Even in the middle of the pandemic, God will provide ways for faith to be awakened, revived and built up.
I’ve been working with Rev. Joe Varner at Thalia UMC in Virginia Beach. We were focused on small groups
and a recovery of the Wesleyan Class Meetings. Then, the conversation turned to the need for revival. Here’s what we did in addition to small group training:
We sent out a full outline of the ‘Revival Night’ with questions, Scripture and thoughts for each person to think upon and pray about before the revival.
“Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your unfailing love, LORD, and grant us your salvation.” - Psalm 85:6-7.
Some of the questions we asked included: “Do you personally believe you need revival? Do you personally believe you need more of the life of Christ within you? Do you long for it?”
John Wesley illustrated the Gospel by preaching on “the porch of repentance, the door of faith and the house of holiness.” I encouraged participants to think of the houses in nearby Smithfield, VA, like the picture above, for a good visual!
So, during the revival I used the porch, door, house illustration, preaching a short message on each of the three topics. Following each topic, we moved into small groups for discussion. There were three small
group times during which specific questions were asked to engage each person. In this way we modeled the Wesleyan Class Meetings. During these times each person shared an account of their own spiritual condition within an atmosphere of grace and truth. So the question: ‘How is it with your soul?” was asked in terms of where do I need repentance, greater faith and holiness in my life. We closed each small group time with each person praying for another in the group. If someone wasn’t comfortable praying out loud, we asked them to pray silently, then say "amen" when they were done. Again, we intentionally empowered each person to take an active role in the group by both sharing and praying.
Below is an outline. I used more Scripture in the preaching/teaching times. I am available to help churches or groups if you believe this could assist you in building up the body of Christ.
good news!'” - Mark 1:15
come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." - John 10:7-10
brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: 'Be holy, because I am holy.'" - 1 Peter 1:13-16