Ultimately the Holy Spirit is the only one who can trigger a great awakening in your area. Yet the Spirit is willing. God works through people. He asks "Who will go?" Who is willing to say: "Here I am Lord, send me!" That is the beginning. We become willing to be a vessel for the Holy Spirit to work through. That is very powerful. It's called "willingness." After we're willing, and we start doing, prayerfully, it's really nothing more than details from there.
What are those details? Let's have a look see. Are you ready to be Johnny Appleseed, planting wherever you go? It starts with planting. Hopefully others are watering, eventually a crop is growing.
We need not reinvent the wheel. The amazing thing is that God does the real work. What's more amazing is it's all there in the Bible! I just need to bring it to the surface of the culture around me. Christianity in it's practice can become stagnant, and dead, in a short amount of time. People grow old, slowly die inside, and eventually there are plenty of Bibles still about, but they're all collecting dust on shelves or buried at the bottom of boxes in the basement.
Engagement is so important. And it doesn't take an extrovert people person evangelist. Myself, I tend to be more introverted then extroverted. And I take that roll, I don't force myself into something I can't be. I make it work to my advantage.
Just plant seeds, prayerfully. It's not too tough. The methods will vary with the personality of the person, but these are the methods I've put into practice that seem to be yielding fruit.
In essence, it's about becoming a powerhouse. It's about becoming a one man (or woman) army. No one else is going to do these things. I take responsibility to do them myself. And I need to endure in that.
I gotta be a dynamic, versatile assault carrier. I've got planes I launch, I've got deck guns, I've got emergency crews, repair crews, deck hands, troops I can launch to shore, engines to take me places, etc. It's a metaphor, but it's apt. Let's dig into the things we can do, daily, and for me as a young guy, computer savy, reader, writer, speaker, these are tailored to my personality. But anyone brainstorming can come up with their own awakening methods.
1. Deliver the meat and potatoes - Drop Bibles Purchase Bibles in bulk, and drop them at locations in your area. Sometimes food pantries will have a "free books" area, where you could leave some Bibles. Leave free Bibles at laundromats. Tracts are good to leave too. I usually put a sticker on the Bibles I leave with a link to my blog, to encourage a "journey" attitude to Christian living. Websites like these are great places to order bulk bibles:
2. Personal Prayer - on a daily basis, pray for a handful of people in your area. And watch God work miracles. Pray for churches in your area. Pray for the community overall. God works in mighty ways through prayer. Continue in prayer, week by week, month by month, and year by year.
3. Facebook posting on a daily basis - Christian pictures and scriptures, 3-5 times a day. Imagine the impact you could have over several years as you prayerfully post on social media? This is a favorite one for me, because I'm an introvert. And in the sometimes police state-like atmosphere of America, if you preach out loud long enough without a "permit" you can be arrested and jailed. I wonder if our founding fathers had to get "permits" for everything they wanted to do? I post pictures on social media. I post scriptures on social media. I post links to articles and petitions for Christian organizations as well. Get creative, and get bold!
4. Post on Community Pin up Boards - self made fliers, Christian tracts, encouragement, 12 step meeting lists, get creative. I make my own and tag them up every two weeks at gas stations, apartment complexes, laundromats, and super markets. I've found it to be very effective, and free.
5. Donate to Charities - pick a few, walk the walk, set up monthly donations. Compassion International, Gospel for Asia, Salvation Army, there are many to choose from. It's not gonna break the bank. There are many organizations to choose from, but remember to always check the reputation of your charity on Charity Navigator or another charity review website. Also, if you order regularly on Amazon, remember to order from "smile.amazon.com." When you do, Amazon will donate a percentage of the cost of your order to a charity of your choice. No extra charge to you. Pretty cool, right!?
6. Start a Bible Study - This can be very powerful. God will work through a Bible study. Here's the thing though: Just go verse by verse through the Bible. You don't need to study sermon series, or the latest book by Randy Alcorn or Francis Chan or Tim Keller. No no no, those might be good and entertaining, but stick with the word of God. The word of God is nourishing, we need it, verse by verse. Keep it simple. Host the Bible study week by week, eventually you could train a leader to replace you, and start another one. See how powerful that could be, Johnny Appleseed?
7. Set up a Prayer Group - online or offline, I set one up on Facebook called "Wausau Prayer Group" for people in my area to post prayer requests. One could also set up an in person prayer group that meets once a week to pray about issues in the area. Train a leader to replace you, and start another. Powerful.
8. Be an Advocate for Churches - And I don't just mean your church. I mean churches in your area. I'd encourage you to attend the services of a number of churches in your area, get a feel for their style, then use your experience at each of these churches to recommend them to people you may meet on a daily basis. Baptist, Methodist, Salvationist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Lutheran, even Catholic churches in your area, visit, attend, and become an advocate for all of them. Talk positively about them, and encourage people to try them out and see which fits best with them in light of God's word. We have enough critics of the church of Jesus Christ in the world today, be an advocate instead.
9. Volunteer - I'm a very blessed and lucky man to work at a homeless shelter where I have constant chances to talk with people and encourage them. Not all of us are so blessed. But there are always volunteer opportunities where you can serve those in need. Beyond all the donations, food, water, shelter, hygiene products, meeting needs, and various ways to serve the lost, possibly the best is simply talking with a person, one on one. It's very powerful to simply sit and talk with someone who is struggling, treating them as an equal, listening to them and loving them. Consider volunteering a few hours of your time weekly at a homeless shelter, food pantry, soup kitchen, warming shelter, prison ministry, or evangelism outreach. Very often we simply don't encounter the struggling masses within the walls of our own churches. We need to go to them. Jesus said "Go" he didn't say "invite."
10. Advocate for the Persecuted Church - This can be locally through supporting Religious freedom in the USA, or it can be through supporting foreign persecution. There are many important organizations that need dedicated advocates.
Religious Rights Advocacy Organizations:
Abolish Human Abortion - Join the movement to abolish human abortion, through abolitionist societies across the USA National Pro Life Alliance -Join the pro life alliance Discovery Institute - I love the discovery institute! They put forward the reasonable evidence for intelligent design and actively appose the massive Darwinian establishment
Liberty Institute - An organization that actively supports religious liberty, I'm a firm supporter of Liberty Institute
ACLJ - The ACLJ is a religious liberties ministry that advocates for religious freedom in the USA.
Focus on the Family - A ministry in support of the nuclear family.
Alliance Defending Freedom - An organization focused on supporting religious liberties.
Persecution Advocacy Organizations:
Persecution.org - Help support the persecuted church in foreign countries by taking action through petitions and media campaigns
Voice of the Martyrs - Help support the persecuted church through this large ministry.
11. Be Courageous - It's amazing what you can do just by talking to people about God and Christianity. So many people don't talk about it, because it's considered taboo. Eventually no one is talking about it. Once one person starts talking about Jesus and the Bible, politely, with love, others see that it's ok to talk about. That mentality spreads, and eventually a revival is taking place. And all you had to do was step outside the norms, and be vocal about your faith. It's just that simple. Step outside the cookie cutter, and be real about your faith in Jesus. Talk about it. Open up dialogue about it. Eventually other Christians will follow suit. As Billy Graham said, "Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened."
Do these things on a daily basis, not over weeks or months, but faithfully over years and you will see an awakening take shape in your community, God willing. And in my experience, God is willing for his children to know him and love him with a sincere fire. Amen.
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