Charles G. Finney once offered a list to help determine when a church needs a revival. The list from his revival lectures is timeless. He believed revivals were needed when these conditions prevailed:
Seldom have great spiritual awakenings come to pastors, churches or countries without intercessory prayer. Before an awakening in India near the turn of this century, John Hyde, a praying missionary, asked Christians these questions to stimulate faithfulness in prayer for revival:
Real revival restores an individual and a church to spiritual health and well-being. For an individual, genuine revival enables him to live out his faith in the daily details of life. Such a renewal brings a church from subnormal, barely-making-it Christianity to a supernatural empowerment and refreshment, a sense of anointing and a growing awareness that the church is a unique organization owned and energized by God.
It stirs a congregation and challenges and empowers us to live out the radical demands of Christianity in every phase of life inside and outside the church.
Ever feel like you need to wear a mask to cover up who you are? Are you concerned that, if people knew who you really are and how you really felt, they wouldn't understand?
One minister, two jobs and the family that's at the top of the list. The number of bivocational ministers, those in full- or part-time ministry who carry an additional job, is estimated by some researchers to be as high as 30 percent of ministers nationwide.
"You should see the church they attend," Lucille said, armed with bulletin and newsletter. Creases formed across my brow as celebration gave way to comparisons a trap that had sprung too many times.