PART1: Introduction and Principles
Itis possible that at times we fail to see God in the mighty waysbecause we forget to ask him to work in these ways. In the history ofgrowth and development of Christianity, God has always worked for thechurch through revivals. Colin Hansen and Joe Woodbridge in God-SizedVisionchallenge us to pray expectantly for mighty things to happen. It isas if they are advocating for the revival of the gospel fire in ourfaiths. This book is a recount of the greatness of God. Our faithsgrow stronger when we get testimonies of the greatness of God inother parts of the world. These two scholars recount the God’sgreatness as expressed in a number of historical happenings such asthe Welsh and Korean revivals, the Great Awakenings and the EastAfrica Revival in the 20thcentury. This essay is a reflection of four principles gotten fromthis book, with special emphasis on how these principles can apply tothe corporate ministry today to strengthen our faith.1
Revivalas is seen in History
Theauthors present an argument of revival where they try to analyze theweakness of criticizing the benefits of past awakenings and thebenefits of doing more. Chapter one covers instances in the historyof Christianity, such as the reign of King Josiah, where revival wasstrengthened. The book also commends the vision of Edwardsian, whileat the same time dismissing the “new measures” of Finney. In thisdiscussion, they explain that revival is a way of showing God’ssovereignty.2 Instead of living happily and waiting idly, Christians should pray,preach the Bible, confess their sins and ask God for extraordinaryways of his working.
TheVariations of Revival across the Globe
Theseauthors seek to clear the stereotypes Americans have about themeaning of revival. In North America, revival was characterized bylunch hour prayer meeting where small businessmen would meet beforetaking on the tasks of their afternoon. This is completely differentin comparison to places like East Africa in the early and mid-20thcentury where the resource-limited setting forced them to retreat tothe tents and sawdust trails. In India, revival is explained when aHindu convert called Pandita Ramabai provided shelter and educationto poor and helpless Indian women as he encouraged them to continuepraying for mighty work from God.3
TheGlobal Work of God
Manypeople fall victims of naivety when interpreting revival missions byjust locking themselves to the practices seen in North America. Theauthor uses this chance to show the West how different, but relevantrevival is in other parts of the world. The interpretation and viewson revival are changed when the author focuses on the history andcurrent activities relating to revivals in Wales, East Africa, andthe Far East. To these authors, revival does not simply meanfollowing the biblical culture of a person’s geographical origin,but a reflection of the global work of God and the ability to relateto this.4
Importanceof History on our Faith and Revival
Theauthor uses breathless recounts of historical happening such asEdwardsian Timothy Dwight’s and Yale’s experiences in addition tothe Great Awakenings to show how evangelism and revivals have grown.They use this information with the careful utilization of primarysources to give new morale to Christians of the 21stcentury a new belief that will encourage them to seek the mighty workof God.5
PART2: Application and Implentation
Thecorporate ministry today needs a lot of testimony to the mighty workof God. As the world progresses to being a global village, theBiblical world should follow suit by sharing the evangelical andrevival experiences across the world. Corporate revival shouldunderstand that sharing God’s revival means sharing experiences ofpeople from different parts of the world. Just the same way thesecond principle establishes that revival differs from onegeographical region to another. In sharing our experiences andhelping each other, the world will not only become a better place butChristians will be upholding the greatest commandment, “Love theLord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with allyour mind." This is the first and greatest commandment. And thesecond is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Lawand the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”(Matthew22:36-40).6The first two principles emphasize that God works in different, butgreat ways. As the church, it is important to learn the experiencesunder which some evangelists push for revivals in different places inthe world for us continue building the church as one. The testimoniesencourage evangelists from the west to travel to other places such asEast Africa and the Far East in search of new ways of strengtheningtheir faith. Many people are still in the dark, and the events inthis book are a way of encouraging Christians to build their faiththrough integrating experiences and broadening the work of God.Therefore, the corporate ministry should use this to help the worldunderstand that instead of fighting every day on the basis ofreligious, political and resource differences, human beings can sharethe differences and live in harmony.
Thetwo authors heavily tip their interpretation, drawing influence fromMartin Lloyd-Jones`s revival missions while also using the Edwardsianinterpretation to show how a true revival should be and explainingthe third and fourth principles given above. They dismiss Finney’stheories as introducing problematic theology, but instead continueinsisting that the importance of revival is only realized throughappreciation of the global work of God, since all true revivals havetheir bases on the true word of God and the work of the Holy Spirit.This also helps many stereotypical thinkers to know that it is notonly in the West that revivalism is upheld. Other areas like Asia andAfrica also have their ways of showing strength and hope in revivals.In this context, the corporate ministry is tasked with theresponsibility of leading the congregation to understand the need fora more collaborative world. Appreciation of others starts with theappreciation of their culture in relation to revivals.7
Hansen,Collin, and John D. Woodbridge. A God-sized Vision: Revival Storiesthat Stretch and Stir. Zondervan, 2010.
1 Hansen, Collin, and John D. Woodbridge. A God-sized Vision: Revival Stories that Stretch and Stir. Zondervan, 2010.
3Hansen, Collin, and John D. Woodbridge. A God-sized Vision: Revival Stories that Stretch and Stir. Zondervan, 2010.
6 Hansen, Collin, and John D. Woodbridge. A God-sized Vision: Revival Stories that Stretch and Stir. Zondervan, 2010.
7 Hansen, Collin, and John D. Woodbridge. A God-sized Vision: Revival Stories that Stretch and Stir. Zondervan, 2010.