Back in the 1980’s I attended MIT as an undergraduate student. I loved computers and had been programming for several years already, but I chose to get a degree in Electrical Engineering so that I’d have a better grasp of all the “nuts and bolts” of the computer world. After graduation I worked in the computer industry in Boston for several years. At that time, most folks would have identified me as an “Engineer”, and I would have proudly worn that label since it described my thinking, my passions, my approach to problems, and my line of work.

Fast forward about 30 years. I live in Charlotte, North Carolina, now. Over the years, I’ve served in areas of pastoring, missions mobilization, teaching, church planting, and overseas missions work. I imagine I could be given a label attuned to any of those areas. But, the one label I most identify with today is that of “Revivalist”. 

Why? Out of all the things I’ve done in the past, out of all the tasks and ministries I do today, there is one area that resonates most strongly with God’s calling upon my life. 

I am a revivalist. 

As such, it describes my thinking, my passions, my approach to problems, and what I choose to work on from day to day. 

Just as a professional bowler tends to think a lot about bowling and look forward to the next trip to the alleys, so too a revivalist spends a lot of time looking ahead to the next revival.

Just as a chef enjoys good food and spends much time preparing his kitchen to the next great gastronomical delight to appear on the menu, so too a revivalist loves reading the stories of the great past revivals and works to prepare and get ready another course of hearty revival to be released upon the earth. 

Just as a parent tries to be the best mom or dad, knowing the incalculable impact they make on their child, while realizing their kids are best served by a loving extended family around them, so too a revivalist knows he has to draw upon many different churches and individuals with various spiritual giftings to see a spiritual awakening catch fire. And the revivalist must hold on, by faith, to the idea that one’s daily choices and sacrifices do matter. They DO make a difference and significantly contribute to God’s great plans.

Of course, this revivalist identity is subordinate to a much greater reality: First and foremost, I am a child of God, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, adopted into Father God’s family, a son granted authority and access to the throne room of God. All this because one day many years ago I, by the grace of God, changed my mind about my sins and my former way of life and decided to trust in and to follow Jesus. That’s my core identity. Yet God has called me and put an anointing upon me to press in for revival wherever He calls me and my family, even as imperfect as I may be. 

I know my calling, and I have surrendered to God all my petty desires so that I might serve the King and be at His beck and call. We are listening carefully for His voice, serving faithfully in a local church, waiting upon His timing. I pray and live for Him, in this season, in these desperate times, as a revivalist through and through.

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