“As long as we are content to live without revival, we will.” –Leonard Ravenhill
We as student pastors have such an incredible job. We get to experience camp, mission trips, Wednesday nights, Sunday School, DiscipleNow weekends, dodgeball tournaments, fundraisers, sports events – and the list goes on.
It is so easy for us as planners and preachers to get into the routine of doing the same thing year after year. We can plan the best events, preach great sermons, have the coolest merch, but if we are not on our knees praying weekly for our students, our pastors and our churches to see God move in extraordinary ways, then we are missing the mark.
Prayer should be the first thing that we turn to before planning the yearly calendar of events, mission trips, camp themes and sermons we are going to preach. I know that this might sound like a common-sense approach, but so often we rely on the good things of the past to dictate the way we go in the future. This takes any reliance upon God away. I found myself relying fully on the success of the past, and not relying upon God for what he was wanting to do in the future.
This past January, we had our DiscipleNow weekend and many things ended up not going as planned (speaker backing out, band getting sick, COVID surging again). I am a huge planner, so this really put me out of my comfort zone. God taught me more in that season than I could have ever imagined.
I had been studying about revivals. I looked at how they often started, and I read about the people who had lived through and experienced different types of revivals. I came across a few Michael Catt sermons (former senior pastor at Sherwood Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia) on revival and ended up getting to talk with him a few times on the phone about the Jesus Movement that he lived through. He said something that stopped me in my tracks and made me realize our need for revival is so urgent. He said, “The day is quickly approaching where there will be no one left in this generation that has experienced a move of God like we saw in the Jesus Movement.”
The urgency of revival should be on the forefront of our minds. We must rely on God. We must call on God. We must repent. We must be filled with the Holy Spirit every day.
We as student pastors must be seeking God and praying for revival in our churches and in our ministries. The majority of the revivals that have occurred in the past have started with young people.
We have a generation of students who are hungry for authenticity and hungry to see God move. I truly believe that God is moving in this generation and is going to do some incredible things through them.
It is our job as student pastors to lead with authenticity as we seek God every day. We must be praying. We must be vigilant. We must lead. God, we want to experience revival!
Leonard Ravenhill was also quoted saying, “No man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying. We have many organizers, but few agonizers; many players and payers, few pray-ers; many singers, few clingers; lots of pastors, few wrestlers; many fears, few tears; much fashion, little passion; many interferers, few intercessors; many writers, but few fighters. Failing here, we fail everywhere.”
Questions to think over:
- Do you have a prayer strategy for the events that you do? How far out do you start praying? Is there a group praying? Is the church aware of your prayer needs?
- Do you have a group of people that you pray with regularly?
- Are the events I am planning centered around experiencing God?
Spencer Jones serves as minister to high school students at First Baptist Trussville.