Revival is FOR the church and Revival GROWS the Kingdom church. - by Keith Luker
March 17, 2016
"Revival is an unprecedented, sustained outpouring of God's manifest presence and power in a location." - Keith Luker
"Revival comes when the church decides it is time. Revival ends when the church decides it is time." - Charles Finney
"The reason you do not have revival is that you have grown accustomed to living without it." - Leonard Ravenhill
Some people say it's not revival unless many souls are being swept into the Kingdom. Some say that it's not revival unless there is massive repentance and weeping over our sins. Some say it's not revival unless there is a lot of supernatural activity such as angels, miracles, healings, signs and wonders happening. Some says it's not revival unless there is transformation of society and government.
I believe that all these things are manifestations or the fruit of revival. Revival itself is MORE of God's presence and power and that "coming" of the Holy Spirit in a special way causes a variety of wonderful manifestations and fruit.
Revival means to bring BACK to life. Therefore it is FOR THE CHURCH. It always has been, and it always will be. The purpose of a Holy Spirit outpouring (revival) has always been the same. To bring back to life and fervency the people of God so that they will BE the turned on church and transform others by their influence.
God is raising up and empowering His army to be Heaven's representatives on the earth that The Lamb would receive the reward of his suffering...souls. The great Harvest has begun, but the reapers are still few. Revival power blasts us out of complacency and lukewarmness and into our destiny. Revival throws us to the ground in surrender, fills us again with the blessed Holy Spirit and fire, then thrusts us into God's great harvest field!
PASTORS please note well...
Revival, if done well, grows the Kingdom church. It does NOT diminish or destroy it. I have talked with many pastors who are afraid of revival because the version of "revivals" they have seen have been conducted poorly with the end result being that the energy and finances of the church are drained. The church ends up exhausted, broke, and disillusioned about revival.
Revival, by its nature is self sustaining. The presence and power of the Spirit of God being poured out on people is its own reward. There is a way to manage the spiritual momentum in a revival to make sure that the church, the leaders, and all the visitors attending are blessed and energized by what God is doing. The two most important things to consider are often overlooked. 1) There is MORE of God's presence and power available to us and we desperately need it! And 2) We should go for it and see what happens. Many times the small sacrifice it will require to conduct this holy experiment is tiny in comparison to the great benefits that can be enjoyed. In other words, revival is well worth the risk and the risk is very small.
Here are just a few more practical principles that I have learned from my experience of conducting more than a dozen extended meetings ranging from 10 days to more than 3 months. I have also been a student of revivals of the past and drawn many of these concepts from the writings of men and women like Charles Finney, Jonathan Edwards, Maria Woodworth-Etter, Kathryn Kuhlman, Smith Wigglesworth, John and Carol Arnott, Rodney Howard-Browne, Heidi Baker, Bill Johnson and many more.
HOW TO CONDUCT A REVIVAL AND NOT KILL YOUR CHURCH...
1. Keep it simple. Let the presence and power of Jesus be the star of every meeting. Not the message, not the music, not the personalities. People come to revival meetings for one thing...to get in an encounter with Jesus and experience the power of God. Don't let anything get in the way of that. Make it the stated goal of every meeting to get people on the floor getting blasted by the Holy Spirit.
2. Make sure whoever is leading each meeting has an anointing and understanding of revival. Fire fire fire! Many great teachers, preachers or pastors are not revivalists. A revivalist knows how to work with Holy Spirit in a dynamic, spontaneous way to make sure every service ends up with people being mightily touched by God himself. What is needed is not that the most famous person is speaking or leading worship but that whoever is leading carries fire and delivers it night after night.
3. Keep tabs on the energy level of the leaders and staff of the church. Rotate people to do different necessary jobs and ask more volunteers to help out. Leave off jobs that you thought were necessary to do a church service but they are really not. If the people get exhausted, the revival will stop. Manage energy by sharing responsibilities and letting some things go.
4. Trust the Holy Spirit and the revivalists to lead. Don't feel like you need to control everything. Revival is messy by nature as God takes control of people's lives as they yield to him. God's version of "decent and in order" is very different than ours! Expect to be stretched. If something happens that you are uncomfortable with, ask the Lord first if He is uncomfortable, and then speak to the leaders of that meeting about it with great honor and love. Make the adjustment and move on.
5. Do a good job with the offering each meeting. It is amazing to me how uncomfortable many leaders are when talking about money. If the person receiving the offering is awkward, everyone feels strange and they will not give. Try to make the offering and announcements as anointed and fun as the worship or ministry time. A revival done well will finance itself and also bless the church financially eventually. It also blesses the people who are giving because revival breakthrough is on their finances for funding the work of God.
6. Watch the attendance. If an abundance of God's presence and power is there in every meeting and you are getting the word out, the meetings should grow. Sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly. People vote on a move of God with their feet (attendance) and their wallets (offerings).
7. How to know when a revival is over. This is a prayerful decision made by senior leadership along with Holy Spirit, the revivalists, and the people. If the energy level of those conducting the meetings and attending is diminishing, either something major needs to change or the revival is almost over. It's ok. It happens. What you want to see in order to continue is that the leaders, church staff, and attenders are so excited about what God did last night that they can't wait to come and see what he will do tomorrow night! This is not to say that there isn't sacrifice involved in conducting a revival, there is. But the Holy Spirit is providing the needed energy supernaturally for people to WANT to make the sacrifice.
8. Watch the growth of your church. Revival is meant to grow the Kingdom church, not diminish it. Let me quickly add that if your church was not presence oriented BEFORE revival came, this change will certainly make some people very uncomfortable, even mad enough to leave. But generally speaking, Kingdom churches thrive in this environment. Attendance on Sunday morning should grow, finances should grow, and changed lives, salvations, healings, freedom in worship should all be increasing. Your volunteers in the church should also increase in number and energy. If these areas are not thriving, something needs to change or the revival is coming to a close.
9. The fruit of revival is changed lives and an empowered church family that is ready to take this fire to the marketplace and the streets. Power evangelism and sharing the love and life of Jesus with our friends and co-workers is the natural result. Don't rush this process, let it happen naturally. But as people get full of the Spirit, they are ready and excited to take it outside the four walls of the church. Equipping in evangelism, healing, and giving prophetic words will go a long way toward becoming a revival culture.
10. Slow down and plan for the long haul. Revivals that start in one place and end up impacting the whole world are in it for decades not just a few weeks. God is going to raise up many revival centers like Toronto, Pensacola, and Redding. Host the presence of God, do everything to manage the momentum and make it bigger, receive the Father's love, drink deeply of the Spirit! Perhaps God will enable you to become one of His revival centers that impact the whole world!
Let's GO. May the flame of the Lord never go out!