As a band, and as a ministry, we long to see God move in our nation like He has in times past. I’m talking about revivals like 18th century Great Awakening in the colonies. Or Azusa street. And a revival that shook the world, the Welsh revival in the early 20th century.
There were so many signs and wonders in these revivals that they lost count. Healings, visions of angels, kids prophesying, fire coming down from heaven, all kinds of awesome stuff. But as cool as those things are, they were just mere by-products of something greater. The hallmark of these revivals, the one thing that set them apart, were the radical salvations that took place. No one was safe! The staunchly religious and the worst sinners in town were all being drastically transformed in a matter of days, sometimes in minutes. Death to life. Old to new.
People weren’t just making half-hearted, forgettable commitments to God. They experienced something so powerful that they abandoned the old life. Cussing coal miners were shouting the praises of God. Even the mules at the coalmines had to be retrained because they couldn’t understand commands without curse words!
At the height of the Welsh revival, you were hard pressed to find a town that wasn’t, literally, resounding with praise to God. There were reports of people hearing these revival meetings from miles away. There were worship processions down the high street, and pubs had to close down because people just simply forgot about them. Churches were packed. This revival had a real, measurable impact on society at the time.
I’ve heard some people say, “Why all this talk about revival? Let’s just be faithful in our day-to-day ministry and leave that up to God.”
That thought comes from a fundamental misunderstanding of what revival is.
Revival has two main components:
1) A dead church coming alive.
2) And as a result, a lost world coming to know Jesus.
In other words, revival is a sovereign response from God to our hunger and desperation for more of Him. And this results in masses of people coming to Jesus!
Recently, Leeland and I were driving down the road to a show. We had been spending a lot of time away from home, and it was taking a toll. We didn’t even have to talk about it. We knew that we were both running low. So instead of listening to talk radio or the latest cool music, we just began to cry out to God. We listened to stories of revival, put on worship music, and prayed. We had revival in the car on the way to the show, and God’s presence did more in that car ride than we could have ever done in our own strength. We wanted to be revived. So we asked God, and He responded.
As worship leaders, this is vital to understand! Outside of His presence, we can’t go very far.
Here are three things that we’re trying to live out, as a band, and as followers of Jesus.
1) Turning it upside down.
Start to consider Sunday morning as 1% of your ministry. And look at Monday through Saturday as your chance to be a REAL worship leader. Look for ways to serve in your community (maybe even outside of a musical context). Transform your ministry mentality! We’re not the pond for people to come drink from on Sunday. But by the grace of God, we’re to become rivers continually flowing and giving. We have to stay connected to Him for this to be possible. (John 14)
2) Being contagious.
We’ve noticed in our ministry that when we’re passionate about God and hungry for revival, people around us can’t help but get excited, too. The people you lead really are watching you. The way you live during the week can give power and passion to what you do on the stage, and it will spread like wild fire.
3) Not settling for “Easy.”
Some of you, I’m sure, can get up and sing worship songs without much effort. You can be on stage singing and, at the same time, thinking about what you’re going to order at Chipotle! I’ve been guilty of it myself. Music is the easy part. So don’t get settled and locked in to what’s comfortable. We need to pray like we’ve never prayed before. A morning devotional just isn’t going to cut it, folks. I’m talking about living a life of prayer. Real change and real revival can only come when we make real sacrifice.
By Jack Mooring of Leeland. Since the debut of Leeland’s acclaimed Sound of Melodies (2006), the three-time GRAMMY and eight-time GMA Dove Award nominated progressive worship band has become one of the most respected and influential voices in worship music. With their fourth release, The Great Awakening, Leeland has recaptured the essence of its debut album while delving deeper into its spiritual roots. The Great Awakening, described by its band members as an 11-track “worship revival experience,” was produced by Paul Moak (Third Day, Matt Maher). For more information, go to: http://www.leelandonline.com, http://www.facebook.com/leeland or http://twitter.com/leelandofficial