Charles Finney, in his classic Lectures on Revivals of Religion, had a chapter on HOW TO PROMOTE A REVIVAL. It was not about public relations, or promoting your church with the ‘awesome power of ADVERTISING’! (Yes, there was once a circular to pastors that did promise that). Rather, he pointed out the need for believers to get themselves right with God, and into a path of consistent obedience and abiding in Christ.
Many believers today wonder why their personal growth is stunted and why their church is continually being fractured and losing people to other churches. Too many focus on the outward conformity of churchianity, of attendance and participation in church activities, and even seem to think that they are earning some kind of ‘extra credit’ with God if they hold an office or participate in some upfront ministry. They usually reply, when confronted with the need for cleansing of their lives to experience the fullness of God’s presence in Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit, that they are doing all that they know. Perhaps they should look further at what Finney had to say. Here is his list of what keeps a believer from experiencing personal revival.
SINS OF OMISSION
- Want of love to God.
- Neglect of the Bible.
- Neglect of prayer.
- Neglect of the means of grace.
- The manner in which you have performed those duties.
- Your want of love for the souls of your fellow-men.
- Your want of care for the heathen.
- Your neglect of family duties.
- Neglect of social duties.
- Neglect of watchfulness over your own life.
- Neglect to watch over your brethren.
- Neglect of self-denial.
SINS OF COMMISSION
- Worldly mindedness.
- Robbing God.
- Bad temper.
- Hindering others from being useful.
It would be best for anyone who wants to know more to read what Finney actually had to say: HOW TO PROMOTE A REVIVAL. He himself often came back to his list regularly, every time he started to feel his heart grow cold. It’s an idea worth consideration.