The Time For Revival Is Now (Entire Article)

By Tim Massengale

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I wonder how many pastors and church leaders would buy a book entitled, “How To Have An Average Church,” or “Helping Your Church Decline.” None, I am sure. Oh, you might have glanced at it out of curiosity to see what foolhardy soul put the volumes together, but you would not have spent your hard earned money. After all, who needs help to be average? We already have multitudes who fit this category. What you want is for your church to be the best you can be.


How do you become an “average church?” Do nothing. Be content with what you have and what you have so far accomplished.  It’s like being lost – to be eternally lost all you need to do is nothing. But to go to heaven, you must do something. And so, too, with Apostolic revival. Having made the decision to see your church grow, you must begin doing something. This will involve work, sweat, late hours, long days, a determined heart, and a fixed focus upon a desired result. That’s what it takes to be your best.


I could try to wax eloquent upon the importance of this and yet never say it as well the late president Theodore Roosevelt. Allow me to adapt a portion his well known speech to that of the work of God:


“It is not the religious critic who counts; nor the hypocrite who gleefully cries “How the mighty have fallen,” or the one who points out where a “doer of deeds” could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the battle; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; who actually tries to do the right thing; who knows great anointing, great commitment, who spends himself in the work of God; who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while giving his best.  Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious spiritual triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy or suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows nether victory or defeat.”


How true! Such can be said of any effort worthy of our time and energy. Like navigating an automobile through a busy city – at times we must make a correction here, make a turn there, then stop at an intersection and look both ways before proceeding. Occasionally a road block will force us to take a detour, yet we keep on going. We may have a flat tire, or engine problems. We stop and make the needed repairs, yet we keep on going. We might make a wrong turn and have to backtrack, yet we keep on going. There is always the risk that someone else will not stop at an intersection and plow into us. It’s not our fault, but that’s part of the risk. We keep on going. It’s the steady, determined pace, not the mad, frantic rush that proves to be successful in the end. Once a man was asked why he had done so well. To this he replied, “I have worked so hard and tried so many things that I have successfully crammed forty years of failure into fifteen.” To grow, a church must be willing to try, fail, and try again. Like the prophet, they will cry, “Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise!”


And so it will be with the growth of your church. Not every ministry or program will be exactly what you need. It will have to be adapted, altered, and made to properly fit. Adjust what you must to make it work in your church and community, but cling tightly to the underlying principles. And above all, don’t give up! You can grow!


Toward the end of his illustrious career as Britain’s greatest prime minister, Sir Winston Churchill was invited to address the young boys at his alma mater. In announcing the coming of their great leader, the headmaster said, “Young gentlemen, the greatest orator of our time – perhaps of all time – our prime minister, will be here in a few days to address you; and it will behoove you to listen carefully to whatever sound advice he may bring to you at that time.”


Following a glowing and lengthy introduction by the headmaster, Sir Winston stood up – all five feet, five inches and 235 pounds of him. After acknowledging the effusive introduction, he gave this brief but moving speech: “Young men, never give up. Never give up! Never give up! Never, never, never, never!”


And so the poet penned: 

On the plains of hesitation,

Lie the bleached bones of thousands,

Who, on the very threshold of victory,

Sat down to rest,

And while resting, died.


Too often, at the church growth seminars that are often taught across the country, we see men slowly walk out the doors shaking their heads:


“Just another program,” mumbles one. “Too risky,” says yet another. “Too complicated,” complains a third. “The carnal plans of man,” sniffs a fourth. “It’ll never work in my church.” “My church is too small for that stuff.” “My pastor never did it that way.”


In truth, they have given up. Perhaps in the past they tried something and it did not work. Or maybe they have struggled for so long in a fruitless field that they have given up hope. Whatever the reason, they return in the same condition in which they came and continue an existence wrapped in paralysis, void of vision. Their very thoughts ruin incentive, wrecks confidence, remove hope, and destroy faith. They seem to forget that God once used a rod, a jaw-bone, a handful of oil and a little meal, five small stones, and five barley loves and two fishes.


Pastor! Church leader! Never give up. Never give up. Never give up! Never, never, never, never!


The Apostle Paul said it well:  “Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”


Remember, programs alone will not bring growth. For growth to take place, seed must be planted. And if we will sow the seed, God will do the rest. He will cause the sun to shine. He will make the rain to fall. He will place the nutrients in the soil. He will cause the miracle of germination to bring forth life. He will make it grow. If we will do our part, God will do his part. As the prophet has promised, “He that goeth forth, and weepth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”   Do it now!

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