In May of 2015, during Missio Alliance’s 2nd North American gathering, Being Truly Human: Reimagining the Resurrectional Life, Ben Witherington spoke these words:
“What we need in this country is not just new missionary strategies. We need a revival by means of the Holy Spirit to sweep the land . . . No amount of plotting and planning and structure change and all of that good stuff, without a moving of the Holy Spirit, is going to get the job done. . . We need to get on our knees and pray for a revival of the Holy Spirit.”
What better time to pray for the healing and ministry of the Church than the day we celebrate her birth: Pentecost! Missio Alliance is inviting congregations and Christians across the country to join together in a day of prayer for Revival this Pentecost Sunday, May 15.
Will you join us?I'm joining Missio Alliance and many others in praying for revival this Pentecost! #PrayMay15 Click To Tweet
Banding together in prayer is the center of this effort, but we also recognize that there is tremendous diversity of thought and experience among followers of Jesus on the subject of “revival.” So, leading up to Pentecost Sunday we’re hosting a mini-series around the theme of revival. Several members of our Writing Team will be addressing this issue from a range of perspectives and we want to invite guest contributions as well. As Witherington says, “no amount of plotting and planning will get the job done without the Spirit,” which means we need the rich texture of diverse voices among the Body of Christ.We need a rich texture of diverse voices speaking about and praying for revival. #PrayMay15 Click To Tweet
If our job is not to force revival, but to long for it, pray for it, and prepare ourselves to respond to the work of the Holy Spirit, let’s open our imaginations to what revival could be through these Writing Collectives themes.
Here are just a few questions that might serve as prompts for contributions on the theme of revival…
- What might a 21st century revival look like? What could revival look like in an age of individualism and social media?
- How might social boundaries (e.g. race, gender, class) seem to inhibit revival?
- What do you see in the culture which makes you long for revival? What signs of revival do you see in the culture?
- What unique role might those on the margins have in beginning revival?
- Does revival have to happen personally before it can happen communally?
- What connection is there between the healing of emotional woundedness and revival?
- What is our part in revival and what is God’s part?
- How do you long for revival? How are you experiencing it personally or in your community?
- What would it mean to equip Christian leaders to be attuned to and participants in the reviving work of God?
- What theological themes were significant in revivals in the past? Do you think a 21st century revival will emerge from new kinds of wrestling with God and Scripture?
- What do you see in the Church which makes you long for revival? What signs of revival do you see in the Church?
- If the Holy Spirit is already dwelling in and among God’s people, what is different about a revival?
- Do we have to overcome denominational baggage/boundaries before revival can begin?
- Does revival have to look Pentecostal? How have less expressive Christians/denominations expressed revival in the past?
- Is revival for Christians or non-Christians? Or both? Are they connected?
- How are you seeing the world longing for the Church to be revived?
- What longterm difference could revival make to our mission?
- What could happen if the Church were healed?