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Revival’s Coming, Let’s Make Sure Everyone Knows

Revival’s Coming, Let’s Make Sure Everyone Knows

I can’t tell you how many times throughout the years I’ve heard a church member say that they knew nothing about an upcoming event within the church though it’s been in the bulletin for weeks. Therefore, we can’t assume everyone, or anyone, knows about an upcoming event, though it’s been clearly posted. A church revival is one of the most important events of the year. You want it to be well attended by the church members, and, you want the church members to invite others to come. Therefore, it is vitally important that you do the best possible job you can in making sure everyone knows about it. 

            By all means, put it in the bulletin, for those who actually read it, yet, at the same time, find some other ways to make sure word is getting out. A month or so before the revival, start putting inserts in the bulletin with detailed information about the revival. Tell the church members to put it somewhere that they will see it regularly and encourage them to use it as a prayer guide. Make extra’s and encourage the members to use them to invite others.

            No one likes endless announcements in a worship service, so be creative in getting the word out during the service. Find people who have been saved or spiritually impacted during a previous revival service and ask them to share a brief testimony a few weeks before the revival service. This will remind the members of the upcoming revival service but also make them aware of the potential spiritual impact a revival can, and should, have. There should also be strong encouragement during this time for the members to invite lost people to come.

            Prayer is one of the most important ways that we can prepare for a revival. I will discuss in greater detail in a future blog on how we can pray for the revival service and how we can pray for the lost but for now, let me encourage you to have a special time of prayer in the worship service for the revival and for the lost. For a month or so before the revival, begin each service with an altar call and ask the members to spend some time praying for themselves in personal spiritual preparation. During the invitation, encourage members to pray for those they would like to see saved. This not only encourages the members to pray, but it also reminds them that revival is coming, and builds up the anticipation of its coming.  

            Several weeks prior to the revival services, the pastor should start preparing the congregation for revival in his sermons. He should preach on the need of revival, what revival is, the need of evangelistic outreach in inviting the lost, and the need for spiritual preparation. The pastor doesn’t have to make every sermon and every point about the upcoming revival, but he should reference it as often as possible in preparation and anticipation of the upcoming revival.

In doing this, the church will not only be fully aware that revival is coming; they will be ready. In fact, in many cases, revival will have already started before the evangelist steps on the scene.

            It is also wise to get the children involved in revival preparation. Getting them involved will get the whole family involved. Get the children to make invitations and handouts. Get them to make some crafts like signs and posters that can be placed around the church building that will promote the revival. Utilize them in as many ways as you can because they love to help, and their fire will quickly spread to the rest of the church.

            Be creative in getting the word out. Make every effort to make sure everyone knows that revival is coming. Don’t just make them aware of dates but the details, and the potential of what can happen if and when true revival comes.

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2019 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Do Revivals Have to be Sunday-Wednesday?

Do Revivals Have to be Sunday-Wednesday?

As stated in a previous blog, one of the concerns pastors have in scheduling a revival is whether or not people will come. My advice then was to trust God and schedule one anyway. That being said, this is a legitimate concern for many churches. The church today is in competition with almost everything. Like it or not, the church is no longer the center of the community. Regardless of the time of year, there will be something that will prevent some from coming. And, let’s face the facts, far too many put the church and its activities on the back burner. All the more, this should confirm the need for revival and should not allow this to keep us from scheduling a revival.

            If attendance and participation is a concern for you and your church, then start thinking outside the box. Many years ago, most revivals went on for weeks. Apart from a move of God, those days are gone. When I first started preaching revivals, it was common to schedule a revival from Sunday through Friday. Even those are a rarity today. Most revivals today are scheduled from Sunday through Wednesday.

            Though I will discuss other schedules for revival meetings to be considered, don’t discount the Sunday through Wednesday schedule. One of the great advantages of having a Sunday through Wednesday revival is that they seem to produce the most momentum. Each day of the revival, the pastor and evangelist encourage church members to invite others to come, and when the members see God moving, they generally do. Because of this, I have often seen the greatest number of decisions made on Wednesday evenings. Wednesday evening is also the night the majority of youth come and is a very effective time for reaching them. The youth are also the most likely to invite others to come, especially when they are encouraged to do so.

            But know, the Sunday through Wednesday schedule isn’t your only option. Over the years, I have preached many revivals that were scheduled for Friday through Sunday. These seem to be very effective in bringing in lost and unchurched people. Some of my greatest revivals, with the most attendance, and the most decisions, have been Friday through Sunday revivals. This schedule seems to be the most effective among younger families that are usually tied up with daily activities throughout the week. They will often struggle to get home from work, get the kids fed and ready, then rush off to church. This is often a great deterrent in their participation in a revival. So, strongly consider providing a meal on Friday evening and offer a nursery throughout the revival and you will likely see more younger families attend.  

            Another fun and effective way to draw people in is to have a weekend Harvest Festival. In a harvest festival, the church would plan a block party with plenty of activities for all ages on a Saturday. The block party will then end with an evangelistic service. The block party will also be used to invite folks to church the following day for another evangelistic service. This can be a very effective evangelistic strategy whether its schedule is limited to Saturday and Sunday, or amid a Friday through Saturday revival, or used as a kickoff for a Sunday through Wednesday revival. This strategy can be costly and will need many workers but has proven to be very effective. It can also be done with a cluster of churches working together.

