This blog will be a sampling of the articles I write for the Centennial monthly newsletter along with anything else I need to get off my mind. Sometimes there will be attempts at humor, and for that I apologize now. Other times, the subjects will be more theological in nature. I do not pretend to be an expert in any field, but I have an opinion on just about everything, and can usually make a pretty good defense if challenged. Enjoy my ramblings and feel free to share them with anyone else who may be blessed by them.
ENCOUNTER revival services were held last week at The Rock Ranch. The worship, led by many of our local music ministers, was excellent. Jon Reed preached powerful, convicting messages. People responded both with public decisions and ones made quietly between them and the Lord. Every aspect of the revival including parking, child care, hospitality, greeters, security, media, setup and tear down, response team and follow up were all handled with excellence. The folks at the Rock Ranch made every effort to meet our needs. If I were to check off the boxes on my list of what needed to happen logistically, I could check them all.
But I am interested in more than being able to say we had a great event. ENCOUNTER began as a desperate prayer that God would bring a harvest of souls to our area. The need was great when we began praying and it is still great today. We realized that the Church needed spiritual renewal and a refocus on evangelism. We prayed and prepared for revival in hopes that the Lord would answer our prayers and use ENCOUNTER as a catalyst to change what needed to change in our hearts and in our churches.
So the question remains: Did we have revival?
I believe the answer is different depending on who you talk to. If you were to talk to the two dozen or so people who accepted Jesus as Savior, they would tell you that their lives will never be the same. They were reborn and now have an eternal home. If you were to ask the pastors who now have new believers in their churches as a result of someone inviting a lost friend or family member to ENCOUNTER, they would tell you that God has truly blessed. If you were to ask believers who repented of their lack of spiritual fruit, they would tell you how God has given them a new desire to see people come to Jesus and an urgency to be what God has called them to be.
There is no doubt that many of those who attended ENCOUNTER experienced personal revival. My prayer is that this revival becomes so evident in our lives that it extends to those around us. I pray for that thirty-fold, sixty-fold, one hundred-fold fruit in our lives. And I pray that we cannot keep silent about what God is doing.
I heard two sermons on the Sunday following ENCOUNTER. It was obvious that both were informed by what those pastors had experienced in their own lives during the revival. I was challenged once again to go beyond what is comfortable and to tell the simple story of the Gospel and how it has changed my life.
I thank God for what He accomplished through ENCOUNTER. I expect the ripple effect to impact our churches for a long time. Real revival has a way of spreading. I believe it has a greater impact if it builds over time, and that is what I am praying for. I cannot speak for you, but I know I had revival. How about you?