Most of us have heard this expression our whole lives. A quick search reveals its origins to the early 1500’s. The meaning is clear enough: don’t throw away something of great value while you are discarding something of little value.
Recently, I had the joy of doing something I haven’t done in 10 years – lead the music for a revival. The church had prayed for 40 days that God would move among them. Then they conducted a series of meetings (five in all) over the course of four days. In the meetings, we had spirited singing, an energetic choir, and a powerful Gospel preacher.
It was the kind of meeting that churches used to have all the time. We called them revivals.
Over the course of the week, I began to think about something. I thought about the modern church, in which we all call for a spiritual awakening in our culture. Yet, Churches rarely have these kinds of meetings — spiritual awakening meetings — anymore.
In many settings, in the interest of simplifying church and making fewer demands on the modern family, these kinds of efforts have become blasé. But have we lost something that was more valuable than we may have imagined?
Over the course of the week, you could feel the momentum building. What started out on Sunday morning as a special event, with a guest preacher and musician, developed into something significant and, according to the pastor, culture-shifting for the church.
Are revival meetings something of the past? Should they be?
Imagine this: A church gives concentrated effort in prayer for a season of time for a specific event; They prepare for the event and invite leaders to come and lead the church; The people invite their neighbors and co-workers; They gather for a series of meetings to worship and hear the Word of God declared; Lives are changed… The Pastor responds by making application and observation to all God says and does during the meeting.
Sounds like revival to me.
Did we throw the baby out with the bathwater?
Mike Harland is the Director of LifeWay Worship. When he’s not directing 30+ employees, you’ll find him leading worship at various churches around the country, writing/arranging worship songs and/or, writing his next book. In his spare time, he loves playing basketball and spending time with his family. Mike can be found on Twitter @MikeHarlandLW and on facebook.com/Mike.Harland.37.