become so preoccupied with the people who aren’t coming that we neglect the ones who are. Just because certain people don’t come to a worship service or revival meeting doesn’t mean that God won’t show up! Here is what I’ve found to be true: someone will be deeply impacted by a move of God in his or her life when you prepare in expectation and then let God handle His work.