How to Have a Good Revival Meeting

Thanks to evangelist Ron DeGarde, preacher for Revival 2009, for this guest post.

degarde_ron1Most of the time, when we think about revival meetings, the first question that comes to our mind is, “Who is the evangelist?” Revival meetings are not about the evangelist. In fact, the church members are just as important as the evangelist, if not more important. In order to have a good revival meeting there are four ways the church members can join the evangelist as co-laborers together for God’s glory.

First, we must be interceding.

We must be praying for those who do not know the Lord not only to be drawn to attend the service but, more importantly, to be drawn to the Savior. Without a fresh breath from heaven the meetings are well nigh hopeless. Psalm 127:1 states, “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.” We can have meetings every night, but unless God is the one working we might as well turn off the lights and go back to our homes because it will all be in vain. Prayer is not preparation for God’s work; it is God’s work.

Second, we must be involved.

That means the church members have to be in attendance. The greatest blessing in any revival meeting is reserved for those who are involved. I had the privilege to work in corporate America for a few years in a physician’s recruiting firm and in an accounting firm. It was everything I could do to pull myself into the church for revival meetings on Monday night after a long day at the office. Invariably, I would get in my car after the service and say to myself, that service is exactly what I needed.

I was preaching in Richmond, VA several years ago and challenged the church to make their plans to be in attendance every night for the revival meetings. A man approached me after the Sunday night service and told me that he has never been able to be in attendance for all the evening services because he worked for FedEx and delivered packages until 7 or 8pm every night. He said, “You challenged me to be here every night this week, so I am praying that the Lord will open up a door and allow me to be in the services every night.” On Friday night of that week this man approached me and said, “Preacher, this is really amazing. I was able to come to all the services this week! In the history of FedEx in Richmond, VA we had the lowest volume of packages that they have ever had. Now, FedEx may not have liked that but God did! Just pray, and you never know what doors the Lord may open.

A third way we can be ministering together as co-laborers is by inviting people to come to the services.

We all have invited people to come to church and they turned us down or did not show up. Don’t be discouraged. If you have invited them ten times before, invite them an eleventh time. You never know what’s around the corner. I was preaching in Colorado and I was on the campus of Wheat Ridge High School not long after the shootings at Columbine High. Four teen guys walked up to me wearing black trench coats, white makeup, and black fingernail polish. These kids looked like vampires. I handed them some fliers and invited them to come to the revival meetings. One of the kids crumpled the flier and threw it at me, hitting me in the face. They walked off laughing, and needless to say I was discouraged. I thought, “what am I doing out here? Is this even making a difference?” I picked up the crumpled flier and started to head for the car. I was leaving.

I walked around the backside of the high school gym where my car was parked and bumped into a 17-year-old high school senior. I thought, “I have one last crumpled flier, I might as well give it to you.” God opened up a wonderful door as I handed that teen the flier, and twenty minutes later he knelt down behind that gym and trusted Christ. Now, I can’t prove this, but I can’t help but wonder if the Devil knew that and was trying to discourage me with those four teenagers I ran into earlier. If you have invited them ten times, invite them an eleventh; you never know what the Lord has around the corner.

This just may be a sensitive season for that person who has rejected the gospel time and time again, and they may be open to the gospel. We must be inviting. If you knew whomever you invited would trust Christ and be saved, whom would you invite? You need to invite that person.

We must be interceding, involved, inviting, and lastly investigating our own lives.

We must be investigating our own lives for areas where we need God’s grace, mercy, and forgiveness.

David asked the Lord to search his heart to see if there was any wicked way in him. David wasn’t asking God to discover the contents of his heart. God is omniscient. God already knew what filled David’s heart. David was asking for God to reveal areas of sin and failure to him. We must all have that spirit of investigation and brokenness. The attitude that says, “Lord, show me the error of my way and where I have failed you. Show me where I need to make things right with you. What is the next spiritual step you would like me to take this week?” We must come to the services not only with an open Bible, but also with an open heart. God may show us areas that we do not want to get right. We might hear some things during the preaching services of the revival week that we don’t like. But revival begins when we immediately obey the call of the Spirit.

We can all join forces together and become co-laborers for God’s glory when we are interceding, involved, inviting, and investigating our own lives. These are all avenues of ministry that everyone in the church can perform. The church member and the evangelist must cooperate, and when they do, the foundation for a wonderful meeting is being laid. May God give us a wonderful week of life-changing decisions, steps of faith, and new converts for Christ.

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