            Many churches today have Harvest Sundays. A harvest Sunday is basically a one-day revival where the members work hard at getting as many lost folks to their Sunday morning service as possible where the evangelist will preach the gospel and will often see many saved. The Sunday School and/or discipleship training hour can also be used as a time where the evangelist can teach witness training. This strategy has been used by many churches and has been proven to be effective in seeing many saved. Be warned, though. Because it is only one day don’t think of it as being a means of putting forth the least amount of effort. The same amount of effort, planning, and preparation as a weeklong revival should be put into a Harvest Sunday. If the church members don’t get on board and invite the lost, it won’t be a very effective strategy.

            No doubt, there are many ways we can have and schedule a revival service in our churches so strongly consider having one. Think outside the box. Though no schedule will ever suit everyone, talk to your church members, and ask them what they think would work. Most importantly, pray and seek God for when and how you should have a revival. He may greatly surprise you. God’s way will be the only effective way.

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2019 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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What is Your Goal for Revival?

What is Your Goal for Revival?

“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

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2019 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Revival is an Act of War

Revival is an Act of War

“The Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into our hands.” I Samuel 17:47

Rest assured, the moment a pastor and church decide they are going to have a revival their spiritual adversary, the devil, will do all he can to discourage, distract, divide, and dismantle any effort. Why? Because he knows how powerful a revived church truly is and will do anything to try and stop it. My purpose in making you aware of this is not to cause fear, but for you to be prepared. If you are planning a revival but not planning on thoroughly pray over it and properly plan it, don’t worry, you are of no threat. But when he realizes that your church and pastor are serious about seeking God for revival, watch out, he’s coming with all that he has. Why do you think so many churches no longer bother to have revival services anymore? For them, the adversary has won the battle.  

            The fact that he is attempting to disrupt the planning of the revival service is evidence that he is afraid of what’s to come. Though statistics prove them wrong, the discouragement might come from other pastors telling you, “Why bother with a revival service. Don’t you know those are old fashioned and ineffective in our day?” Don’t listen. The distraction might come straight out of the churches calendar that keeps you and the members so busy that you have little or no time to prepare. Make time. The division might come from the church members themselves grumbling that if you don’t schedule it around their personal preferences, they won’t come nor support it. Schedule it anyway. There will never be a perfect time that will please or work for everyone. Through all of these efforts, and more, the adversary little by little will attempt to dismantle the revival efforts. Don’t let him.  

            We don’t need to fear the advisory. Rather, we need to boldly stand up to him, knowing that God is bigger. We stand up to him by boldly stepping out in faith. The mighty soldiers of Israel stood shaking in their armor when the giant named Goliath challenged them. When David saw this, he knew immediately what needed to happen and took actions. This young boy, with a sling and a rock, boldly stepped out in faith to fight this mighty giant who was fully armed for battle. He probably looked like the greatest fool on the face of the earth to the other soldiers but in no time at all that giant fell dead at David’s feet.

            David didn’t defeat that giant with a sling and a rock. In fact, David didn’t defeat the giant at all. God did. David himself said, “The battle is the Lord’s.” Even their most valiant and mighty soldiers wouldn’t go out to face Goliath. They undoubtedly would have been defeated. But the mighty giant was nothing compared to Almighty God.  

            Step out by faith in your planning and preparing of the revival service. Know that when you do, the advisory will come with a full-frontal attack. But also know that God is stronger. Don’t fight him in your own power. He will destroy you. Fight him with the power of God through faith, prayer, and the Word of God.  

            When revival happens, souls will be saved, and Christians will be strengthened. When revival happens, those newly saved souls will be brought into a healthy church that will walk with them and disciple them to where they will become mature Christians that will win even more souls repeating the process. No, the adversary doesn’t want that to happen-but God does. So, trust Him, knowing that the battle truly is the Lords.

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2019 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Preparing for Revival

Preparing for Revival

“In all labor there is profit,
But mere talk leads only to poverty”

Proverbs 14:23

Over the next few weeks, I am going to share a series of blogs on how to prepare for revival. I will post them on Wednesday mornings. Let me be clear that when I speak of revival, I am speaking of a time of scheduled revival meetings, not the actual act of spiritual revival. The actual act of spiritual revival is an act of God, and God alone. Man cannot bring forth revival. However, we can prepare ourselves for it, pray for it, and seek God for it with the faith and heart of seeing God pour out revival upon us. That is one of the main purposes of having revival meetings. Therefore, when I am referring to revival, I am referring to revival meetings. However, I am not interested in having revival meetings for the sake of having revival meetings but having revival meetings for the purpose of seeking God for genuine revival. In this blog, I will share both practical and spiritual ways that we need to prepare for these revival meetings.

