Twelve Big Ones
the 1980s and 1990s, many Christians believed that God would send
revival to the Church. However,
despite passionate prayer and immense effort nothing happened.
Now many believe that God did not speak, and have given up
hoping for revival. I believe that the problem is not with God, but with us.
At least twelve blockages have prevented the Holy Spirit from
moving freely. We must remove them, before we will see revival.
Going to church will not produce a revival.
We must build real fellowship based on strong
relationships with other Christians, so the Holy Spirit
can move powerfully in the body.
God cannot force us together, so we must choose to relate to other
Christians. We might
need to live closer together, so we can be
the church where we live.
relationships are an obstacle to revival.
The Holy Spirit prefers to work in a group of people bound
together by love, but the church is dislocated and disjointed. Meeting
for an hour on a Sunday does not develop strong relationships.
The body will have to be joined
together again, before the life of God can flow through
2. Doing the One Another Stuff
Love means doing the One Another Stuff:
- Carry each other's burdens.
- Forgive one another.
- Submit to one another.
- Live in peace with each other.
- Be kind to each other.
- Encourage one another daily.
- Offer hospitality to one another.
- Serve each other.
- Pray for each other
Love is the essential ingredient that unites a Church. Jesus
commanded us to love one another, as he loves us, so that the world
would see him through us. Our
selfishness and lack of love has often grieved the Spirit and
limited our witness. When
people of the world look at the church, they see disunity, not love.
Be Filled with the Spirit
The Spirit loves to flow out of our midst into the world and touch the
lives of those in need. If I do not go with him, he will go without me.
The Holy Spirit
can only flow out, if he is flowing in every day. He
should be my best friend who goes everywhere that I go.
Baptism in the Holy Spirit is not enough.
An experience several years ago does not ensure that I am
moving in the Spirit now.
We are not doing all that Jesus promised we would do, so we must be
well short of the fullness of the Spirit.
Resistance in unity with other Christians is the key to dealing with an evil
attack. We all need
friends to challenge us, elders to warn us if we don not listen.
We need friends to stand with against evil and elders who can
really do spiritual battle for us.
Real soldiers do not go into battle without proper protection
Most Christians do not really understand spiritual
protection, so the enemy has been able to pick us off one
by one. Too many are standing alone, with others.
shield of faith cannot cover our backs, so full protection comes
through being in relationship with other Christians.
A church should be led by a balanced
team of elders, including:
professional leader cannot be Jesus.
Only a body of people can contain the fullness of the Spirit.
modern pastor/leader does not exist
in the scriptures. Dependence
on professional leaders and hierarchy has paralysed his body.
ministries weaken a church. Without
an evangelist, it will not grow.
Without a prophet, it will lack vision and holiness.
Without several pastors, new Christians will not grow.
new Christians should be discipled by a more mature Christian.
The most important thing will be to learn how to hear God
speak. Disciples can
then learn from him themselves, with an elder watching from the
Christian should be released into a ministry.
Elders will replicate their ministries in those they
disciple. If elders have
a variety of gifts, a variety of ministries will emerge among their
new Christians are not discipled and only a few are released into a
ministry. God will not
entrust us with more new Christians until we can care for those he
has already given us.
Christians who emerge in a ministry have had to teach themselves.
They have to start from scratch, so they do not reach their
full potential. We need
every Christian functioning fully in their calling and ministry.
should serve the Lord together. Two
men who trust each other will achieve more together, than they can
separately. They will
stir each other along and
gain confidence to try things that they would not normally do.
Jesus promised that when two men work together in his name,
he will be there with them in a special way.
Most men are ineffective in ministry, because they serve God on their
Peter got out of the boat alone, he sunk in the water.
When he worked with John, they healed a lame man and
challenged the Jewish authorities.
Jesus sent his disciples out “two by two” to preach the
gospel. We go alone and
often fail alone.
8. Healing Evangelism
Jesus and the apostles had a very effective method of evangelism.
They would go to where the Spirit was moving and pray for a
sick person or cast out a demon.
When a crowd gathered to see what had happened, they would
preach the gospel. The
evidence of God’s love and power would be standing beside them, so
their gospel was hard to resist.
Maybe we should wait till we
have power from on high needed for healing
rather than rushing on without it.
modern church struggles with evangelism methods that do not work.
Our approach is a church meeting, that consists of worship,
sermon and an altar call. Clever
gimmicks are necessary to attract people who are no longer
comfortable coming to a church.
If we cannot heal the sick, why should people believe that our gospel
9. Send out the Best
is more effective than addition.
The best people should be sent out as apostles to establish
new churches. Just as
Jesus left his home in heaven and dwelt among us, apostles
should go and live among the people where the spirit is moving.
will start with the end in mind.
They will identify a person of peace or influence and start a
new church in their home. The
person of peace will be trained up to be an elder, when the apostles
are sent out again to plant another church.
never said to get people to come; he always said the church should go
to people in need.
will not go, so we do not grow.
a leader is surrounded by more and more Christians, their ministry
is diffused. They are
put on a higher pedestal from where it is easier to fall.
with big ministries are being called apostles, but the word
“apostle” means “sent”.
A person cannot be called an apostle until they are sent out.
10. No Excuses
God’s people need a better grasp of his plan.
He is in control and is working out his purposes.
Jesus defeated Satan on the cross and is shaking the nations,
so his church can establish the Kingdom.
The kingdom of man is rotting from the inside and is ready to
fall. We can share in
Jesus victory, if we understand his
plan for winning.
Most Christians believe that the world will get worse and worse until
Jesus returns. When the
world deteriorates, they take it as a sign that Jesus is coming
should not be pessimistic
about the future.
who believe in defeat are easy to cheat and beat.
11. Gospel of the Kingdom
preached the gospel of the Kingdom, so we should do the same.
of God is the solution to all the problems of the world.
God has given the church responsibility for establishing his Kingdom. When
we get serious about this task, we will begin to experience his
blessing. The gospel of
the Kingdom is the key to revival and victory.
will not bless a narrow vision.
Christians have focussed their energies on the church, but
have retreated from the world, allowing Satan to control what is not
is not interested in revival in a ghetto.
He sent Jesus to destroy sin and Satan, so his church could
Kingdom of God.
We will not experience his blessing if we are unwilling to complete this task.
Jesus death, resurrection and ascension accomplished perfect salvation.
The Kingdom of God
can deal with the consequences of sin better than the state.
are the best solution to poverty.
The gift of healing is the best solution to sickness.
To see revival, we will need to offer a broad salvation that
deals with all the consequences of sin, including poverty and
modern world looks to the state for salvation.
The state is expected to eliminate every problem (effect of
sin). The government
should do something about it is our catch cry.
Christians have more faith in the state than in God.
We offer the world forgiveness for sin, but for salvation
from the effects of sin, we point to the state.