Summary: In a church you need "Reaching Out", you need "Reaching In" but Revival is about "Reaching Up."
I think, that in talking about Revival, these past two Sundays, I may have caused some confusion over what I mean by that word and the reason for that is because Revival, is not a word that we hear much about in the churches of Christ.
We know what the word Retreat means, we know what the words gospel meeting mean, we even know what the word seminar means.
But when it comes to the word revival, the preacher runs the risk of meaning one thing while the people in the pews arrive at a completely different conclusion.
So this morning I want to use some scripture and some stories of my own spiritual journey to illustrate what I mean when I use the word Revival.
Now, before I begin to do that, I want to share with you what I think about our heritage as the churches of Christ. I know that every church and every tradition has it’s share of problems and struggles.
But when I became of member of the churches of Christ, I was impressed by the three things that they stressed most often and have impacted my life more than anything else through the years.
# 1. A love for the Bible. Being exposed to the churches of Christ has taught me to have a deep love for the bible, to have a high view of the bible, to believe that the bible is Gods word and that in it, I could find everything I needed to know about life and Godliness. And I have a high view of the bible because of that.
# 2. The desire of wanting to be just a Xian. Not a certain brand of Xian, not some kind of Xian, but just a Xian. I am thankful that I belong to a fellowship that says, all we want to be is just Xian.
# 3. And finally, what this fellowship, this brotherhood / Sisterhood taught me was to love the church. Now, I know the church has it’s flaws. Church is kind of like Noah’s ark, if it was for the storm raging on the outside, we sometimes couldn’t stand the stink on the inside.
I know that every church has it’s problems.
But I belong to a fellowship that loves the body of Christ. And my family and I have been the recepiants of that love many times over, in other congregations where we have ministered and in this congregation especially.
Those three things have impressed me the most about the churches of Christ and they have impacted my life more than anything else through the years.
And, I am grateful to be a member of the churches of Christ
In those years as a member and minister of the Churches of Christ, I have heard a lot of sermons about evangelism from her pulpits and I have heard a lot of sermons about our need for fellowship.
But, the one thing that I have not heard much about from the pulpit, are sermons on Praise, especially when it is connected to the word Worship.
Worship and Praise is that part of our having to deal with God and his dealing with us, on the corporate level, as well as on the individual level.
Maybe the reason why we don’t talk much about Praise and Worship in our assemblies is because, our experience in it has sometimes been so shallow.
Please, listen to what I am about to say in the context of what I said earlier about my coming to love the churches of Christ and what it has taught me about the Bible and the people who make up the church.
I really meant it when I said that I am grateful to be a member of the churches of Christ and I wouldn’t change any of my expreiences in it, for all the gold in the world.
But I must also tell you, that what we sometimes call worship, can better be described with words like un-inspired, empty, mundane and yes, even sometimes boring.
And I am including in that description some of the sermons that I have preached. I mean to tell you that some sermons that I have preached have been so boring, that I looking at the clock wondering when it’s going to be over.
I am telling you, that in some assemblies the issue should never have been the holding up of hands, the issue should have been the holding up of eye lids.
It’s like the little boy who walked up to the minister in the foyer, the minister was standing in front of a plaque and the little boy asked him;Preacher what’s that? Young man this plaque holds the names of all the men from this congregation, who have died in the service. The little boy asks, which one? Morning or Evening?