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Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by SaggyWoman, May 23, 2008.
Why does your church have (or not have) revival services?
My pastor schedules a revival in the fall. He does so because he believes they are fruitful for our church. I have never had a pastor who didn't.
That said, I wish we could come up with an alternative to calling them "revivals." If we actually have one, then call it a revival after the fact.
Call it a conference or something. I wonder if the idea of scheduled revival came out of the fiinneyist movement, since he believed that revival was the product of the preacher. Hence, any time a certain preacher comes to town, revival is assured. Of course, as soon as that certain preacher leaves town, the revival is over - so it wasn't really a revival.
I was talking to a pastor in WV (I wont mention he was ABC) and asked him when his church was going to have a revival. He told me that he would never have a revival again, because the last time he did, the church voted him out and hired the evangelist!
PS, yes, this is a true story:saint:
We schedule meetings every year. Then we pray as much as we can for God to bring revival.
I think I've only seen real revival in a church once, maybe twice. But I sill feel like we have to do all we can to prepare. Whether or not real revival comes is really up to God.
(Just someone was wondering :laugh: )
I only schedule one when I feel God leading me to do so...
Sometimes it is called a revival.. sometimes a conference... Sometimes just called "church" ... Hey theres a novel idea! Actually call it what God does!
Depending on the desired outcome
I've been to enough pre-revival prayer meetings to fill a barrel. If a church is going to schedule one, I'm all for praying as hard as we can for the Lord to move among us.
But, why do we have to wait until the fall, or whenever? Why can't we pray as hard for God to move this Sunday? And the next Sunday? And the next?
Why is a coming revival worthy of intense prayer and outreach effort, and the coming Sunday services are not?
Good point. A "Meeting" (of any length) does not equal "Revival".
You don't think the church members have anything to do with it?? BTW, I cannot think of any "real revivals" that were "scheduled", in my experience, which I grant, is limited.
Incidentally, we occasionally schedule meetings these days, for one purpose or another. However, thankfully, we have basically been too busy having revival, lately, to find the time to 'schedule' one.
(It seems to have happened again. I wrote a reply, but it doesn't seem to have appeared on the thread, so here goes again):
Certainly we must pray for revival, but how ever can anyone "schedule a revival"? Or did you mean that your pastor schedules a meeting to pray specifically for revival?
In America, particularly in the Southern US, "scheduling a revival" means scheduling a series of church services and calling it a revival. It's basically shorthand.
It is also not uncommon to have a gathering for the specific purpose of praying that God would pour out revival on us during those scheduled services. Sometimes we'll gather at the church building. At other times we'll have those meetings in the home of members. They used to be called "cottage prayer meetings."
Sometimes God would actually pour out his Spirit on such services, and they would continue for extended periods. Up until a few years ago, they would typically be scheduled to last a couple of weeks, with a full-time evangelist coming in to preach. Lately however, most Baptist churches in my area of Kentucky schedule 3-day or 4-day services (Wednesday through Sunday or Sunday through Wednesday).
Typically in rural areas, revivals would be scheduled twice a year: In the spring before spring planting got into full swring; and in the fall after the crops were haravested.
As a church musician I've participated in many revival services, but not many revivals. I want to see a rievival that is poured out, not worked up.
Thanks for your patience and explanation, Tom.
At our church, all members show up for two services; revivals, and Christmas. I see a lot of people I never see any other time of the year. Church members go out in full force door to door to remind people there is a revival coming up. Usually there is a potluck lunch afterwards.
You made a good point about Sundays.
Not abcgrad94, she's my wife. :laugh:
David, as you can see from the posts, much of what we do regarding revival services, even the very terms that we use, are what Southern Baptists, and most other types of Baptists in the Southern US, have done for 100 years. It's all we know. It is consistent with the pragmatic approach perfected by Presbyterian preacher Charles Finney. Blend in a few Baptist adaptations and you have the old-fashioned Southern Revivalism. We're so used to doing it this way, we foreget that Brits like you, and even Baptists in other parts of the US, have a different perspective.
It's a simple formula: Schedule a revival, invite a full-time evangelist in to preach, advertise heavily, get a crowd by promoting "Pack the Pew" night, "Bring a Friend" night, with a big youth Pizza Party one night. Secure commitments by having your folks sigh a slip of paper, pledging to come to every service, make those slips into paper chains and put of a big sign that says, "Don't Break the Chain." Years ago, you could get the local high school to invite your evangelist to speak at a school assembly, or come out to football practice to witness to the players. Sometimes you can get your evangelist on the local stations to do interiviews. Promote, promote, promote.
Then, after you've done all you can, then it's time for those cottage prayer meetings--urging your folks to attend one of the several spread out over the city and county.
It sounds as if I'm making fun, but I'm not. I've seen God at work during revivals. But there is a danger in thinking that God showed up because of all the preparatory work WE did.
I've seen one American evangelist's multi-page book of instructions where he laid out all the preparatory things to do, and practically guaranteed that souls would be saved if we followed his formula.
I wonder what would happen if we simply humble ourselves, criy out to God for revival, and seek his face regarding our next service, not just a coming series of services. And doing nothing more than what we ought to routinely doing--witnessing to those whom God brings across our paths; inviting folks to our services; ministering to those in need, studying the scriptures and hearing them preached; and having sweet fellowship with the saints of my congregation.
Shoot, that would be revival in itself.