History reminds us that Christianity spread across the United States largely through revivals. However, today very few Christians grow up attending the consecutive nights of “extra” worship services called “revival week.”
Can I be honest for a moment? I understand why many churches have chosen to eliminate these extra worship services and events from their church calendars. Americans are busier now than at any other point in history, our time is already committed, and many of the extra services we have attended do not respect our time (or show love to the childcare volunteers for that matter). I believe all these hesitations are valid, but after hosting a revival and speaking at one this month, I am convinced that we should not give up on these services just yet. I believe they can still be an effective instrument used by God to bring an awakening to His people.
Here are three reasons I’m convinced our calendars need revival weeks.
1. Our Churches Need Reviving
Studies show that over 80% of churches in America are plateaued or declining. This being true, odds are your church is likely in this category. However, this doesn’t mean it’s time for mourning or despair. This means it is time for us to be revive our understanding of the situation. The truth is our churches do not need better programs or events…our churches need an awakening to the good news of Jesus Christ and His mission. Of course, better events and programming can put a band-aid on the situation, but the results will be short lived. It is only the Gospel that will truly sustain us long term and make lasting change.
A revival week can be a great way to remind the Church of its mission and purpose.
2. Our Church Members Need A Revived Focus
Often times when Christians come to the table and begin to discuss the need for an awakening they focus outwardly. We highlight the brokenness, sin, and the latest headlines in the newspaper. The problem with this focus is that revival never begins “out there”; it always begins “in here.” The focus must be on God doing a work “in us” so that it can be transferred to those around us.
A revival week is a great way for the Church to remember that change must begin in us.
3. Our Communities Need Revived Churches
Daily I’m confronted with the reality that life is difficult. People are trying their best to get through life and face its challenges, but doing so without the hope, love and forgiveness of Jesus. How different would it be for communities if the followers of Jesus lived as a witness of God’s love by caring and serving their neighbors?
If your church closed its doors, never to reopen, would your community notice? If your church revived the mission to Love God, Love People, and Serve Both – they would.
I pray that this helps you grow in your love for Jesus Christ and His Mission. (Luke 19:10)