Several questions arise as I think of the Awakenings of years past. My first question is whether our nation is as spiritually receptive of an Awakening as it was two hundred years ago. My second question arises out of pure intimidation at the prospect of preaching a great awakening. I ponder inwardly; can the power of the Great Awakening be duplicated ever again? Are the conditions of the nation such that there needs to be spiritual renewal? There is a variety of potential issues which a Great Awakening can speak too.
William McLaughlin notes in his book Revivals, Awakenings and Reform that there have been several “Awakenings” in American religious history ,and that not all of these moments of renewal resembled the fiery preaching frenzies of the famed eighteenth century. Each “Awakening” had at its core a specific issue it was addressing. The issues in question could be spiritual declension (first Great Awakening), national back-sliding (second Great Awakening), biblical interpretation and liberalism (third Great Awakening), or American identity and progressivism (fourth Great Awakening). Thus, it is perhaps my own limitations that bristle at the idea of preaching the n...
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...ting and preaching. I think that claiming one’s unique voice and message is the key to joining the Great Awakening movement. People are transformed by encounters with the genuine. I hope to be the vessel that is truly me and truly what God wants for me to be.
For me the next steps are full time pastoral ministry. God willing, I will have a congregation of my own. I look forward to the pastorate because in my heart I know that is where I think the most transformative and world changing aspects of my ministry will occur. I look forward to awakening people’s lives with the Gospel. I look forward to joining a community and growing in faith together. I am excited because God has anointed me to preach good news. And the good news is this; all of God’s children have a stake in God’s transformational work. We are all anointed to preach good news. It is time to get ready.
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