To recap Part 1 of this series:
– Our country needs revival.
– This revival will only start in the churches of America.
– God has given us His plan for a nation’s spiritual restoration. (II Chron. 7:14)
– As church ministry workers, we are in a unique position to influence our churches toward this state of spiritual restoration.
So how do we begin? II Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves . . . .” It all begins with humility. This involves two major things:
- Confession that we are to blame for our nation’s spiritual state. I believe a big reason why America is unrevived is that Satan has gotten our attention diverted onto the “evil liberals” and “gay rights movement,” claiming that they are destroying our nation; meanwhile, Christians in America are apathetic, lazy, unholy, and indifferent. We are outraged when lost people act like, well, lost people; yet we don’t seem to mind when we as saved people act like lost people! It takes humility to admit that it’s not really liberals, Democrats, or homosexuals who are to blame for our nation’s spiritual state. It’s our fault for allowing it to get that way in the first place, because we indifferently go our own way while the world goes to hell around us.
- Bowing on our knees in prayer. Revival will not begin without prayer. When was the last time you prostrated yourself on the ground, weeping for your nation? This does not look “cool” and “composed.” It may be “against your nature” to do so. In other words, it will take humility. However, it is necessary, as we will see in more detail in a later week.
Now, as promised, I want to look at practical ways we as church ministry leaders can help influence our churches toward this state of humility. What can we do to bring our church members to the above mindset?
- Humble yourself first. Revival should begin with leadership. If you’re apathetic, indifferent, or worse yet, living in hidden sin, you must confess it first before you can be of help to your church. Evaluate your life and look for anything that may be hindering God’s working. Ask Him to reveal any sin, and when he does, humble yourself and own up to it. Get it right.
- Start praying for revival. Take one week and spend an extra hour each morning humbly pleading for revival, and see if it doesn’t change your entire outlook on ministry and outreach. Your church can’t help but notice.
- Preach/teach it! I want to be careful in how I word this point, because I don’t want it to be taken the wrong way, but don’t allow yourself to get caught up pressing “Amen” buttons by only preaching against sins that your church members aren’t likely involved in. Don’t get me wrong – all sins should be preached against, but don’t neglect the sins that the sweet little old lady in the front is struggling with.
For instance, in a midweek service populated by two dozen second/third-generation Christians, you may get a lot of “Amens” by preaching that homosexuality is evil, but it may grow silent when you preach on gossip, apathy, lust, pride, or unholy television. Yet, which kind of preaching is more likely to bring conviction and repentance to their hearts and change to their lives? Sunday school teachers and youth pastors can do this as well as pastors. God wants to confront people with their sin, not everybody else’s, so that they can get right with Him. I’m not saying don’t preach against those other things; I’m saying, preach against the sins of a wicked world, but preach against the “pet” sins of church folks, too. Humility will never come until we as churches realize just how wicked our “smallest” sin is to God – because “big” or “little,” it stems from the same heart attitude – defiant disobedience to a loving Heavenly Father.
Humility is a key first ingredient in revival. We must get our flesh out of the way if God is to do a reviving work in our nation. This starts with leadership, but we can also encourage our churches to do this in our teaching, preaching, and example.