School of Revival, or, Come Drink With Me.

Hello Friends! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. My apologies. With the combination of Covid-19 and my co-Pastor retiring, it’s taken me a while to find my new rhythm(s). I appreciate your prayers and your patience. So, how have you been? I’m not sure any of us, no matter what our circumstances, can fully say we have found our new “normal”, but we all move ahead, consciously dependent upon and joyful in our good God. This post will be somewhat brief, but I’m trying to play a little bit of “catch up” in getting the word out for a new venture I am launching here at the church. I call it the “School of Revival”. So, you might be asking, “what is this “School of Revival? (SOR)” I’m glad you asked! If you are familiar with our church, we have a monthly prayer meeting. That monthly prayer meeting, which typically met the last Sunday of each month, is being replaced by the SOR. In the SOR we will certainly be praying, focusing mostly on, you guessed it, praying for revival. I realize in today’s culture, even in many churches, prayer meetings alone, not to even mention praying for “revival” sounds a bit antiquated. Because I intend to keep this post brief, I will not explain fully explain what I mean by “revival” here. You will just have to come to our SOR to find out! Here are the dates, with the first one coming up soon: October 11, 25, November 8, 22, December 13, January 10, 24, February 28th, March 14, 28, April 11, 25, May 16, 20. As mentioned, while I will not go into great explanation in this blog of what I mean by “revival”, a definition from Ray Ortlund Jr.’s book, “When God Comes to Church” is one that guides my understanding. Here it is: “REVIVAL is a season in the life of the church when God causes the normal ministry of the gospel to surge forward with extraordinary power.” (p.9). I must be frank. I am tired of the church languishing, or, maintaining, or, just holding on. I suppose an attender or a Pastor of a large church might take exception to this. “Hey, our church is exploding/growing like crazy”. If that’s the case, I am truly thankful for you and for the move of God where you are at, but, I would say, you are the exception. Also, while there are certainly churches in America that are growing by conversion growth, they are rare. Most churches are “growing” by the shuffling of the sheep. I won’t defend or explain this statement, but if you are curious, and/or want data/stats to back this statement up, email me. I’d be glad to to comply with your request. So, yes, I happily pastor a small church. I am thankful for the saints here. You have much to be commended for. There is nothing wrong with being a “small” church. As you may know, we will always do many things better than what a large church is able to effectively do. That said, I still want us to grow. Numerically, yes, depth-wise in discipleship, certainly. While I see some of this at the flock I serve, overall, numerically speaking, we have just been maintaining at best. It’s hard to continue the depth of relationships/ministries we do have here, if the breadth (the numbers) are not growing as well. We have lots of good people here. Good teaching, godly and skilled worship leaders, and, we have a clear commitment to the Gospel, but I long for the “normal ministry of the gospel to surge forward with extraordinary spiritual power.” And finally, this opening up of the SOR is not about just keeping the doors open to the church. I have little interest in that. This is about a hunger and a thirst to see God do some things that only He can do. I’ve been praying for, working toward this kind of season for years. Reader, do you LONG for this too? Or, are you content to coast? If you are like me, and have a growing longing to experience more of God, to abide in Him like never before, so much fruit is borne in and through us, then I invite you to come drink with me (Ps.42:1) at our SOR. Oct.11, 6 p.m. is our first gathering. Come! Finally, to encourage you to “drink with me“, I give you the following link to the One Cry” website. Go to where it says, “Downloadable Resources” and then click the “Draw a Circle” resource. It’s a good place to start. I have found this website to be very helpful in stirring my own heart toward revival. I’ll see you at School!