Skip to content

Why I Don’t Want Revival For Our City…

I don’t want revival for my city. 


Seems revival is the word on the street today. 

So many people are talking about the “revival” going on at Asbury University in Kentucky right now. Yes, I put quotations around the word “revival”. I’m a skeptic when it comes to the big moves of christian faith. But, I’m not a hater either. I’m not going to join in, and I’m not going to demand it shut down and people repent. I’ve been of the mind that if someone, for an example, receives a healing at a Benny Hinn spectacle, then that’s when God decided to move. In no way will I attribute any of the healing to Benny Hinn, who couldn’t grow a leg if his life depended on it… Some of you will get that. The rest of you? Go ask a charismatic.

I’ve been a christian long enough to see these things cycle in and out of our christian lives. Like guys at the yearly men’s retreat, “coming down the mountain” with this newfound vigor and fire for God, only to go back to the basics a few days or weeks later. The revival cycle takes a little longer, but it ends up being the same thing. People get hyped up and excited and then it all smooths out for a good long while until we do it all over again. And long term, not much has changed.

Maybe we get a few new songs out of it.

Then we pray for “revival” for our city. That seems to be the phase we are starting to walk in now. I’ve been seeing the hashtag pop up and more than a few people calling for it. It’s like trying to hitch a ride on the hot ticket item of the month.

My main problem with any big “revival”, church OR city, is that eventually it amounts to nothing more than a hodgepodge of promises to be better law keepers. It’s people promising God things they can’t deliver. 

“God…  I promise… I will be a better… everything! I won’t let you down anymore! I will not sin like I used to, I will donate more of my time and my resources (money) to doing good in this world.” I’ve made those same promises, I’ve tried to stick to them. And I failed over and again. 

But you know what? God was still gracious and kind to me. He’s even blessed me in ways I couldn’t dream. He’s used me in my failures. Listen to that again. He used me IN MY failures. Meaning God allowed me to work alongside him in different ministries even as a failed him, AT THE SAME TIME! So please stop promising God a better you, when you know you can’t deliver on that. He’s already paid for all the failed attempts at better, and whatever new ones you have in your back pocket you’re waiting to whip out and slap down on table like some trump card. If you feel God has “revived” something in you. Thank him and just go find a way to serve with all the imperfections that still lie within you. Just do it minus the promise you made to God that you can’t keep.

As someone once said a long time ago, “God doesn’t need your good works, but your neighbors do.”

So why don’t I want revival for my city? Does Jesus want a revival for the city?

He’s not expecting a theocracy-driven change to occur in a city. His kingdom is not of this world.

He wants a heart, covered by grace, to go and love others.

…And not just the easy others.

He wants us to love the ugly others, the difficult others, the angry others, even the racist others and the criminal others. He wants us to love the political others, and the undocumented others. He wants us to love all the others who disagree with you on any topic you can think of.

You can go to a “revival” and sing songs. You can raise your hands in worship and wipe the tears streaking down your cheeks. But this revival going on right now, will end. And there will be many Christians who go looking for the next big move. The next “new” thing.

The problem is, the everyday moves of God where real revival happens, are not always big. In fact, they are often small and unassuming. Quiet transactions of life between two people. Caring for people. Loving them in the midst of their lives and all the good and bad of it. It starts by building relationship and being able to share the good news through the rescue of your own life. You are the dot that connects them all back to Jesus. To the cross.

I don’t want people praising God from every rooftop in our city, if all we do is look for the next rooftop. And the next one after that. I want revival to be a whisper of hope in someone’s life. And another, then another. If revival truly means anything for us, then it means building connections and relationships, that allow us an opportunity to give people Jesus. Not coaxing them towards anything, but being God’s outreach that speaks word of grace and mercy into their lives, as we witness God birthing faith in them.

Let those whispers of revival reach the names of streets we don’t know. Let it run through the buildings way off Park Avenue.

That’s the kind of revival I want to see.

One whisper at a time. One life touched at a time.

Let the angels rejoice over and over again over each new child of God.

Let’s not be concerned about the body count. Instead, let’s make sure each body knows it can count on God to be there in their lives. Even the ugly parts. 



I am a revival skeptic.

I know we are eager to see big things. Huge, God-sized things.

But we forget that you can chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise
chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;

When we see small, humble, unassuming things, we can forget you are there as well.

Lord, my God, forgive us, forgive me for the failure to see you moving in the smaller ways.

We look for big splashes and we miss the revival in this one’s heart and that one’s heart. 
Maybe we need our own personal revival, so we don’t miss the smaller movements.

Revive us O Lord! Keep reminding us that we never move past the need our own Gospel reminders. 
Remind us that Grace is still free and still for us, for all our failures, current and yet to be.

Finally bring revival Lord, and let it begin by us making disciples as you called us to.
Let love and compassion be the mold for that. 

Keep calling your people Lord. Keep that revival whisper moving over all the earth,
one person at a time.

In Jesus name,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: