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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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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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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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Why Your Church Should use an Evangelist

Why Your Church Should use an Evangelist

“And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ.”

Ephesians 4:11-12

Now that your church has decided to have a revival or evangelistic event, one of the most important decisions will now be, who will lead it? I want to strongly encourage you to use an evangelist. Before I get into why you should consider using an evangelist, let me first address two of the most prominent reasons why pastors and churches don’t use evangelists. The first reason I hear all too often is that there are too many bad evangelists out there with bad theology and will do almost anything to get someone to walk an isle or raise their hand for the sake of numbers. Yes, there are bad evangelists out there, but there are bad pastors as well. Does this mean we should stop using pastors? Of course not. It means that we do as the church of Ephesus did and test those who call themselves apostles, or in this case evangelists, and prove that they are not.

In reality, more than any other office in the church, evangelists depend on recommendations from other pastors and churches. If an evangelist is bad, word will quickly spread about him, and he will be weeded out. For this reason, the number of bad evangelists will be far less than you would think. Yes, there are still some bad evangelists out there, but it doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to figure out who they are.

The second and most prominent excuse I hear is that a pastor may not personally know any evangelists and therefore not feel comfortable using one. Trust me, after 18 years of pastoral ministry, I understand this concern. The pastor is responsible for the churches spiritual well being and should not allow just anyone to come and preach at their church. Fortunately, we live in a day and age where it is very easy to know who the evangelist is, what they believe, and what they preach. Fortunately, almost every evangelist has websites and social media today. Many of them post their sermons, books, and blogs, along with an abundance of references. Again, a bad evangelist will be quickly weeded out, especially in today’s mass information age. In today’s world of technology, it doesn’t take much effort or digging, to get to know an evangelist. Therefore, the excuse that the pastor doesn’t know the evangelist is a poor one. The pastor should, to the best of his ability, guard his pulpit with the utmost integrity. For this reason, an evangelist should be thoroughly vetted. Fortunately, today’s technology makes this a much easier task in getting the know the evangelist.

Why then should you bother in getting to know an evangelist so you can use one? No church would ever consider not having a pastor, would they? If they are without a pastor, they will quickly begin looking for one. Just as God has called the pastor, He has called the evangelist for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-12). Though the pastor is more prominent in scripture and more prominent in the work of the church, they are both called of God and should, therefore, be used of the church.            

The evangelist has a unique gifting and calling to preach the gospel and has a unique anointing that God uses to bring many to Christ. One of the most prominent pastors of our day, Dr. Johnny Hunt, stated, “What an absolute privilege it is, as a Pastor of a local Southern Baptist Church, to realize the importance of using our Southern Baptist Evangelists. The Bible makes it extremely clear in Ephesians 4 that God has given gifts to the church, and one of those gifts being the gift of the evangelist. During my sabbatical several years ago, while being away for seven Sundays, four of those Sundays were filled with Southern Baptist Evangelists. As a result, 52 baptisms were recorded in my absence.”

One might say that evangelists are specialists in the gospel. If your transmission starts acting up in your car, you wouldn’t take it to the tire shop. If the pipes in your house start leaking, you wouldn’t call an electrician. If you’re having heart trouble, you wouldn’t schedule an appointment with your dentist. If you want to see people saved in your revival or evangelistic event, why then would you invite anyone other than an evangelist?

There is no doubt that the calling and ministry of a pastor is extraordinarily important in the life of the church. I believe it’s of the utmost importance. However, though the pastor is commanded to do the work of an evangelist, he is not an evangelist. The pastor wears many hats and preaches on many subjects. The evangelist, however, has a singular laser focus. His focus is the gospel and seeing people saved through proclaiming it. Just as a good mechanic can look over a car and quickly pinpoint the problem, an evangelist can preach in a way that pinpoints the problem of the lost that will bring them to salvation. That is their unique gifting and calling from God. Dr. Johnny Hunt also said, “I thank God for the way that He is using evangelists to make a difference, as it pertains to the harvest that needs to take place in our local churches. Use your SBC Evangelists! Your people will thank you, and the sinners will bless you throughout eternity.”

So, why should your church use an evangelist? Why wouldn’t they? Evangelists are uniquely called and gifted by God for the purpose of seeing the lost saved. I can give you many more reasons as to why your church should us an evangelist, but in reality, what greater reason is there than to see souls saved?

 
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Posted by on June 19, 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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