When I think about revivals at a church, I have memories of sitting at the Agricenter in eastern Shelby County listening to gospel music and hearing an evangelist preach. Usually, there were themed nights for youth (always included a Christian band), children (generally had a puppet show), and senior adults (most likely with a gospel quartet). The Agricenter was dusty and better suited for Tennessee Walking Horse competitions that church services. However, the church where I grew up generally had a revival like that at least once a year.
For the most part, the contemporary church has jettisoned the old fashioned revival as out-of-date and less than useful. However, there are still churches that hold them every year. The problem is that the group of circuit-riding revival preachers has dwindled, providing one more reason for churches not to hold revivals.
During spring break, scores of students from Southwestern Seminary will be scattered across North America preaching 4-day revivals at churches in all different types of settings. Some are in urban, metropolitan areas. Others are in rural, pioneer states. No matter where the church is located, these revivals provide the opportunity for students to preach God’s Word and see Him move in people’s lives.
Even though I am not a student, I also have the opportunity to preach one of these revivals. I will be traveling to Herrin, Illinois to preach at First Baptist Church. I pray this will be a great time for the church, the staff, and myself.
As with all of the revival services taking place next week, I pray that God will call people to repentance and into a relationship with Himself. In keeping with the theme the seminary has chosen for next week, I pray that God would revive the people of this nation and that many would come to Christ.