Why Not Try This? …Take Simple Steps for Revival & Reformation

I don’t wanna spend my whole life asking, “What if I had given everything, instead of going through the motions?” — Matthew West, “The Motions”

Since we are living in the last days of earth, we cannot afford to just go through the motions, to just play church, to have a dead religion or to be part of lukewarm Laodicea. The inspired counsel given 125 years ago is even more important today. “A revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs. To seek this should be our first work.”[i]

But how do we experience true revival that leads to reformation and transformation[ii] rather than false revival that is simply fascinated by the sensational?[iii] Inspired insights make it clear that any true revival and reformation involves the Holy Spirit, serious Bible study, prayer, humility, willingness to be obedient to God’s Word and His law, and a growing missionary spirit that is expressed in actively proclaiming the truth.[iv] Here are five of the ideas[v] our church at Richardson, Texas [vi] has found helpful in cooperating with the Holy Spirit to experience true revival and transformation.

1)    Leadership Challenge. If a church is going to be revived, its leaders need revival. At a Church Board Meeting, as pastor I challenged church leaders to spend ten minutes more a day in Bible study and mission-focused prayer for thirty days. At the next board meeting, when we shared our experiences with each other, we began to bond with each other on a deeper level and to be more open with the congregation and community about what was happening in our personal time with God. Now it is common to see people praying for and with each other in the lobby, sanctuary, hallways and in each others’ homes. Watch video clip about “Ten Minutes More”.

2)    Bible Reading Bookmarks. Any true revival is rooted in the Bible. Our church produces a simple bookmark each month listing a chapter a day from the Bible on a particular theme.[vii] Members often use this Bible reading plan for personal or family worship or Bible study groups. The sermons for that month usually come from some of the readings. This has helped many to find a simple way to become regular students of God’s word. December’s theme was the Second Coming of Jesus. Watch video clip on Monthly Themes.

3)    Groups. For a church to experience continual revival, members need to be connected not only with God but also with each other and their community. In our congregation every member is encouraged to be in three kinds of groups (Sabbath School, Ministry and Bible Study), every group is encouraged to have three leaders (Upreach, Outreach, Inreach) and every group must have a mentor that is a church leader. In this way groups can be started very easily and provide support. In the past year many groups have been started for Sabbath School (Spanish, Amharic and New Members/Visitors), Ministry (Soccer, Youth Retreat, Literature, Master Guide Club, Singles, Best Weigh, Community Services Home Visits, Junior/Teen Baptismal Class, etc.) and Bible Study (in homes, office buildings, retirement centers, etc.). Watch video clip on Ministry Teams.

4)    Missionary Mailmen. Handing out literature is a simple way to involve everyone in ministry. Each month the church provides packets of 100 GLOW tracts and other literature free to anyone who signs up to distribute them. In this way more than 60,000 pieces of literature have gone out in the past year. Watch video clip on Literature & GLOW tracts.

5)    Celebrating Changed Lives. People are revived and transformed when they hear the story of others who have been revived and transformed. Every Sabbath we have a four-minute feature during the Worship Service where we interview a member about how God has been at work in their lives recently. During the past few months we have heard from people who were recently baptized, joined on profession of faith, transferred in, were converted by reading The Great Controversy, returned tithe for the first time of their lives and shared their faith with a co-worker over the phone only to find out the co-worker was a former Adventist! Watch video clip on Celebrating Changed Lives at the Worship Service. The promise of the Holy Spirit, who brings revival and transformation through God’s Word and our witness, is available to all of us. Let’s ask for it daily and let it do it’s work in our hearts, homes and congregations. Let’s not just go through the motions! Let’s be a part of the final Latter Rain and Loud Cry.

[i] Review and Herald, March 22, 1887. Quoted in Christian Service p. 41.
[ii] “Revival and reformation are two different things. Revival signifies a renewal of spiritual life, a quickening of the powers of mind and heart, a resurrection from spiritual death. Reformation signifies a reorganization, a change in ideas and theories, habits and practices. Reformation will not bring forth the good fruit of righteousness unless it is connected with the revival of the Spirit. Revival and reformation are to do their appointed work, and in doing this work they must blend” Selected Messages, Book 1, p. 128.
[iii] The Great Controversy, p. 463-478.
[iv] Christian Service, p. 41-43; The Great Controversy, p. 461-462.
[v] If you would like to introduce any of these ideas to your Church Board, go to www.RichardsonSDA.org and use the corresponding videos clips found at “Transform Your Church”, or click here for a list of the video clips.
[vi] Richardson Seventh-day Adventist Church is located just north of Dallas in the DFW Metro Area.

About danserns

Happily married and father of three great kids. Seventh-day Adventist pastor who invites everyone to accept Jesus as their Savior and Lord, embrace all the teachings of the Bible and join a vibrant Adventist group.
This entry was posted in Bible Study, Changed Lives, Outreach, Pastoring, Prayer, Small Groups, Why Not Try This...? and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Why Not Try This? …Take Simple Steps for Revival & Reformation

  1. SusanJill says:

    We do need revival that begins with God and His word and then the Leadership of the Church. Thanks for this post … I like your heart!

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