Preparing for revival
If you are a worship leader, click here for a page written especially for you.
Revival is breaking out in various places around the US, a movement that seemed to have been birthed at Asbury University this month and is spreading to many college campuses. Most recently, people that attended the afternoon session of the NC Baptist Disciple-Making Conference this past Monday experienced an amazing move of God as hundreds filled the altar and the aisles pouring their hearts out to God. I believe revival is coming to our churches if we prepare ourselves and our congregations and seek Him expectantly.
This post is a call to church leaders to take a lead in this movement. I ask you to not click off this page right now. Stay with me and seek God’s heart in this matter.
First of all, get alone, shut your door, turn off notifications, begin with a time of prayer asking God to guide you in the next moments, and listen to this message from Robby Gallaty delivered at the 2023 NC Baptist Disciple-Making Conference on Monday, February 20. If you are like me, you will want to take a shortcut right now; please carve out some time to listen to this without interruption and with your undivided attention.
Robby Gallaty Message from the 2023 NC Baptist Disciple-Making Conference
Following the message, take time with God to see what He is revealing to you about your life. Only after you have had time to process what God is saying to you after listening to this message, move on to the following sections.
Next, in getting ready for what God might do in revival, I encourage you to prepare in three areas–personally, your leaders and your church.
It is interesting to me that this is all coming on top of the Lenten season, which for centuries has been a time of personal preparation and devotion. Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, is on February 22, 2023.
- Fast. All great awakenings have come from intercession. During this season, fast (give up) some things that cloud your mind or fulfill your physical desires, such as a particular type of food or beverage, social media or television. Give up some things that get in your way of focusing on or spending time with God. Instead of watching a television program or checking out your friends on a social media platform, spend time in a spiritual discipline, getting your heart set on God. Check out this excellent guide to fasting.
- Pray for spiritual awakening. Pray that God will awaken your heart. Pray that God will move mightily in your church and city. Pray that God will draw thousands of people to Himself. Pray that our churches will be ready to disciple those that come. Pray with expectancy. Here is an excellent example.
- Pray that God will reveal sin in your life. Spend time earnestly seeking God to reveal those sins in your life you may not be aware of. As you spend time in spiritual disciplines, He will reveal things about you that you may not even be aware are getting in the way of your relationship with Him. Utilize this resource that will walk you through 2 Chronicles 7:14.
- Repent of sin. There is sin in your life that you may already be aware of. Confess it and turn from it. God will help you. There are those sins that God will reveal to you in this journey that you were not aware of that you need to also deal with. Sin is a barrier to revival in our lives. Consider using the book I find helpful, The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions
- Commit yourself to holiness and obedience. Turn from questionable habits and activities. Live clean and close to God. Return to your First Love.
- Worship. Spend time in personal worship of God. Read your Bible, pray, sing to Him, play an instrument and spend time in His presence. He delights in dwelling with you one on one.
- Spend time in the Word. Take time to immerse yourself in the Word of God. Memorize some passages. Here’s a great guide to Bible memory. Perhaps find a study guide that helps you focus on renewal and revival.
- Practice times of silence. Robby mentioned this discipline in his message. The world is full of distractions and noise. It is difficult to clear our minds of clutter and just be present with God. Be strategic in carving out time to just sit and rest in His presence and hear from Him. For more ideas in this area, check out this article.
Consider reading the book, Celebration of Discipline:The Path to Spiritual Growth. The book explores the classic disciplines of Christian faith: the inward disciplines of meditation, prayer, fasting, and study; the outward disciplines of simplicity, solitude, submission and service and the corporate disciplines of confession, worship, guidance and celebration.
PREPARE YOUR LEADERSHIP
Think through the key teams in your church such as deacons, elders, church council, small group leaders, or others. Gather them together and:
- Encourage each person on your team to prepare themselves personally as outlined above. Talk with them about revival. Share the audio message with them (perhaps listen to it together).
- Spend time as a team praying for revival in the church. Ask that it would begin with your team.
- Discuss ways to get the entire church involved in preparing for revival.
- Ask your worship leaders to read the post especially to prepare them personally for revival and give them ideas for leading in times of spontaneity when needed.
PREPARE YOUR CHURCH
Now that you have been able to get many of your leaders involved in seeking God for revival, take it to the whole church.
- Find ways to encourage each member of your church to prepare personally as outlined above. Help them develop some of the spiritual disciplines.
- Consider a devotional series that the church walks through together.
- Utilize the sermons to prepare for revival.
- Have small groups spend time in prayer for revival. Check out this resource.
- Pray that God will bring many souls to salvation. Consider being a part of Fill the Tank–an emphasis on Easter baptisms this year.
- Remember to have times of corporate confession in your worship services. Too often we ignore this.
- Lead the congregation in passionate, transformational times of worship.
It’s easy to dismiss what is happening around us and continue as we always have, but I believe God is moving in our churches, and we as church leaders need to be prepared as ever personally to lead our congregations. We can’t lead people to a place we have not been ourselves. I hope this article will help you in navigating what that may mean for you and your teams in preparing spiritually and in leading the church. I pray that God will do great things in your life and the life of your church!