In 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 see revival.

Effective Solution Obstinate Obstacle
1. Real Relationships 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.

Shallow 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 it.

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.
3. 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.

4. Spiritual Protection 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 do 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 in place. 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.

The shield of faith cannot cover our backs, so full protection comes through being in relationship with other Christians.

5. Balanced leadership A church should be led by a balanced team of elders, including:
  • a prophet to ask the tough questions, expand vision and encourage holiness.
  • an evangelist with a passion for the lost and a gifting for sharing the gospel.
  • several pastor-teachers to help new Christians grow, to watch over the flock and build unity.
  • an apostle to bring enthusiasm and push ahead to break new ground.

One professional leader cannot be Jesus. Only a body of people can contain the fullness of the Spirit. The modern pastor/leader does not exist in the scriptures. Dependence on professional leaders and hierarchy has paralysed his body. Missing 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. 

6. Effective Discipling Every new Christian 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 a distance.

Every 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 disciples.

Most 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.

Most 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.

7. Power Pairs Pairs of men 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 own. When 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 evangelism, rather than rushing on without it.

The 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 is true?

9. Send out the Best Multiplication 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.

Apostles 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.

Jesus never said to get people to come; he always said the church should go to people in need. We will not go, so we do not grow. As 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. People 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 Pessimism God's people need a better grasp of his plan for history. 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 soon.

Christians should not be pessimistic about the future.

People who believe in defeat are easy to cheat and beat.

11. Gospel of the Kingdom Jesus preached the gospel of the Kingdom, so we should do the same. The Kingdom 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.

Kingdom is a noun not an adjective attached to human plans. We must build Kingdom Communities.
God 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 his.

God is not interested in revival in a ghetto. He sent Jesus to destroy sin and Satan, so his church could establish the Kingdom of God. We will not experience his blessing if we are unwilling to complete this task.

12. Real Salvation Jesus death, resurrection and ascension accomplished perfect salvation. The Kingdom of God can deal with the consequences of sin better than the state.

Deacons 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 sickness.

The 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.

Many 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.