504 Java Profile

504 Java Profile
Two of my favorite things

Sunday, April 17, 2011

On Preaching a Revival


I am preaching my first “revival” ever, though I have preached hundreds of camps, conferences, and Disciple Now weekends. I have preached as a staff member, an interim pastor, and a seminary professor. Preaching opportunities number in the thousands, but I have never preached a “revival” (and in 2011, I have two of them on my calendar!).

I have never thought of myself as an evangelist. When asked or tested concerning spiritual gifts, I test as a teacher, an encourager, or a counselor. I have never even tested as a prophet (so I am a “non-prophet organization”). But now I am preaching a revival.

Assuming that my friend who invited me to his church–much trust involved there–was dialed into what God wanted him to do, I assume that God is growing me in this way. By the way, an enormous amount of prayer and preparation has gone into this revival. The church has large canvas-like frames in the sanctuary where for weeks, people have written prayer requests and statements of adoration as they have personally and corporately prepared their hearts for God’s Spirit to move in their church.

So I have to turn to the meaning of revival. Old school, it was a series of meetings designed to allow church members to do some evaluating as to their spiritual condition and to allow neighbors and friends to hear the Good News that Jesus Christ is God’s Son and Savior, Forgiver of Sins and Healer of Lives. Such a description seemed to me a good goal for me to think and pray towards.

I have chosen to look at four stories of lives that were changed as Jesus ministered publicly. In these four messages, I have tried to weave continuous narrative that would capture the essence of His mission as he moved toward the culmination of His earthly ministry--Passion Week. , For three years, He was intentionally and deliberately moving towards Jerusalem and Crucifixion (Palm Sunday) and in a plan that was completely and radically God’s–to Resurrection and Ascension, accompanied by the announcement of the Holy Spirit.

In John 15:26-27, Jesus said, "When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.

So revival is simply allowing the promised Counselor to penetrate our hearts with the message of the Gospel and the Christian life. It is a time out from schedules to include a focus on Jesus during what would ordinarily be a work week. It is an opportunity for preachers, teachers, deacons, committee folk, moms, dads, teenagers, college students, children, builder, baker, candlestick maker–to stop, breathe and allow God to speak into our lives.

With God’s help, maybe I can do that.

The Outline of the Messages is as follows
• Sunday morning: Zaccheus the Curious Convert (Luke 19)
• Sunday night: Matthew the “All In” Tax Collector (Luke 5)
• Monday: Four Friends and a Mobility Challenged Individual (Luke 5)
• Tuesday: What do You Want From Jesus? (Luke 18)

Pray for the good people in Carthage, Texas and what might happen here.

1 comment:

  1. Praying for you Allen as you preach this revival.