Your Role in Reviving Christian America (Pt 4)
Seek God’s Face
This really goes hand-in-hand with prayer. If you want to have a fervent relationship with someone, you must pursue that relationship deliberately. This is true for dating, marriage, parents/children, or any other significant relationship. A purposeful, meaningful relationship does not happen by accident.
This is the way we must approach our relationship with God as well. A large reason for the lack of spiritual fervor in America is because many Christians have only a surface relationship with God. His heart is not their heart, because they have not spent significant time with Him.
As a ministry leader, you are in the unique position of trying to feed the flock, while at the same time, trying to encourage them to “feed themselves” by seeking God. This may be a difficult balance to strike, but it is crucial to the health of your church. How can you do this in some practical ways?
- Include a time in the service for the congregation to bow and acknowledge their dependence on God and their need for Him to speak to them through the preaching. You may open the service this way, or have a Scripture reading first, or perhaps you may have this time after the last congregational and before the special music selection which precedes the message. This can help remind the congregation that every service is not just “another church service,” but a time to seek the face of God and hear from Him.
- Have a Bible-reading program/schedule. Some churches make a monthly Bible-reading schedule available for folks who want to read the Bible through in a year. In a church I attended as a child, the pastor prepared questions pulled from that week’s reading that members could take as a study guide.
- Find some good devotional books to recommend for different Sunday school classes (teens, children, young couples, senior adults, etc.). If you’re a Sunday school teacher or youth worker, this can be a great way for you to encourage your class to spend daily time seeking God through Bible reading and prayer. Many churches order good devotional guides on a monthly basis and make them available to their members.
- Have a rotation of men who can preach in an evening service or present a midweek Bible study. This (if you’ll forgive the expression) “forces” them to have to dig into the Word to find truths to apply to the congregation; along the way, the goal is that they’ll grow by applying them as well. Obviously, choose men that are well-grounded in the Word enough to teach. Have different ladies speak at ladies’ events. Youth pastor, have some of your young men preach. Get them digging!
- Always look for ways to encourage your members to seek God for themselves, rather than simply doing all the work for them. Yes, as a teacher/preacher, it’s your job to teach. It’s your job to study and lead them by pointing the truths of God to them. But they should be studying God’s Word as well. When they come for counseling on a specific matter, perhaps you may give them a passage to study for a week before you meet with them, then ask them what they discovered and talk through it with them (if appropriate; obviously, you may not do this in matters of urgency). Show them that they can find answers as well, while still being accessible and available to guide and counsel.
Revival will not come to our churches until we develop real relationships with God by spending real time with Him, reading His Word and talking to Him in prayer.