Need a text for this? See below. We have several.
I hope the idea catches on.
This week I returned from Hearne, Texas, and a revival involving two churches some 5 miles apart. Bethany Baptist, pastored by Randy Aly, and Elliott Baptist, Dale Wells pastor, are located several miles outside Hearne, population 4500.
This was their first attempt to join together in a revival, and my first as well. Randy says he awakened one morning with it on his mind, and felt it was from God. He called Dale and shared the thought. The rest, as they say, is history.
We started on a Sunday morning in Elliott and ended the following Sunday morning in Bethany. During the week we had noon and nightly services in the same church, on alternating days. A trailer with a sign reading “Revival here tonight.” was pulled back and forth between the churches.
Interestingly, Tuesday night being Halloween, the Elliott church hosted “Trunk or Treat” instead of a service. (A downpour limited the turnout, but a lot of people braved the elements for their kids’ sake. I sketched nonstop all evening.) Then, Friday night being “football night in Texas,” we had no service. But on Saturday, we picked back up with noon and night services.
The band from the cowboy church up the road at Franklin,TX, provided the music each night. This delightful group had several guitars (including a dobro, my favorite!), a saxophone, keyboard, drums and singers of the country/western type. They were a lot of fun and so inspiring. Oh, the fellow on the drums and lead vocals happened to be their pastor. The group added so much to the services.
I sketched everyone. It’s what I do. Before and after the services, a volunteer ran the sketches to the church office and made copies, which were hung around the walls. During the day, we got into two high schools in which I addressed the upper-classes (and sketched as many as possible) and one middle school. Everyone was Texas-gracious!
You’ll have to ask Pastors Randy and Dale their assessment of the week and whether it was worth the time and trouble and cost. But I loved everything about it. They’re talking about expanding it next year to involve more churches.
I suggested to the pastors that they have a sit-down with their leadership and discuss what happened during the week, what worked best, what needs improvement, and so forth.
That’s the idea. I strongly recommend this. Hope it catches on.
A few observations about churches cooperating in a revival…
–I said to the two pastors, “Obviously, if you were one block from each other, doing this would be much more difficult.” They agreed. Being miles apart meant their fields overlapped only slightly.
–As they consider expanding to involve more churches, they have to give this a lot of thought. If, let’s say, 10 churches are involved, having a service in each church would be impossible in an eight-day meeting. And the benefits would probably be diluted the more they expanded. So, this needs a lot of thought and considerable prayer.
–I wonder if a single, central location for the noon services–perhaps in town–might be the way to go.
–The two churches began by setting aside a certain amount of money into a fund for expenses, so the offerings could go to the evangelist. That fund covered publicity, mileage, and a gift to the cowboy church band.
–Pastor Randy went on the local television station to promote the revival. A friend said she heard it announced on a Houston radio station. Publicity is essential.
–Each pastor must be completely committed to the concept, otherwise it doesn’t work. He’s going to be preempting everything in his church for the week. Likewise, the full leadership of a church must get behind it.
Pastors/churches working together. What a concept.
When I was pastoring on more than one occasion I went visiting with a neighboring pastor. We felt it sent a good message to newcomers to our city, that our churches are not in competition with one another but co-laborers in the Lord’s vineyard. We told those we visited, “Whichever church you join is between you and the Lord, but we need you to get involved.” I hope they understood that.
We are laborers together, both with God (as Paul said in I Corinthians 3:9) and with one another.
All right. You want a text for God’s children working together?
Mark 9:50 “Be at peace with one another.”
John 13:14 “Wash one another’s feet.”
John 13:34-35 “Love one another.” Also John 15:12,17. Romans 13:8. Galatians 5:13. I Thessalonians 3:12 and 4:9. I Peter 1:22. I John 3:11,23, and 4:7,11-12. 2 John 5. (Anyone see a trend here?)
Romans 12:5 “Be members of one another.”
Romans 12:10 “Be devoted to one another.”
Romans 12:10 “Honor one another.”
Romans 14:13 “Let us not judge one another.”
Romans 15:5 “Be of the same mind toward one another.”
Romans 15:7 “Receive one another.”
Romans 15:14 “Admonish one another.”
Romans 16:16 “Greet one another.” Also I Corinthians 16:20 and I Peter 5:14.
I Corinthians 11:33 “Wait for one another.”
I Corinthians 12:25 “Care for one another.”
Galatians 5:13 “Serve one another.”
Galatians 5:15 “Do not bite and devour lest you consume one another.”
Galatians 5:26 “Do not provoke one another.”
Galatians 5:26 “Do not envy one another.”
Galatians 6:2 “Bear one another’s burdens.”
Ephesians 4:2 “Bear with one another.” Also Colossians 3:13
Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another.”
Ephesians 5:21 “Submit to one another.” Also I Peter 5:5.
Colossians 3:9 “Do not lie to one another.”
I Thessalonians 4:18 “Comfort one another.”
I Thessalonians 5:11 “Edify one another.”
Hebrews 10:24 “Consider one another.”
James 4:11 “Do not speak evil of one another.”
James 5:9 “Do not grumble against one another.”
James 5:16 “Confess to one another.”
James 5:16 “Pray for one another.”
I Peter 4:9 “Be hospitable to one another.”
I John 1:7 “Fellowship with one another.”
Some will ask–as one did just last week–“When Scripture says we are to do certain things to ‘one another,’ does it refer to everyone or to believers in particular?” I replied, “It is always referring to believers relating to each other.”
Note: I took the above list from “One Anothering,” a wonderful little book by Dan Crawford and Al Meredith. They found 31 separate usages of the Greek word “allelon,” meaning “one another.” Their book contains a chapter on each.