When I was a youngster, it was not uncommon for churches to have revivals twice a year. Revivals were such a regular occurrence in the life of the church, there almost became formulaic. Usually, a guest preacher from another church would come and preach his best sermons for seven straight days, some souls would be saved, and everyone would feel renewed for another season of ministry.
But somewhere in the course of my nearly 61 years on this earth, that changed. Revivals came to be an increasingly rare event in the life of churches. Maybe that was because a revival based on a formula is really no revival at all. Whatever the reason, the renewing influence of souls saved, of lives revived on the life of congregations was slowly lost. And individual churches have suffered as a result.
That did not mean that the yearning for revival was lost, however. You still see and sense that yearning in the Reinhardt Bonnke Crusade in Greensboro this weekend, or the efforts of the Randolph Christian Men’s group to bring revival to our community. All these are worthy efforts, but the success of these community wide efforts will depend on revival coming to our local churches.
For weeks now, we have been inviting folks to mark their calendars for the weekend of September 19-21. Ken Helser, noted writer, artist, musician, and folk theologian will be with us for three sessions of spiritual renewal and refreshment. Ken has been busy at work preparing “brand new material,” that he will be sharing with us for the first time.
Our opening session will be on Friday night September 19 at 7:30 in the Family Life Center. Saturday morning, we will gather in the FLC at 9:00 for pastries, fruit and coffee at 9:00 a.m., and Ken will lead us until 12:00 Noon. Finally, Ken will be with us for one special combined service at 10:30 in the Family Life Center. My prayer is that this weekend will mark the beginning of a revival for us here at Central; that this will be a time when souls will be saved, and we will be reenergized and renewed for the next chapter that God has in store for our church. I do know this. I know Ken Helser, and I know this will not be the revival by formula of my youth. This will be a Holy Spirit filled weekend, one you will not want to miss.
~ Pastor Terry