“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Proverbs 29:18
Now that you feel led to have a revival service at your church, what should your first step be? Your first, and last, step should always be prayer for guidance. But, guidance to what? Before determining a schedule for the revival, or deciding who will preach the revival, you should seek God’s guidance for the goal of your revival. If your end goal in having a revival is simply to have a revival, you will more than likely not have a very successful revival. Your church needs to know what the goal of the revival is. Why are you having a revival? The first step in planning a successful revival should be determining the end goal of the revival. Once the end goal of the revival is determined, all other plans and preparations should be made with that goal in mind.
There are basically two types of revivals. One goal for a church revival is to focus on the lost and unchurched of the community. The end goal here is to use the revival as an evangelistic outreach. Prior to this revival, the church will put forth a strong effort to invite and bring in as many lost and unchurched people within the community as they can. In the time of preparation, the church will gather prospect and prayer lists of those of whom they desire to see saved and make an intentional effort to draw them in. This is an evangelistic revival. Since an evangelist is called and uniquely gifted for evangelism, an evangelist should be used for this type of revival.
Unfortunately, an increasing number of church members have little to no burden for the lost and will, therefore, put forth no effort to reach or invite the lost to come hear the gospel. A church that is plagued with this problem desperately needs a revival among their ranks. They need a church focused revival that calls them into repentance and renewal. A church with no passion for the lost is a dead church that needs to be called back to life. Once they repent, revival will come, and they will become the evangelistic church God has called them to be.
The planning of this revival will take many weeks of the pastor presenting the need for revival before the actual revival. The pastor should not only present the need for revival but present the consequences of not having a true revival. This type of revival will confront many years, and probably decades, of deep seeded disobedience, that’s led to deeply rooted callousness within the church. Therefore, this type of revival will require hearts being poured out to God in intercessory prayer.
The preaching in this type of revival should be focused on repentance, renewal, and rededication. That being said, there should still be a strong presentation of the gospel. No doubt, this type of church will have an abundance of lost people that regularly attend. At the same time, Christians being confronted with the gospel reminds them of who they are and where they’ve come from, which should produce a heart of repentance and renewal. The preaching of the gospel will also stir up a heart for evangelism within the Christian who’s been revived. They may even begin inviting their lost friends and family members before the week of revival is over.
Most pastors and churches desire both types of revival as their end goal, and rightly so. They desire to see the lost saved and the saved revived. The end goal might lean a bit more to seeing the lost saved or seeing the church revived, but they desire to see both take place. But again, the church needs to be abundantly aware that this is the end goal. Again, planning a revival just for the sake of planning a revival is planning to fail. Before all else, determine your end goal, clearly and constantly present your end goal to the church weeks before the revival, and plan and prepare accordingly. In future blogs, I will discuss in more detail the planning process.
Once the end goal has been determined you will prayerfully seek who God will have you invite to preach and who will lead the music. As soon as this has been determined, the end goal of your revival should be clearly communicated to this ministry team. Then actively pray for the ministry team that God would use them to bring about this end goal.
Evangelist, Rusty Kuhn