The Henry Ford maxim is often quoted and still stands true: “If you keep on doing what you have always done, you will keep getting what you’ve always gotten.” Over the years, I have observed that revival churches continually try new things: ministries, programs, events, you name it. Attending these churches is exciting because something is always happening. One pastor put it this way: “I marry the message, not the method.” We have a powerful and eternal message. But the method of propagating this message must change with the times.
It is extremely true that the only thing is life that’s achieved without risk is failure. Nothing worth striving for and obtaining ever comes easy. J. C. Penney once observed, “Geniuses themselves don’t talk about the gift of genius. They just talk about the hard work and long hours.”
What are you planning to do differently in 2019? What is your plan for revival? Are your leaders and church members aware of these plans and are they on board with the effort needed to achieve them? Revival churches often do the following to break out of the “same ol’ same ol’” mold:
Plan on having an Annual Planning Retreat with your ministry leaders this fall to plan the coming year. Usually this is an overnight, out-of-town event. Make it special. Consider going Friday evening, all day and evening Saturday, spending the night and driving back early Sunday morning for church. This is a great way to maximize the time and get the most out of brainstorming. Devote an hour to each department. Focus on improving existing plans and trying something new within each department that will reach souls.
Make evangelism the top priority for the coming year. Plan a series of activities and events that will result in baptisms and converts. Discuss new convert retention and consider launching a New Convert Care department to ensure you keep 50-70% of all new converts as solid members.
Plan on meeting with your ministry leaders monthly, on an off-church night throughout the coming year. The focus of this meeting will be to plan the coming months, including all outreach plans. Make sure each department has a role in making the upcoming plans a success. To fail to plan is to plan to fail.
Try something new this coming year, something big or unique that will capture your saints’ excitement and imagination. Step out in faith! Pray and let the Spirit direct your vision to achieve what only can be achieved by a supernatural move of God.
In Charles Conn’s classic work, Making It Happen, he writes: “Whatever it is, however impossible it seems, whatever the obstacle that lies between you and it – if it is noble, if it is consistent with God’s Kingdom, you must hunger after it, you must stretch yourself to reach it.” Like the prophet, we must “cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet.” The battle is not ours but His. This is His church. He will return for His bride dressed in white, without spot or wrinkle. But how are the wrinkles removed without heat and pressure? Resist the easy path, the way of ease and free of stress. Be willing to step out of the ordinary and risk everything for revival!