The Crisis Point

Sam Rainer

March 16, 2007

My little brother is getting married in June. In fact, there are three brothers in the family and all of us will have gotten married within 12 months of each other. Art was married last June. I was married in December. Jess, the baby, is the last to go this June. Honestly, it’s kinda weird to see my littlest brother grow up.

My brothers and I look somewhat alike, but we all have very different personalities. I can be a bit more controlling. Art is more laid back. And Jess is a bit more daring. Jess is the one who knocked out his front teeth, roots and all, sliding on grandma’s freshly polished wood floor. Jess is the one who shattered his arm on a large oak sledding headfirst down seminary hill. And Jess is the one who managed to get his head stuck in a wrought iron fence at Disney World.

To this day, my family and I don’t quite understand how he got his large melon into such a tight space. He had been peering at his next choice for a thrill ride, but I guess he peered a bit too far. The two bars caught him in a head-size Chinese finger trap. It was definitely a crisis moment for my five year-old brother. I think the entire park heard his high-octane wailing for help.

The church is stuck as well. But the crisis is obviously much larger than the one my brother was in. The church has reached a crisis point, and I am not sure how many local bodies are truly crying to God for help. In my own denomination, 11,740 churches reported zero or one baptism last year. And 55% of churches within my denomination have baptized no youth (12-17 year-olds) in a year.

Like my brother, I bet a lot of these churches aren’t quite sure how they arrived at this point. But it takes a crisis to prompt revival. God will break, tear, and wound his church in order to bring about a revival.

I only pray that God will use this crisis point to turn his church back towards himself. But we must be on our faces praying earnestly for such to happen. Have any of you experienced a revival of hearts in your church? If so, what prompted it and how did God work?

6 comments on “The Crisis Point”

  1. John Geoffrey says:

    I see many churches on the path of decline and death, yet they often do not see the crisis. I think you are right; we must have a spiritual awakening so blind eyes can see.

  2. kdb1411 says:

    I agree with John, but I wonder how many churches and leaders would actually be impacted by a spiritual awakening. I don’t want to be a pessimist, but I wonder if God would just pass by many of our churches today.

  3. kdb1411 says:

    P.S. Look after your brother Jess. On second thought, you may be too controlling; have Art look after him. 🙂

  4. David R says:

    Sam III,

    I don’t know if our church on a whole scale has experienced revival, but I know, including myself, there has been large pockets of it taking place within the church. By the grace of God, it is through the vehicle of our pastor. He has called us to repentance and prayer, and then has taken the steps to get us outside ourself by being a Great Commission pastor who understands the importance of evangelism and missions, and it is a drum he is always beating, always keeping before his people. I think so often that the direction of a church, good or bad, can be linked to the pastor & his heart. Sometimes a pastor can do everything right & still his people not follow (think of green vallies in Bham!!) Like Dr. Beougher told us in class yesterday – as a pastor, if you want your people to bleed, you have to hemorrhage.

  5. Sam Rainer says:

    David – I agree wholeheartedly. While God can work through anything and anyone, the pastor is a crucial piece of revival. I cannot expect my church to experience a fire for God if I myself am not on my face praying for such a revival.

  6. Sam Rainer says:

    kdb1411 – Art is the one who got in his red wagon and flew down the steep mountain street we lived on in Birmingham, just about breaking his leg on the stop sign at the bottom. I’d better look after Jess…

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