REVIVE: Christ and His Church: An encouraging day for pastors and church leaders
“Jesus, make whatever adjustments You need to make this next year the most fruitful of my life.” — Richard Blackaby, Blackaby Ministries International
With that prayer on our hearts, Richard Blackaby and Rick Fisher led us to a fresh vision of Jesus, the Head of His church. Blackaby used Revelation 1 to encourage us to turn (1:12) to see Him, the risen Jesus, standing in the midst of His church. “To see a fresh vision of Jesus, we need to change where we are looking,” he shared, “we cannot be discouraged when Jesus walks in our midst.” The question is not “Did Jesus show up today?” but “Did we see Him at work today?” Sharing illustrations from life and ministry, Blackaby reminded us, “The church at Ephesus was doing seven things well, but it only took one thing they were not doing for Jesus to remove their lampstand. ‘You have left your first love.’” (Revelation 2:4)
Rick Fisher, Vice President, BMI, challenged us to develop a praying church. Using 1 Samuel 2:35, he reminded us the leadership mandate is to “do according to what is in My heart and in My mind. I will build him a sure house, and he shall walk before My anointed forever.” Rick shared, “If you will park your heart before Jesus, He will tell you what you need to know.” When we take the postures of surrender and obedience and spend unhurried time before Jesus, “He lays His heart over our heart.” Fisher quoted Daniel Henderson: “Prayer is a key to preparing our hearts and aligning our wills to His in order to step through the doors of opportunity.”
Richard concluded the afternoon with a word from Numbers 20, “when you find yourself in the wilderness with no water… get into the presence of God and stay there until the glory of the Lord appears.” (20:6) God’s instructions to Moses were different than they had been 40 years earlier. “God often changes the plan, so we trust Him, not the method.” Blackaby shared, “the greatest seduction of leadership is success; we begin to trust and worship previous success or try to copy someone else’s success,” and fail to trust and worship Him alone. Here is Moses, 110 years old, and God wants to teach him a new way to do something. We are so often like Moses, reverting to the way we did it before, speaking of how “we” will lead His church, seeking His glory for ourselves. (20:10-12) We speak of “my church” – “my staff” – “my people” – “my ministry;” and Jesus says, “I don’t recall giving my church to you.”
"If you will park your heart before Jesus, He will tell you what you need to know.”
Participants at the conference received a copy of Flickering Lamps: Christ and His Church by Henry and Richard Blackaby and Developing a Powerful Praying Church by Richard Blackaby and Rick Fisher.
We have a limited number of those books available, for your copy; please contact Steve Hopkins, SteveHopkins@scbo.org or 614.601.6820. Please include your mailing address. Free as long as the supply lasts.
QUOTES FROM PARTICIPANTS
It was, for me, a very timely day of encouragement and refreshment. I felt afterward as if I had taken a long drink from a fresh stream. The challenges to us as pastors were creative and biblical, and from men who had obviously been in the trenches. Fresh ideas like—I need to "be an expert in the activity of God”, and insights into leadership principles from Numbers 20—truly blessed my heart. It was just what this pastor needed.
The Revive! Conference with Richard Blackaby and Rick Fisher was a blessing. It was good to have practical ideas from seasoned ministers. Since I know Henry and Marilyn Blackaby, I really appreciated the viewpoint from Richard, a son who saw his father's faith in action. Probably the strongest take-away for me personally was about criticizing the church at home sows seeds of apostasy in our children. There's a balance between being honest and overly critical. I'd recommend Revive! to any church leaders.
I thought that this was one of the best events that I have been to in a long time. I really like the heart behind the Blackaby teachings and we plan to implement the model shown in 'Developing a Powerful Praying Church'. Thanks to SCBO for sponsoring this event and I hope that there will be many more opportunities in the future offering similar teachings.
"We attended the REVIVE Conference in Fairfield, Ohio, and were extremely blessed," one attendee shared. "Richard and Rick's engaging style not only made us laugh, but also spoke to the heart of real church revitalization. It was time well spent.