Unfortunately, many churches are no longer having revival meetings. One of the main reasons they do not have them is because they claim they are no longer effective. Statistics prove this to be false. Churches that have annual revival meetings and use a God called, and gifted evangelist statistically has more baptisms and church growth than churches that do not have annual revival meetings. I will agree that churches and pastors who look at revival as just another scheduled event on the calendar and therefore put forth little to no effort will most likely have an ineffective revival.

The truth is, planning a successful revival is time-consuming work; at least it should be. Most churches plan for months in advance for their VBS, and so they should. The same labor-intensive work that a church invests into VBS should also be invested in a revival meeting. VBS is often called the greatest evangelistic outreach of a church. A well planned VBS should reach a great harvest of souls, and they very often do. At the same time, thousands of people, from young to old, are saved in revival meetings every year. As an evangelist, I am friends with many other evangelists. I can’t tell you what a thrill it is to hear from them of the great harvests that are being reached in their revival meetings from week to week.

The planning and preparing of a VBS is often very difficult and time-consuming. Though that is true, I have seldom seen or heard of churches looking at it as a tedious task. Rather, they enjoy the labor because they are full of expectation of what it will produce-souls saved. With that same joyful expectation, churches should excitedly labor in their preparation for revival. With that same joyful expectation, churches shouldn’t allow anything to stop them from having revival meetings. Most churches that regularly have VBS would be appalled at the idea of not having one-and rightly so. In the same way, they should be appalled at the idea of not having a revival.

Prior to accepting the call of an evangelist, I was a pastor for eighteen years. I know that pastors are busy and church calendars get full fast. But we are talking about revival. We are talking about the saved being kindled afresh, and the lost being snatched out of the domain of darkness and brought into God’s marvelous light. Isn’t that worthy of proper planning and preparation? Isn’t that worthy of any tedious and time-consuming labor we will endure? Hebrews 12:2 tells us that with the joy set before Him, Jesus endured the cross. By no means was the cross joy. The joy was on the other side of the cross. Jesus had to endure the cross to reach that joy and make that joy available to us today. Anything worth having is worth working for. Let us labor for revival. Let us labor for lost souls. Let us labor for a mighty outpouring of the Spirit of God. Let us labor in preparing ourselves to be usable vessels.

 
 

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A Clear Biblical Mandate

A Clear Biblical Mandate

Clearly the church is failing in regards to evangelizing this lost world. Thom Rainer, the CEO of Lifeway, recently wrote in a blog titled, Where Have All the Baptisms Gone? “I recently reported the latest statistics for our denomination. It’s not a pretty picture. Our membership declined again, this time by 105,708. And our baptisms were down to 314,956, the lowest level since 1948. But in 1948, we only had 6 million members. Today we have 16 million members. We are reaching less people for Christ, even though we have 10 million more members than we did in 1948.”

Lifeway isn’t just a great book store, they are also an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention and collect data from all of the churches within the SBC. Therefore, the denomination he speaks of here is the Southern Baptist Convention. More recently he stated that 93-94% of what many SBC churches call church growth is from transfers and not conversions. That isn’t true church growth. That is simply taking fish out of one pond and putting them in another. He also states that only about 90% of SBC churches are intentionally evangelistic. How sad. The other sad reality is, the SBC’s statistics are better than most other denominations.

Even the most spiritually blind person among us today can see that this world is becoming morally bankrupt while it slips further from the Lord. Immorality of every sort is socially acceptable in almost every facet of society, even in many churches. Bible believing Christians are left asking the question, why. Why is this world slipping further and further away from God’s righteous standard?

We are quick to make excuses that it is a sign of the times we are living in. We say the Lord is coming back soon and we are therefore seeing the apostasy. There may be truth in these statements, but this truth should cause us to work even harder for the kingdom and not less. We are even quick to pass the blame on everyone else. We say that the government, the judicial system, the news media, and the entertainment industry for the most part are anti Christian liberals who stand against us. We say things like, “If we can get Washington right we will reclaim this nation for the Lord.” However, there is a major problem with statements such as this. It is not the government’s job nor responsibility to lead this nation to the Lord-it is the churches. It is the churches, and only the churches, responsibility to evangelize this lost world.

The clear picture that statistics such as this, and many more like it, show is that the church is not doing its job in evangelizing the lost. God has given a clear biblical mandate to all Christians to share the gospel. Just prior to His ascension Jesus gave the final instructions to His disciples to go into all of the world and proclaim the gospel. (Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-16, Luke 24:47-49, John 20:21). Jesus said in Acts 1:8, “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” He said, you shall be, or you will be, My witnesses. Jesus intention for His church to share the gospel is abundantly clear. Since the gospel, and only the gospel, is the power unto salvation, only the gospel of Jesus Christ can transform society. Don’t you think it’s time we start sharing it?

We can sit around and mope over our sad state, or we can get up and do something about it. I prefer the latter. For this reason, I am starting this series of blogs titled, Missions, Ministry, and Evangelism which I will post every Monday that will focus on practical ways we can personally share the gospel along with ways we can challenge our churches to get beyond the walls and into the community to be intentional in missions, ministry, and evangelism, for the sake of reaching this lost world with the gospel.

Stay tuned and go share the gospel. Feel free to share.

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2018 in Bible Study, Devotional, Uncategorized

 

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