Thursday, December 5, 2013

Can Your Church Be Revived?

Scratching the Surface



(A Brief and Incomplete Guide to Revival’s Recipe/Results)

While there are many exemplary examinations/explanations of revival’s recipe and results – how it happens and what happens when churches really get it/Him and the trickles turn into rivers of living water – with Bob Griffin’s Firestorms of Revival among the most comprehensive, I’ve been observing the accelerating revival on the corner of Lincoln and Main in Belvidere, Illinois and see seven ingredients that have enabled/encouraged Actsual results of increasing reconciliations with Him and His along with increasing emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and physical signs, wonders, and miracles:

1. Worship – We’ve thrown away stopwatches/clocks and ignored people who wanna limit our praise, proclamation, prayers, sacraments, and ordinances to 59 minutes and 59 seconds.  We’re increasingly Selahed about worship – pausing and pondering and taking the time for Him to sink in as we soak in His glory.  Whoa!  Sounds Pentecostal!  Absolutely!  We want to worship!  We want to experience/express Him!  We’ve abandoned the hypocrisies and insults to God of going through the motions of meaningless liturgies for something/Someone who really wants our existential and eternal wholeness, happiness, health, joy, and security.  Of course, it’s more than that; and if you haven’t already experienced/expressed it/Him, ain’t no way for me to…

2. Word – It’s all about Jesus by the book!!!  We pray and labor to honor the Father and move with the Holy Spirit as personified in Jesus and prescribed in the Bible.  Our highest goal, greatest ambition, and most fervent prayer is to let go of the church and let Him have it; or as we like to say, “We’ve gotta get out of the way so we can go with His flow!”

3. Witness – We talk about Jesus by name with enthusiasm and without equivocation as our Lord and Savior and have an increasing passion to invite, welcome, include, and agape everyone to get it/Him!

4. Rebirths – Regardless of age or gender or who or what or when or why, more and more and more folks – longstanding members who knew something about Him but didn’t know Him in a personal kinda way and newcomers and whoevers – are experiencing an emotional, intellectual, and spiritual regeneration that feels like being born all over again in a John 3 kinda way.

5. Renewals – There’s a refreshing and restoring passion for Jesus enabled/encouraged by worship and Word mentioned above sweeping through the family on the corner of Lincoln and Main.  It’s contagious!

6. Recruits – Along with family members who’ve come alive in Jesus for the first time or have experienced a reinvigorated relationship with Him, we’re welcoming, including, and agapeing new family members who are hungry and thirsty for Jesus by the book from churches that don’t know Him by the book along with sisters and brothers getting to know Him for the first time or again or…

7. Removals – Simply, some folks in some churches gotta go before they can grow!  Additions often follow subtractions in churches with unchecked miscreants, control freaks, idolaters, apostates, contradictions to 1 Corinthians 13, and the like.  Go to Matthew 15, 16, 18, 23, Luke 18:9-14, Romans 16:17ff., Titus 3:10-11, and other related texts for more on that.

Getting back to letting go and letting Him lead the family of faith by His Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus as explained in Holy Scripture, it’s time for dying/troubled churches to recognize they have exhausted all of the wrong answers in addressing their problems, confusions, and decline.


Maybe that’s why our Lord is driving so many of ‘em to their knees.

That’s how every revival begins.


Blessings and Love!


Jim said...

God's got something going on on the corner!

My take on why so many churches never experience revival? Well, you can't RE-vive something that was never, if you'll permit, VIVVED (alive) in the first place.

Fortunately, God can raise up children of Abraham, not to mention praise, from stones.

Perhaps an 8th point might be that revival happens when, and where, God chooses, and He chooses where he finds so much as one heart refusing to settle for anything less than the power and truth of his presence. So a cornfield or a kitchen can be, as likely a place for revival to start as a sanctuary (often more likely than your typical clock watching, worship by rote, God on our terms sanctuary).

Ella Jane said...

This is so powerful!!! You are positioned for the latter and former rain outpouring!! That's my heart!

Robert said...

Hey, Dr. Bob,
1. Yeah, Forks people initially protested when we went past 1 hour, 1 minute to include hymn medlies, jr. sermon, testimony time, etc. AND I wanted to throw out the weekly Gloria Patri & Apostles' Creed and just use them in a more meaningful, irregular way.
2. And I remember when one Bethany guy told me, "Evangelism [witness] is your job, Bob; that's what we pay you for." [Sorry to end with preposition!]