After much thought and prayer about who I am, I feel as though I have landed on something: I’m a pioneer. Pretty basic, actually…just somebody who blazes a trail, sets a pace, upholds a goal, and gets on in achieving it.
This realization brought up a couple more issues of introspection: What do I want to see? How exactly are we gonna get there? Those sorts of things. Well, here we go again, I still long for nothing more than to see God move in power, salvation power amongst a young generation. Some, like me, call this revival or awakening or an ingathering or even a movement. Semantics, here, are not crucial. Simply put, what Christian doesn’t want these things at some point in their walk or journey or path with the Lord? It seems that we ALL would, but upon further or deeper glances, that doesn’t always seem to be the case.
What does seem to be the case, is that we have lost our way. Yeah, no kidding, we the carnal church, in all our carnie carnality, have lost our way as we have sought to perpetuate our own ends. Abuses. Misconceptions. Miscommunications. Lack of prayer. Lack of the Bible. Lack of actions and doing the things we say we believe. Forgetting what belief is. Forgetting that life is precious. Forgetting what marriage or creation or even natural law is or means. We are or have been losing our blinkin’ minds.
It would be stupid right now, for me to continue down the path of everything that is wrong with Christians and churches. A fool’s errand at best. However, I have searched and continue to search the face of God and the Word He wrote for the answer to these questions. One thing I have found is that old truth is the ONLY truth. Truth is funny that way…it can’t “used to be true” or “kinda be true.” It is just—true. Here is the rub though: old truth seems to look new and amazingly refreshing when most of a generation hasn’t ever seen its footprints or heard its song. Pioneering, then, is the call of the hour.
A pioneer, a prophet, a revivalist, a frontiersman, a teacher, a leader, a forerunner…whoever, then hits the scene to help crazy-lost people find the trail again.
So, instead of the elusive and unmanned “new truth,” we arrive at the same old truth that just seems new because it has been underestimated or forgotten.
Ok, so we are agreed (if you are still reading this), that what we want and need is revival. And it seems that revival is simply defined as a recontextualizing, not a reinvention of root Gospel motives and solid Acts-style church. Remember, old truth is the only truth. This, among other definitions, will suffice at this point and time. Now we have the colliding of the two questions: What do we want & how do we get there?
This is where flatlining leads to streamlining.
Whatever isn’t working in the church, ie. the phoniness, the glitz and glammer, the bipartisanship of factions (forced polarization), the hypocrisy, the money-grubbing, the abuses and the misuses…have all got to be abandoned. Over the years of praying and agonizing for revival, and almost giving up on the idea many times, I have come across common threads that seems to stitch all true movements of God together. I have been mentored by John Higgins, the founder of the House of Miracles and Shiloh (the largest network of communes during the Jesus Movement). I’ve had a lot of one-on-one face time with Glen Kaiser and other long-term members and founders of Jesus People USA in Chicago. Not to mention, I have been spiritually and pastorally raised up by no less than 20+ Calvary Chapel pastors, most of which were instrumental in the Jesus Movement. Then we add 15 years experience with Cornerstone Music Festival, traveling in a bus/music ministry for 2 years and having run ins with a whole host of other types of street level and effective ministries…the same stuff kept coming up:
Preach the Gospel. Pray. Love. Meet people’s needs. Feed. Clothe. Visit in prison. Teach the Word. The whole Word. And then you better be willing to live it. BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT. Do not shun the gifts. Accountability. Discipleship. Jesus is coming back. Share needs. Share burdens. Share cars. Share meals. Share. Trust God to provide. Worship together. THE CHURCH OF ACTS.
Why is this so hard? Why can’t we get it right? Why is the church asleep and lacks power? Pioneers and revivalists take the necessary steps to find out why. They pray and pray and pray until God shows up and answers. Sometimes it may be difficult to be this bold, but we are seeing these things bring life and wake people up. We are seeing people get on fire for God and His Word. His Spirit is moving in a little, out-of-the-way, forgotten frontier. The pioneers are gathering. A new (yet old) civilization is within our grasp…just like every other era that has seen awakening. WE WANT REVIVAL!
We will see more later how God is taking us there.