Barbara and I are off today for a multi-state regional conference in “Dutch Country!” – Lancaster, PA. The event is sponsored by “The Fellowship!” The somewhat diverse group began as an effort out of Christ For the Nations to maintain contact with the many pastors and leaders who had been trained there or who looked to the institution for leadership. Now a cluster of several thousand churches and ministries are represented across the nation. There are global connections as well.
A number of years ago, I met Dr. Don Arnold, the current President of the Association in a gathering to which I had been called to speak on prayer. He invited me to speak to their National Convention last year. What a privilege that was. And now somehow, by the grace of God, we are at our second Regional Convention for the The Fellowship with one more to go.
Pray for us. Tomorrow I will speak twice. First, on prayer. And then on evangelism. The two are inseparably connected. There will be no great revival, no moral and spiritual renewal in the nation apart from the most intense prayer movement we have ever seen. And frankly, after sounding this alarm for more than a decade, I fear that we are still not motivated to seek the face of God.
Evangelism, I will tell the group, is telling your story – which is really his story. It is the daring rescure mission of God that liberated you. If the view of faith that we hold is anything less than one which understands that we were desperately lost, and gloriously saved – we have little to share. Evangelism has become a “good luck charm.” It is a little prayer we pray with people. There is too often little or no conviction and virtually no life style change. It is, in the words of Bonhoffer, “cheap grace.”
What is needed is a wave of radical conversions! Salvation experiences that turn lives upside down, create “new creatures,” and “put away the old man.” Night and day differences in lives. The kind of change that “sets the town a talking!” We may have seen a conversion or two that approached that description, but what we need is a wagon load of such life-reorientations. That will necessitate a “great awakening.”
Pray for us as we speak to the these pastors and leaders!