HOW TO ORGANIZE A FOUR-CHURCH REVIVAL CRUSADE
By: William Cox
A revival crusade provides an evangelistic stimulus that helps men and women overcome barriers of apathy and indifference. Some of the methods that can be used to organize a four-church revival crusade follow.
Pastor to Pastor
Pastors too often find themselves concerned more about turf rights that about evangelism. A revival crusade provides them an opportunity to work together as a team. A team approach to the revival crusade is both less threatening and more effective in bringing pastors and churches together. Using this approach, pastors form a committee and designate one pastor as director. During the first meeting, they share their desires for revival in the community and the positive aspects of a joint revival. This meeting provides a good opportunity to build lasting relationships and establish a foundation for future team ministries.
Preliminary scheduling begins when a date is set for the revival crusade. Revival preparation will take a minimum of four weeks.
Committees are essential to planning a revival crusade. The number of committees may vary according to the needs of the churches and community. Six basic committees, however, provide stability to planning and accomplishing a revival crusade.
1. Prayer committee.–Each church is responsible for organizing a five-member prayer committee who will designate specific times for prayer meetings. Prayer meetings can be conducted several ways including: all-night prayer meetings, cottage prayer meetings, community prayer meetings, laymen’s prayer meetings, and youth prayer explosions.
Prayer produces excitement, optimism, and anticipation about the gospel of Christ. Prayer is faith in action. A revival crusade is the direct result of the prayers of people and the power of the Holy Spirit.
2. Counseling committee.–The counseling committee consists of the pastor and two counselors from each church, which provides a total of 12 counselors for each revival service.
Counselor training is essential. Counselors should be able to guide people to become Christians. A resource such as Decision Time: Commitment Counseling could be used to train counselors. The Home Mission Board pamphlet Personal Commitment Guide is an excellent tool for counseling and recording decisions.
3. Publicity committee.–The five-member publicity committee organizes and distributes crusade materials in the church and community. Churches will get better results from their publicity if large posters and colored fliers are printed professionally.
Each church should distribute its own fliers and posters, thereby ensuring complete coverage.
Billboards, television, radio, and newspapers are good sources for permeating the entire community with news of the revival. Good planning will make the difference.
4. Finance committee.–The finance committee consists of five members whose primary responsibility is to pay for publicity and other revival costs. Each church participating in the revival crusade should contribute a certain amount to be determined by the pastors and finance committee. This practice will both maintain church individuality and provide ample funds.
Churches either may give the evangelist a love offering each night or set aside an amount in the budget. Budget for mileage, lodging, meals, and other expenses.
5. Parking committee.–The parking committee consists of five members from each of the four churches. Each committee will supervise parking at its own church.
Those who park cars should wear bright arm bands, badges, or ribbons, indicating their function in the crusade. They should be courteous, cheerful, and helpful. A friendly greeting in the parking area will provide a good impression to firsttime visitors and members alike.
6. Music committee.–The music committee also consists of five members. An effective way to provide music in a revival crusade is to alternate music directors, musicians, choirs, and special music each night. This practice will reduce revival costs and promote interchurch fellowship. A suggested schedule for the revival choirs, based on four-church participation, follows.
Night Music Host Church
Sunday Church B Church A
Monday Church A Church B
Tuesday Church D Church C
Wednesday Church C Church D
Choose the church with the largest auditorium for the Sunday night crusade. The Monday night crowd likely will be smaller, but don’t underestimate; choose a church that has adequate space.
As a rule, Tuesday night attendance will be the lowest. Attendance, however, will depend on the previous night’s success and the community’s enthusiasm. Always make provisions for additional people. Remember to provide a large auditorium for the Wednesday night service.
Encourage all pastors to welcome worshipers each night so they (the pastors) may become acquainted with all who attend.
A revival crusade brings sister churches together and promotes unity in the community. People who would not ordinarily go to church will attend the revival crusade. More than 45 decisions were made in our Warrior, Alabama, revival crusade.
FOUR POSITIVE BENEFITS OF OUR FOUR-CHURCH REVIVAL CRUSADE
A revival crusade will make a difference in your church and community. The church in our secular society is blockaded by false opinions and impressions. A revival crusade removes spiritual roadblocks and allows the churches and community to see Christians working together for Christ. Four major benefits of a revival crusade Follow:
* Capacity Crowds. Combining the membership of four churches increases the probability of a full auditorium, which will create excitement, motivation, and renewed dreams.
Evangelism will develop a new, exciting appeal. A capacity crowd will provide a positive witness to the community.
* Fellowship. A revival crusade unites sister churches and reaches the community for Christ. Members of the churches involved begin to adopt new perspectives and see one another as fellow Christians who share a common cause.
* Removing Stereotypes. A revival crusade gives the community an opportunity to view the churches as one. Stereotyping alienates churches from one another and implies one is better than another. However, Scripture states the church is one body composed of many equal parts. A revival crusade is the best way to show that equality.
* Promotes Unity. Pastors, working as a team, share their talents and resources to reach the community for Christ. The churches reap the benefits and joys of shared worship.
A revival crusade paves the way for churches to combine their resources, talents, and efforts to reach others for Christ. The ultimate victory is in the number of people who walk the aisle for Christ. This in itself brings new enthusiasm and vision to the churches. A revival crusade will benefit your church and community.
(The above material appeared in the July/Aug./Sept. 1992 issue of Growing Churches Magazine.)
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