We might say that revival is the unstopping of the pent-up energies of the Spirit of God breaking down the dams which have been erected against his convicting and converting ministry in whole communities of individuals, as happened at Pentecost and in the “awakenings” which have followed.
What pastors, missionaries, and campus leaders need is a vision for church-driven ministry, not movement-driven ministry. This is how we build for the long-run, not for the sprint.
Understanding dependence on the Word and Spirit would have reoriented my entire approach to and practice of pastoral ministry. But instead, I struggled to make sense of the man-centered revivalism I’d been taught.
Revivalism’s bold promises remain alluring to missionaries. But let the missionary beware.
Pastors need to understand that a change occurred among American Baptists in the nineteenth century. This change has shaped our intuitions about conversion, membership, baptism, and what it means to practice regenerate church membership.
By naming the entire Second Great Awakening a result of man-made revivalism, we fail to recognize many examples of true revival between 1798 and 1820 that we can rejoice in and learn from.
Here are four ways to care for lay pastors who go the extra mile for their flocks.
Church membership is not only good for missionaries, it’s also good for mission. Missionaries are often portrayed as spiritual giants, but they need church care at least as much as any Christian.
“Western organizations land in places like Nairobi with the apparent aim of growing their brand. Churches like ours almost become a hindrance because we are already doing a lot of those things.”
Low ecclesiology can cause confusion about missionaries’ involvement in local churches where they serve. Should we attend? Should we be members? For many missionaries, the practical answers are “no” and “no.”
Your local church’s history is integral to your members caring for one another, for at least three reasons.
When you see a church or ministry that talks about God’s gifts but spends relatively little time talking about God’s character or our need to respond to him in repentance and faith, then you can be pretty sure you’re dealing with the prosperity gospel.
What ingredients are necessary to plant healthy, strong, biblical churches—and sustain them?
Like our sinful natures, expressive individualism is something that will inform our intuitions and our understanding until the day we die. So what do we do about it?
Few demographic tribes are more likely to “amen!” a critique of attractional church methodology than 9Marks readers. But are we guilty of cultivating individualism, too?