SIX IDEAS FOR MAKING YOUR REVIVALS MORE EFFECTIVE
By: Marty Evans Jr.
Personalized Form Letters
Two weeks before our first revival service, we send personal letters to all of our inactive members and to a number of prospects. I compose a form letter on my computer and later add a personal touch to each letter.
I begin the letter with a statement regarding Jesus’ sacrifice at calvary. I emphasize that He loves the church as His bride and that we should do likewise. I provide an overview of our revival plans and encourage the members and prospects to take an active part. I describe the need for real revival. I then share our deacons’ and my desire for revival and our commitment to confess our sins to God and pray for His Spirit to begin revival in us. In closing, I challenge the recipients of the letters to follow Christ and let revival begin in them.
The letter accomplishes three goals. (1) It reminds inactive members they are a necessary part of our church and encouraged prospects to become part of our fellowship. (2) It shares information about the revival services. (3) Finally, it often prompts inactive members to return to church:
Before the revival, we visit each home in our ministry area to extend a personal invitation. Before leaving we leave a handbill as a reminder of the revival. We inform those who have children or youth of our special nights dedicated to those age groups.
We conduct the blitz the Saturday morning before the revival begins so that the invitations will be fresh on people’s minds.
I have discovered three benefits of our door-to-door blitz. (1) It allows us to give a personal, face-to-face invitation to each family in our ministry area. (2)
It helps church members match faces with names of unchurched people, which personalizes their prayers and concern for the lost. (3) Finally, it is an effective means of publicity.
Prayerlessness is truly the greatest hindrance to revival. We do everything we can to get our people to pray before and during our revival. I ask them to be prayer partners with me the weeks before and during the revival. We have enjoyed good results.
Prayer partners commit themselves to attend at least two cottage prayer meetings during the week before the revival. During revival week, prayer partners pray at specific times of the day for three lost or unchurched people, three inactive church members, and the evening service and its leaders. I ask those who make commitments to tell me personally. I pray for each prayer partner those two weeks.
Special Dinner Guests
Our church has a potluck dinner after our Sunday morning revival service. I send personal invitations to a few couples who are prospects for our church to be my wife’s and my special guests. I tell them this would be a good time for them to get to know us and our church. I follow up a few days before the revival with personal phone calls. The response has been great. We’ve reached some young adults, including college students.
If I plan to invite more than two couples, I ask some of our ladies to be “share-a-meal partners.” The ladies agree to bring extra food for the guests.
They also are guests at the dinner.
I especially encourage our young adult groups to invite guests. It is a great way to break the ice and make them feel at home.
Because we do not have the facilities to provide meals, we have “Bring-Your-Lunch Services.” We provide the coffee, tea, and ice. This has improved our morning attendance. Although many of our young adults can now attend, our senior adults are the major participants.
We end our services at about 12:45 so that people have plenty of time to return to work.
First Baptist and North Oxford churches in our city provide meals during their revivals. They focus on reaching unchurched business people. We focus on our church members, although some do bring guests.
These special days help members invite people in their own circles:
Sunday Morning: Sunday School High Attendance.
Sunday Night: Discipleship Training High Attendance. “Have more in DT than in SS this morning.”
Monday Night: Friend Night. “Every member bring an unchurched friend.”
Tuesday Night: Neighbor Night. “Every family bring an unchurched neighbor.” (Could be a work neighbor.)
Wednesday Night: Children’s Party.
Thursday Night: Relative/Family Night. “Every member bring an unchurched relative or family member.”
Friday: Youth Happening.
The ideas shared in this article have proven helpful to our church. I hope, they also will help you in the three basic revival areas of prayer, personal contacts, and participation.
(The above material appeared in the July/Aug./Sept. 1992 issue of the Growing Churches magazine.)
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