Seeds of revival?

GAFCON day 1 and it has been a day for celebrating and reflecting on revival. Here in E Africa in the 1920’s and 30’s a huge revival swept the region, transforming not only the churches, but whole nations. At the time, growth in the African church had stalled and liberal attitudes to Scripture had begun to seep in from Europe. What God began was a movement, often mainly lay led, which began, in the words of one of our contributors today, to ‘be more concerned to let the gospel change us, than have us change the gospel’.
All day the foundational themes of that great work of God have been drawn out. You can sum them up as:
1. A renewed focus on the cross as the heart of our message and the means of our salvation.
2. A deep heart for repentance, including the public confession of sin, so as to better celebrate the depth of God’s grace in forgiveness.
3. A deep commitment to fellowship, the sort which commit as to each other in love, that genuinely spurs each other on in faith by challenging each others commitment and godliness.
4. A profoundly practical transformation of life, going to extraordinary lengths to put right wrongs.
5. A call to commit to the place of God’s calling, not to leave the fellowship you are in (unless they exclude you), but working sacrificially for the transformation of others by the grace of God.
6. A renewed dependence on the truth of Scripture to transform lives.
7. A public unashamed commitment to sharing the gospel at every opportunity.
And all that which was shared from the front was demonstrated in practice with my first taste of African-style praise. With over 1400 present from 41 nations, there is certainly a powerful evidence of the Spirit’s joy and sense of unity. But that desire to encouraged each other is here too. Conversations like the one with Bp Felix Akinbuluma were typical, ‘Hello, I am Bp Felix from the missionary diocese of Irele-Ese-Odo in Nigeria. How is the gospel growing in your area?’
I don’t know what God’s agenda for us will be in the rest of our week, but it will certainly be a joy and a challenge to be part of it!

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As Rector of Cheadle I have the best boss of this and any world, the biggest extended family and the greatest of jobs- to share good news!

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