These are encouraging days. We are actually seeing God send a measure of revival in America, not just overseas! This is the beginning of what we have prayed for.
But the movement of God has not yet spread rapidly in local churches. It is mostly being experienced on campuses. What are we to think about this?
I wonder how we would answer this question: “What matters most to you in your church these days?”
Would it be good preaching? Great worship? Close fellowship? I believe all of these are the wrong answer! They are all important, but they’re not the most important thing in any church right now.
The most important thing in every church right now is to experience the revival movement that is happening, mostly among students.
Student revival movements are notoriously short-lived. I came to understand that in 1995. In January, revival began at our church in Brownwood, Texas. In February, it began at Howard Payne University. Four months later, all the students went home for the summer. Many of the leaders of the movement graduated. God still worked the next year, but it wasn’t the same.
This is normal and natural. But hopefully 25% of your church doesn’t go away every year, never to return! The key to long-lasting revival in this nation, and really the key to the future of our nation, is revival in the local church in America right now.
But I am astonished at how little I’m hearing from American Christian leaders about this right now. Do we think that everything is okay with the American church? Or do we think there’s another way for it to change? Maybe the right person will finally lead your denomination, or maybe a new pastor will save the day for you?
That seems to be what most American Christians believe. Just look at social media. The topics include the latest denominational conflict, the latest interpersonal wars, even the latest lawsuits among Christians, who apparently don’t believe the Scriptures anymore (1 Corinthians 6:1-11).
I really don’t mean to be negative. But our only hope is what God can do, not what man can do. “Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19-20 ESV).
This is truly a desperate moment of opportunity. If we miss this chance, why would God give us another? Aren’t we deserving of His final judgment in this country? And doesn’t judgment start with the house of God?
We—you—can lead the way in helping churches join this fresh movement. Life Action has pursued this for 52 years, and we have identified six biblical responses to God that historically have been the precursors to revival.
Over the coming weeks, I’m going to write about how revival can come to a church. And to your heart. God is speaking an encouraging word of revival to His people right now. Let’s join Him!
I agree that revival is the most important thing the church needs right now. The bride is definitely not ready for her groom. However, I disagree that these are encouraging days. The evil darkness in America is engulfing the nation, and it is getting darker. The “revival” at Asbury seems to be a move of God. But can we call it a revival? Yes, it has spread to other campuses, but some of the aspects of it are questionable (LGBT students saying how great it was without repentance, the lack of deep biblical preaching, and the preponderance of emotion over substance). I’ve studied revival over the last 25 years and have written on it and preached and taught about it often. My prayer is that a move of God would sweep the nation, such that people wouldn’t have to go to the venue where God initiates it in order to “bring it back” to their home church or campus. I pray that the revival fire would be in every church and school in every city and town in America. And, I draw the circle around myself and pray that it starts with me.
Good read Brother John! Thank you.