I’m a tweeter. I look at Twitter as more than the mundane “I had lunch at…” and “Here I am sitting by the pool (a sight you really don’t want to see)…” Most of my tweets are related to the culture, preaching, revival, or churches. Some are biting. A few, I try to use a little humor and sarcasm just to lighten things up. As a side note, I’ve discovered not everyone gets humor or sarcasm.
Because of the media awareness for Sherwood Pictures, I have Google notify me when the church, movies, or my name are mentioned. No, I’m not paranoid, but it’s good to know what folks might be saying about you.
After the NBC fiasco where they “inadvertently” left out “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance video for the 2011 U. S. Open, I tweeted about the reason mainstream American doesn’t trust the national media. If they can’t get the pledge right, can we really trust them on anything else?
Little did I know that my tweet would be picked up by The New York Daily News in their article on the omission. They got the quote right, and I was stunned to be quoted when I’m sure there were tens of thousands of other people saying the same thing.
A few days later, I was sitting in my house and sent a tweet that simply said, “What if 1,000 pastors starting calling for prayer, repentance and revival? What we have is not working.”
Immediately, I started getting responses. My “mentions” were flying in. I started looking at where these responses of “I’m in” were coming from. They were from all over the United States—Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Oklahoma, Indiana, California—and even from India. And that was in the first hour after I sent the tweet.
Since then, I’ve continued to get tweets and retweets. In addition, I’ve gotten emails and phone calls from pastors, youth pastors, and laity who say, “I’m in.” To be honest, I’m a little overwhelmed. I’m also extremely encouraged.
What if 1000 pastors spent time in every worship service specifically praying for repentance and revival? What if the remnant who long to see a fresh movement of the Holy Spirit in the church began to pray to such an end? What if youth pastors taught their students to pray this way? What if widows got together and prayed that the coming generations would have a great faith? What if…only God knows.
But this I do know. It would make us look at life, ministry, “success,” and “results” differently. We wouldn’t be content with business as usual. God would stir us up to a holy dissatisfaction with status quo. We wouldn’t be able to overlook the carnality that fills our pews. The reason some churches don’t have trouble with the enemy is that they are so worthless he doesn’t have to spend any time dealing with them.
Paul told Timothy to stir up the gift of God. While revival is a work of God from beginning to end, we are to cooperate with that work. It’s up to us to stir ourselves up. It’s up to the Holy Spirit to fill us.
As I’ve gone through these tweets, my first temptation was to organize something. Maybe something needs to be organized. I don’t know. What I do know is you don’t have to have a website, brochure, campaign, or materials to pray and seek the Lord. It just takes time.
I’m wrestling with what that looks like for the church I serve. Do we have a weekly prayer meeting just to seek the Lord for revival? While we have walked in the waters of revival over the last few years, there is so much more for us to do. We’ve just touched the hem of His garment. We’ve seen mercy drops, but I’m looking for showers.
I want to live in such a way that what God does in the church impacts a community. The Welsh revival closed bars and emptied jails. The great revivals of the past have influenced society in a way that no legislator could imagine. The benevolence work of many para-church ministries was birthed in revival.
It must happen. The awakening must come or we are doomed. The absence of revival has happened on our watch. Yes, there are spots here and there where we hear of revival, but nothing on a national scale. We need a work of God that changes the culture. To do that, the church must first change. If the church doesn’t change, the culture will not change.
We need revival because we are lukewarm as a people. Name the denomination, and they are either defined by wildfire or no fire. There is no “burning heart” for Jesus. It’s either emotionalism or formalism or traditionalism. We need a sweeping, weeping, reaping revival.
The Quakers got their name from the fact that they trembled under the power of the Spirit. At least their faith shook them. Too many churches today start on time and end on time, and the church gives up her dead.
Whether revival comes in like a tidal wave or slowly like the tide, I say let it come. The timing is in God’s hands. The responsibility to humble ourselves, forsake our sin and seek the Lord is all our responsibility.
So fellow believers, let’s Twitter and Facebook thoughts on revival. Let’s write blogs about revival. Let’s fill our church newsletters with thoughts on revival. At every possible turn, let’s turn the conversation toward a hunger for revival. Who knows, God may hear us and rend the heavens and come down.
Let’s challenge the status quo. Let’s not settle for less than God’s best. Let’s believe God for one more great movement in this land. I saw God move during the days of the Jesus Movement. I am a product of that movement. When I wrote my book, The Power of Surrender I dedicated it to my daughters Erin and Hayley with the hope that they would see revival in their lifetime.
If it doesn’t happen, I don’t want to stand before God and have Him say, “Why didn’t you ask? Seek? Knock?”
LET’S DO THIS!
(copyright Michael Catt, 2011)
Michael served as the President of the Large Church Roundtable, the Southern Baptist Convention as an IMB Trustee, President of the Georgia Baptist Convention’s Preaching Conference, Vice President of the Georgia Baptist Convention, and President of the 2008 Southern Baptist Convention Pastors’ Conference. He has spoken at conferences, colleges, seminaries, rallies, camps, NBA and college chapel services, well as The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove. Michael is the recipient of The Martin Luther King Award, The MLK Unity Award, and a Georgia Senate Resolution in recognition of his work in the community and in racial reconciliation.
Michael and his wife, Terri, have two grown daughters, Erin and Hayley.