As you may know, I recently led a three day revival down at First Christian Church, Belvedere, South Carolina. It was a long drive, a busy weekend, a lot of work in preparation and I enjoyed every minute of it (except for the long drive down and back part). The minister of the congregation is a friend of mine who used to be a member at Central Christian Church in Augusta, Georgia. I want to thank our Board for making me available to lead the revival.
One night I had dinner at a church members home and he took me out to see his pond. It was a big pond and obviously Ray enjoyed his pond a lot and a lot of good times had been shared down at the pond. The pond was filled with fish and Ray threw some food pellets into the water and the catfish that came up to get it were big enough to swallow about any fish I’d ever caught. Boy, were they big and ugly and noisy as they greedily ate the food. I saw a pipe standing above the water about 20 feet from the edge of the pond and I asked Ray if that was a sprinkler head to give the pond a fountain. He confirmed it was and told me that was the best way to turn the water over, keep it fresh and cut down on the algae and scum that would otherwise collect on top of the water. I remarked that was a good metaphor for a revival over at the church. Revivals are fountains that bring much needed oxygen to the water and keep the water from becoming stale.
When I entered the church I was taken with how beautiful the sanctuary is and I was immediately reminded of the importance of sacred space and how it speaks to us in important and special ways. The sanctuary is about the same size as our sanctuary but the layout is a bit different. My eyes were drawn to the front and center of the room with a beautiful stained glass window, nice warm colors and a cross that hung from the ceiling. I was impressed with the minister and how much he gives and gives and gives to the congregation and how much he must love them. I was impressed with the music; it was absolutely beautiful. I appreciate the way music seems to have deep roots in the deep South. The Choir Director was outstanding in the leadership he provided to the overall retreat. I was impressed with all the work that went into pulling this revival off, they aren’t done often anymore and it was a real throwback to a model from years past that has more of a place than we recognize. I enjoyed seeing old friends from Central too. It was a time of joy.
The crowds were good but of course the church is in need of revival or it wouldn’t have had one in the first place. There are too few members coming to church on a regular basis, too few to do the work of the church and too lukewarm a commitment coming from too many. Sound like any place we know? I’ll let you answer that question yourself. What I was most impressed with was one of the members (their secretary as it happens) who loves her church so much that she gives over and above and beyond of her time, her talents and no doubt her treasure to the church. She was there to meet me, greet me, help me, run the bulletins, vacumn the floors after each service, and help with endless details. I know it’s people like her who make the church possible. Thank God for those faithful members (we have some here too) who make it all possible. I have no doubt God sees and smiles at what you do for his kingdom. Every church has the faithful few, thank you Jesus!
Just as I predicted I got more out the revival than I could have possibly given. I too was revived. I too had my faith and spirit renewed. We all need “reviving” from time to time, again and again. Like the old hymn says “Revive Us Again”. What about you? Are you in need of being revived?