Friday, September 06, 2013

Revive Us Again

Will you not revive us again that your people may rejoice in you?   Psalm 85:6

When the 19-year-old Charles Spurgeon received a call to the New Park Street Church (London) in April 1854, the church was fledgling and less than healthy. Within 10 months, however, the congregation grew to such a size that it was forced to move to Surrey Gardens Music Hall where Spurgeon preached to over 9,000 men and women each Sunday.

The ministry continued to flourish, so much that on October 7, 1857, the Prince of Preachers (as Spurgeon became known) addressed a record crowd of 23,654 people in the famous Crystal Palace. Something beyond natural was happening.

In March 1861, Spurgeon’s congregation finally moved to the Metropolitan Tabernacle, where he would preach the next 31 years and personally see over 14,000 men and women come to faith in Christ. While there, he started an orphanage, the Pastor’s College, and eventually produced an avalanche of published sermons that would circle the globe.  Spurgeon testified to the following as his core conviction:

“If we had the Spirit sealing our ministry with power, it would signify very little about talent. Men and women might be poor and uneducated, their words might be broken and ungrammatical; but if the might of the Spirit attended them, the humblest evangelist would be more successful than the most learned divine, or the most eloquent of preachers.”

Spurgeon’s ministry was devoted to revival; he would settle for nothing less. In his own words, “Death and condemnation to a church that is not yearning after the Spirit, and crying and groaning until the Spirit has wrought mightily in their midst.”

The pursuit of revival was a priority for Spurgeon. And what was the outcome of his request? During the years when Spurgeon prayed, Protestant churches in London saw a 60% increase in attendance, exceeding the population growth of the city. It was also in this time (1857-1858) when the Spirit moved powerfully in America, causing what became known as the Third Great Awakening.

Here is THE question for all of us who call PCC home: Why would we not give ourselves to prayer for a genuine revival in our own day?

On Sunday we kick off our Fall exploring why PCC takes up space.  This is an important time for every PCC’er to engage together and come to an understanding of our unique mission as a church.  Hang out in Acts 2:42-47.  I look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

I love being your pastor!