B. Motives for Seeking Revival
b. Second motive: for the sake of the lost
3. Recognise Evangelism is Not Enough
Revival is not an excuse for soft-pedalling evangelism.
I am totally committed to evangelism and have been ever since teenage when I was active in Youth for Christ and other local evangelism. However my training in evangelism at theological college was inadequate so I did an Evangelism Explosion training course, which was very helpful.
In the churches I have led we have had faith sharing events, guest services, healing services, discussions in pubs, open air events and have distributed evangelistic literature, amongst other methods.
I was also appointed CEO of the Church’s Ministry among Jewish People and discovered it had meandered from its prime purpose of (very sensitive) evangelism amongst Jewish people. So I re-established the priority of evangelism, was involved in several Lausanne Consultations on Jewish Evangelism, supported Israeli and British Jewish evangelists.
I mention all this to underline the importance of evangelism as a lifelong priority. But evangelism is not enough to meet the great spiritual needs of our increasingly godless nation. We need Revival.
As I have stated elsewhere, it is estimated that:
- in the Wesleyan Revival, by the time of John Wesley’s death in 1791 between 50,000 and 80,000 people had come to faith.
- in the 1859 Revival over a million converts were added to the church in the UK and perhaps as many again in the USA and other countries.
- in the 1904 Welsh Revival 100,000 people came to faith.
Also the lives of hundreds of people were transformed in the 1949-52 Hebrides Revival (the last in the UK).
It is a movement of the Holy Spirit on this level which we need so that huge numbers of people who are currently unbelievers will be brought into the kingdom.
So, yes, let us continue majoring on evangelism but let us equally major on praying and preparing for Revival.