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The 8 elements leading to a community-wide revival

Imagine a community with rampant drugs, teen pregnancy, and alcohol. Half the freshman classes never graduated high school. Unchurched families moved in with a new manufacturing plant. Churches were stagnant, Bible teaching went through the motions. And few if any teens ever attended church functions.

But the Jesus Movement rocked that world. A world very much like our own today.

Bob Bakke speaks on spiritual revivals. He provided eight elements that I had to agree that God used to foster a churchwide heartfelt revival that saw a community impacted by the Gospel.

1.      An authoritative voice: Asbury College’s chapel service in 1970 sparked a prayer movement.

2.     Common points to agree upon: The movement was not about theological specifics, but praying focused on heartfelt needs.

3.     Histories to point to: The public was very aware of the Jesus Movement. More locally we celebrated wins in prayer meetings, bus ministry, and mission trips.

4.     Training: Pastors knew that teens were inviting their lost friends to church. Their messages included gospel invitations every single service.

5.     Friends: We prayed constantly for each other as witnesses. “Revivals happen among friends,” Bakke said.

6.     Concerts of prayer: Students prayed 90 minutes every week for five years.

7.     Revivals: Each worship service was a revival experience. The altar was full.

8.     Home prayer cells: When we outgrew my parents’ home, we renovated an unused second floor of a house our church owned.

To get started, set prayer goals: Once weekly small groups, once monthly churchwide event, once quarterly praying with other churches, and once annually the first Thursday of May with the National Day of Prayer.

 --Mark Snowden directs the Cincinnati Area Baptist Association

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