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Editor's journey

Does your church need a comeback?

SPRINGFIELD, MO. — It was a church service I will never forget. When I stepped into the sanctuary, I sensed the presence of the Holy Spirit. Every pew was filled. The building resounded with praise and thanksgiving. Elders laid hands on the sick and prayed for healing. Following an anointed message, adults and teen-agers filed to the altar to seek God. With hands raised and tears streaming down their faces, many prayed in tongues. Several young people accepted Christ for the first time. Some lingered at the altar for nearly an hour, repenting of sin and recommitting their lives to the Lord’s work.

Sunday after Sunday, the church experienced a powerful move of the Spirit. There appeared to be no limit to what God could accomplish through this body of believers. They reached out to their community and believed in the power of prayer. This was a congregation with tremendous growth potential.

But all the promise was short lived. The church encountered some regrettable obstacles and members were left wounded and divided. Before long, the congregation dwindled to just a few families and closing the doors of the church seemed inevitable.

Then God called a young, anointed couple to pastor the church. Through their faithfulness and the leading of the Holy Spirit, the congregation was revived. And today the church is healthy. Each Sunday the sanctuary is filled to capacity with people who are hungry for more of God.

There are many churches across America in need of a similar comeback. Some have dwindled in attendance, but others have faded spiritually. They need more than bodies to fill their pews; they need a revival of spiritual hunger. God needs to restore their passion for souls and their longing for the presence of the Holy Spirit. They are living off past glories, rather than petitioning God for a fresh move of His Spirit. They compare their church to what it once was, rather than to what it can be.

Believers, ask God to help you be a part of a comeback for your church. Don’t indulge in criticism. Don’t give up on your church. Instead, devote yourself to prayer and evangelism. Pray for your pastor. Pray for a fresh outpouring of the Spirit. Pray that 2001 will be the greatest year in the history of your church.

— Hal Donaldson

 

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