I’m excited to introduce our Revive readers to the new president of our Life Action Division, John Avant. While I remain in my role as Executive Director for our overall ministry family, you’ll be hearing more and more from John as you interface with Life Action, particularly in our outreaches to churches and pastors. So before we jump into this issue of Revive, I thought I’d let John introduce himself and share a little of his heart for revival:
My connection with Life Action dates back to 1995, when I was pastoring an amazing church in Brownwood, Texas. Our church had experienced a gracious outpouring of revival that spilled over to several other churches and into the community. (I tell the story of that revival movement in a book I wrote with Alvin Reid, Revival Revived.) Our church family and our lives personally were then greatly impacted by the ministry of a Life Action team in our church.
Over the years, as I continued in pastoral ministry, God kept the embers of revival burning in my heart. I long to see the people of God living with holy passion, seeking God’s glory, and being salt and light in a world that is quickly moving toward functional—if not outright—atheism. We need revival. We need Jesus!
The revival in Brownwood occurred twenty-three years ago, and it bears fruit to this day. There is no expiration date on any work of God. While the intensity may ebb and flow, real revival tarries. The transformation of lives, the sanctifying of God’s people, goes on. The changes God brings about in genuine revival are lasting and real. I, for one, can never be the same again. What God began in my heart in 1995 has marked me, and it always will.
With that as a backdrop, my wife, Donna, and I have been thrilled to start engaging with the Life Action family—getting to know the staff, dreaming about the future, learning about the amazing platform God has given this ministry. We are excited that so many here at Life Action have responded to God’s call with an enthusiastic YES to Him.
As we join them, we intend to help forward that call far and wide, perhaps even in your church. That’s what revival is all about, isn’t it? One more person saying yes to the life Jesus died to provide? One more church humbling itself under the mighty hand of God, then seeing the supernatural power of God at work? One more person putting his or her life into action for the kingdom?
We’re so excited to be here, and we’re praying with great expectation about all that God will do in the years ahead.
You can see why we’re so glad John and Donna have joined our ministry family. In future issues of Revive, you’ll hear more from both of them!
Our Single Focus
Our editorial team started planning this issue of Revive quite some time ago, even before our previous issue on marriage (“Becoming One”) was released in late 2017. They sensed, as do I, that although marriage rightly deserves focus in our churches, singles are often neglected, or even pigeon-holed in various ways. Yet we know from Scripture that God uses singles in amazing ways—including Jesus and the apostle Paul! That’s why we decided to dedicate an entire issue to exploring a biblical view of singleness in the church.
What if singles are an important factor in the church fulfilling its global mission? What if singles are key to the revival we are praying for in this generation? And what if, rather than a “waiting period,” singlehood is seen as an opportunity—both to grow in intimacy with the Lord and to boldly strike out on mission for His glory?
John Avant is the president of the Life Action Division of Life Action Ministries.
Byron Paulus is the Executive Director / CEO of Life Action Ministries.