I grew up attending revival meetings, and also hated pretty much every one I ever went to. In our Baptist sect, a revival was special preaching service every weekday night. The church would call in a visiting preacher, and it occurred to me as I was writing this that practice brings up a question. Why bring in a different preacher for the revival? Is the local pastor ineffective to lead revival in the church he is leading? The old revivals or “great awakenings” were the birthplace of the modern practice of holding revival meetings once or twice a year, I’m sure. The new revival taking place is a work of the Holy Spirit and does not look like the revivals of old.
It’s a turning away from individual/personal piety to relationship.
It’s a turning from institutionalism to community.
It recognizes the veneer of holiness from the culture war was just a veneer. Now stripped away, the lust for power underneath the veneer is exposed.
It is taking seriously Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18 via Jesus in Matthew 22:37-40.
The revival that is happening is about turning away from seeking “comfortable” lives. It is turning from what’s “comfortable” and “safe” to follow Jesus into self-sacrificing lives in order to love our neighbors. Not just to get them into heaven when they die, but to show them the abundant life Jesus promises if you follow him now in this life.