Yesterday at church, I had wee care(that's what we call nursery duty). So I spent my time during the service taking care of 18-23month old babies. Not a bad gig if you don't count the stinky diapers! But when my time was up and it was time for Sunday School, I knew something was up. Judging from the faces of the people leaving the service, I just knew something great had happened...and I had missed it. Then my husband confirmed it. Now granted, you can't always go by his face, given that he is an emotional kinda guy and I love that about him. He sits down next to me in class and exclaims, "You missed it" "What?" I say. He then proceeds to tell me that Michael(our beloved pastor) never even made it to the message. Dawg gone it!! I just knew it.
Apparently, it all got started because we were to start something new in all of the Sunday School classes that day. Not your typical Sunday school stuff. All classes, young and old alike are going through this book/workbook called Downpour by James MacDonald. It's a book on personal revival. And let me just say that what I have already read is awesome! Michael(our pastor) began to speak to everyone about their responsibility in revival and how important and necessary it was for us individually and as a church (keep in mind I was not in there so I am telling you this second-hand). Instead of waiting until the end of the service people started to get out of their seats and make their way to the altar right then and there. He never even made it to his message!! People were weeping and crying out to God for personal revival!! And can you believe...I missed it!!
But here's the thing. We so often do think of "revival" as being for the church body as a whole. And I am not saying that it isn't. But it does have to happen to you first. You have to become more than just an observer of the faith and become an active participator. And I am so thankful that I have a pastor that cares about MY personal revival. He is not always interested in whether or not what he says is going to make everyone feel okay. He is not always interested in whether or not you are going to like or agree with what he says. And he is not always interested in if what he says makes you stay or makes you leave. But what he is interested in is the heart of the matter. He doesn't want a congregation that is satisfied with the status quo. That's not good enough. He doesn't want us to be doing things just to be doing them. I would even say he doesn't even want us to be "comfortable" anymore. And for some time now there have been what I refer to as "breakout" groups. Those groups of people who are no longer satisfied with the status quo. Who desire to go deeper with Christ....among the men, the women, and even the college age kids...
The thing to remember is this. When the Holy Spirit truly comes in, there are gonna be some times of testing. Trials by fire. Fire is not always a bad thing. It heats up metal and makes it able to be shaped and molded. It burns away the bad so that the pure can shine through. It melts the cold and makes the hard soft. I have often made the comment that our church is not a place for the faint of heart... Not really a place you can come and "play" Christian. Now sure, you can come and sit in your seat during the service and get up, unchanged, and go home. But, if you are going to come and get involved...hold on to your seat. Sometimes I can't even believe that a place like this exists where I live. So, I have a feeling that it's fixing to get hot in here. Can you take the heat?