Paul S. Lyon, S. Burlington, VT — “I know revival works, if we pray, participate and praise. We have more revivals than we used to have: about a half dozen revivals a year. I feel very strongly that if we are going to bring evangelists in, they are to be compensated. If a revival doesn’t cost us something, we don’t really experience the value of what is brought in by an evangelist. It is important that our people hear another voice. I look for an evangelist who has integrity, passion and a good report.
Ron Guidroz, Galveston, TX — In Acts 7, Stephen’s preaching demanded a response. His conviction preaching about the OT law was irresistible. They stoned Stephen. Verse 51 says they resisted, but they had to make a decision. One of the greatest conviction preachers of our time, the late Orlin Rae Sauss stated: “Whenever I read my text, my altar call begins.” Conviction preaching still works.
A revival is most effective and a time of reaping is most certain when the church has prepared the soil, planted the seed, taught home Bible studies, and the prospects are ready for Holy Ghost transformation. Churches may become paralyzed over the years when seemingly nothing supernatural is happening.
When an evangelist comes in to the right setting, there is a marvelous potential for miraculous things to happen. A church can get off a dead center in one weekend. Lives are changed. Homes are changed. People’s finances are changed. People receive the Holy Ghost. Signs and wonders are common with revival.
There’s transformation in people’s lives when the evangelist confirms what the pastor has been preaching. I’m not afraid to ask a pastor what he needs me to preach. If he tells me the area of need, it never fails to work. He’s the commander-in-chief of the battle, and he knows. Each evangelist should ask God to lead him or her to a pastor or evangelist mentor who is fruitful. Ask his opinion and guidance. Evangelists have got to stay in the fire of Apostolic ministry.
Art Wilson, Romulus, MI — In the last 10 years, we have baptized over 1,200. We’re probably having more revivals now because we want to keep that momentum, and we want to reach more souls. We really want to keep that freshness going for the harvest.
We try to have a major revival service every quarter. It is imperative for every church that’s interested in church growth, even though they are having great church. A church has to tap into the prophetic realm to keep the people fresh. You have to have those times when you bring a complete awareness to the newness through an extended service meeting.
The purpose for a revival service is so that the fivefold ministry is activated in the church. The church already has a constant flow of pastoral and teaching ministry from its pastor, so I bring in a speaker who will bless our church in the fivefold ministry office: someone who can operate in the ministry anointing of the apostle, prophet and evangelist. That has proven to be incredibly beneficial for us.
We keep the vision before the people so they know what God wants to do. You can’t just call a revival if you want to get the full benefits of a revival. You should have a lot of upshift where the people are fasting and praying, and there should be a lot of marketing information and vision casting as to where God is taking people in the revival. Then, when the revival happens, it has an explosive effect.
Robert Coffey III, Portsmouth, Ohio — Usually Sunday to Wednesday works best for us. People don’t rally out like they once did, but our attendance is good. People seem to be busier than before. This year we’ve had three revivals. I consider a revival successful when I see people that have been cold and indifferent responding and smiling. It is so uplifting to see people with praise on their lips, showing signs of improvement. If I can get my church motivated to go into the harvest and work, I feel good about the time we spent in revival.
Mark Moore, Atlanta, Georgia — Revivals are a great opportunity for harvest, but revivals only work if you work them. You have to work leading up to the revival. I try to make certain the meeting has been publicized, that the people have been motivated. We also have giveaways to give the people one more incentive to bring guests.
We have a prayer team that prays two hours a day during that revival week, and the saints pray and do extra fasting. You have to provide a spiritual climate. If you have a move of God, that excitement will carry people.
Jeff Jaco, New Castle, IN — I try to bring an evangelist in at least four times a year, and it is usually a Sunday service because our Wednesdays are so directed at teaching. The giants of our faith were tremendous teachers.
A healthy church is going to have a healthy flow of guests. Any time an evangelist comes here, there’s always going to be plenty of people to preach to; people who are at all stages coming to God. If we are going to ask evangelists to come and reap a harvest, there ought to be corn in the field.
Pastor Alvin Ray, Memphis, TN — We only have two or three-day revivals. When evangelists come, we tell them what we are looking for. I tell them, “I have heard you somewhere else. This is what our people need.” We advertise before revivals, and we tell people why they are coming. If it is a healing revival, we tell people that.
We have a Fasting Team. Somebody here fasts every day. We also have a team that prays 24 hours. One time we had a revival and 30 people got the Holy Ghost. God is a result God.
Willie Clemmons, Canton, MS — We have about four revivals a year. Some do us good. Some stir up emotions. A preacher who tickles the emotion is usually only good for that service. Then the people are right back where they were before.
In a lot of churches, there’s a team of people who come up to sing songs. Many times God doesn’t even bless the services. Deut. 16:11 says God wants us to rejoice in the place [He] has chosen to place His name in. But the people are putting the praise on the song leaders.