If you light a single candle, it will provide some light. But if you add more candles with it, the light can become as bright as the day. In the same way, one Christian in your church can be a light in the community. But if you put other Christians and their churches together, Jesus said we become the “light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). We can do so much more together than we could by ourselves. By ourselves we are seen as partisan, out for our own end. But together in a crusade we have a united front as the body of Christ to a watching world. Luis Palau said, “United mass crusades tell the nation that we have a common core of biblical faith that binds us in love both to Jesus Christ and to one another. And that love makes a powerful impression. ‘By this all men will know that you are my disciples,’ Jesus said, ‘if you love one another’ (John 13:35).”
By ourselves we do not have the financial resources or contacts to make an impact for Christ. By ourselves we could never get the attention of the community and its leaders. But in a crusade people become God-conscious, asking questions about life, death, and the church. By ourselves we could not communicate the gospel truth to these multitudes. But in a crusade people who are searching for God come out from hidden corners. All of society is touched by a crusade, from the professionals and highly educated to the “untouchables” and homeless. Even the indifferent youth are attracted. A crusade sows the seed of the Word of God and reaps where others have sown. The many commitments and decisions made affect neighbors, friends, the church, and loved ones. Over and over again it has been proven that crusade evangelism helps the church and the community. Crusade evangelism accomplishes what the local church alone cannot do.
God promises, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). Peter said that when judgment begins at the house of God, the world will believe (1 Peter 4:17). Historically, revival has been essential to the life of the church. In a move of God the lost are converted and the backslidden are brought back, the immature are built up, the believers are encouraged and strengthened. And churches grow. But it must become a cooperative effort.
If there is no interest in public evangelism, it stems from not understanding our objectives and from a lack of preparation or vision by pastors and church leaders. Each of us must see the importance of this for our community and churches, or we will not give it priority in our church program.
1. Let God burden your heart for your community. Your burden for your town will birth in others a burden for your town. But your burden must be born in prayer. As you admit your need for revival, your lack of ability to supply that need–that you are not only needy, but poor and needy (Matthew 5:3) –God will answer! Jesus is always there to fill the hungry (Matthew 5:6) with more than we could ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). As this desire grips your heart, God will give you faith and vision.
2. Share your burden with other Christians. Talk about the need, opportunity, and God’s concern and love for people and His church.
3. Establish a small group to pray and help foster revival. As you begin to share your concern with church leaders, pray that they will catch the vision.
These are exciting days. God is moving in renewal and revival across the world. I have carefully studied God’s methods in the flow of the Spirit in the great revivals of the past. I have noted that only what is done in the Spirit will have eternal fruit. The test of any person’s ministry is: “Does the fruit remain?” I have seen the Lord give a good harvest in a number of communities where I have been. My desire is to have my messages flow in the power of the Spirit–full of encouragement, challenge, warmth, heart, and humor.
The day of revival is not over! The church and your town still needs revival and renewal. As the Lord leads both of us, I pray you will experience God’s richest blessings on your life and community. If I can be of any help to you please contact me at email@example.com.
Remember, real revival takes preparation. There must be a commitment to prayer, the cultivation of a burden for lost souls, and the clear presentation of the gospel. I am committed to do my part, as I “do the work of an evangelist” (2 Tim. 4:5). I will be praying with you that God will do the impossible in the lives of people! (Luke 1:37). God bless you in your work.
If you are concerned about the spiritual condition of your community, you may want to consider a church or community-wide crusade where you live. (See the handout, Why should you have a city-wide crusade?) The following summarizes the steps to bring John David Hicks, Evangelist to your community:
1. Initial Inquiry
To begin the crusade process, or if you have questions, contact Faith Encounter, Inc. 240 SW Daniels St. McMinnville, OR 97128; Or call (503) 472-2220; E-Mail: Tools and ideas will be sent to pastors for preparation for the crusade.
2. Steering Committee Initiated
You will then form a steering committee of key pastors and leaders. This committee assesses local interest and support and becomes part of the crusade’s executive committee, maintaining focus on the crusade.
3. Venue and Dates Chosen
After determining the best possible dates for the crusade, the steering committee books the venue. This can be either a neutral site, such as a high school or community center, or a church.
4. Public Announcement of Crusade
The local committee sends an announcement letter to all area churches.
1. Friendship Evangelism Training
Local churches host training sessions to equip Christians in reaching their community for Jesus Christ. Local Pastors can do the training or video training is available.
2. Counselor Training
Local churches host training sessions for Christians interested in counseling decision-makers at the crusade. Local Pastors can do the training or video training is available.
All who respond to the Gospel are followed up one on one as well as in small Bible study groups.
GET INVOLVED! Contact the crusade office: firstname.lastname@example.org.