The Other Guy’s Church Needs “Revival”

"Here & Now" Road Sign with dramatic clouds and sky.The idea of renewal, reformation or revival  (whatever one wants to call it) can be quite stimulating, when it is the “other guy” who has to abandon his error to come to the light.

I know so many who can speak quite elegantly and esoterically on the topic of revival, renewal, reformation, unity, oneness, city-wide unity, etc. However, these same individuals don’t exactly line up to be the first to abandon their beliefs and practices that hinder the very thing they wax eloquently about. There’s a bit of a con game going on. We are fooling ourselves in these things unless we get down to some bedrock issues that carry a lot of emotion with them.

These are great concepts when it is the OTHER church, the OTHER home group, the OTHER denomination, the OTHER network, who comes under discipline or whose “theology” is “off,” or who has to embrace “reform” and come out of “religion.” Religion is like spiritual halitosis. It is always the other guy’s problem.

What if your beliefs are “off”? What if mine are “off”? What if things you or I are passionate about “in the kingdom” are “off?”What if the thing that you do, that gives you a sense (falsely) of value and significance in “ministry” and “church-world,” were all part of what has to “go” to bring revival? What if your expression in ministry disappeared? Would you still be excited for revival. For many, revival is “more of me and more of what I already like.”

Would we still be excited about “revival” if God was requiring you or I to abandon everything we think we know, to give up everything we are invested in– every emotion, every building, every asset, every paycheck, every salary, every worship team, every “ministry” every position, every title, all ego, ambition, every worship service?

If there ever was a topic that is saturated in emotional romanticism rather than reality, it is “revival.”

What if God really wanted to start over? Totally start over–and every pet-doctrine, every practice, every “successful program,” every belief system that we value and hold dear, other than those core apostolic doctrines of the faith, was required to undergo renovation?

Would we still be excited? Not necessarily categorical rejection of those dear things, but a transformative renovation so deep, so thorough that the outcome bears no resemblance to anything we do or value today?

What if the price of true revival and reformation was the offering up of the idols we have made and worshiped of our understanding of God and of our practices? Not the absolute truth of God from scripture, but the false confidence we have in our understanding of scripture: the defacto worship of our intellect, exegesis, and “methods” (how we “do church) as if it is the same as the worship of the living God? We think that understanding Paul’s doctrine on a matter is the same as possessing Paul’s life on the matter . . . it’s not the same . . .  not close.

I believe we are in the days where,  for those who have ears to hear, God is literally starting over. “Christendom,” “Christianity,” the “thing,” the “entity”  . . . is dead, it is anti-Christos, and God wants to deeply, and truly, start over, starting in my own heart.

Copyright 2013,  Dr. Stephen R. Crosby, Permission is granted to copy, forward, or distribute this article for non-commercial use only, as long as this copyright byline, in totality, is maintained in all duplications, copies, and link references.  For reprint permission for any commercial use, in any form of media, please contact

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14 comments on “The Other Guy’s Church Needs “Revival”

  1. He IS starting over. The leadership structure that exists RIGHT NOW is completely unable to function in and navigate the path forward in this hour. This is not a condemnation, it is a fact.

    I was walking the other day next to a grove of trees and Father showed me small trees trying to grow underneath the larger trees that were blocking out the light that was needed to grow. He said that “The grove of trees is the current leadership in the church, and soon all of those large trees would be gone, only the small trees that were not blocking out the light for others would be left.

    He showed me a place in the midst of the trees where a small tree was getting light in a place where a few big trees had fallen and made space for the light to shine in the midst of the huge grove on this small tree. He said, “That small tree is you in the midst of the big trees. I have placed you under an open heaven in the midst of the large trees.” He then said, “You see the small trees under the canopy of these big ones? Take care of these small trees, the big ones will be gone soon…”


      • Thanx SC, I want to clarify here that Father is not leaving anyone behind or being mean or harsh toward people. It is simply that there is no point of reference that current leadership has to be able to navigate. What exists now is not relevant to or can effect change in the relational family structure that is knitted upon love and not title or position.

        Oxcarts can’t get you down the road when what is needed is a 4X4 to get through the jungle.


  2. Stephen, again you go right to the heart of the matter. You don’t try to tread around softly to please everyone. We who have years under our belt know how much we have been effected by the world systems of religion, government, education, medical, entertainment and the like. I believe, if we don’t submit to the Holy Spirit’s changing our mindsets of how these systems have made an indelible mark, God will have to remove us.– just like Kriston said about moving the older trees. Give us ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to His Body.

  3. Thanks Stephen. What indeed is the use of revival if it happens where people have lost their understanding? Sadly, our current definition of revival has to do with revived passion, which is a MAJOR problem. To get an ignorant person passionate is to create a person who is passionate about his ignorance. It’s like saying: “Your thoughts have been taken captive by the enemy. Now get really excited, and the problem will be solved!” What do you think he is going to get excited about? We have forgotten that God has designed our neural system to produce emotions based on understanding (Mom loves me! I’ve won the lottery! Tommy has just died!), and that the basis of mental disorders has to do with reversing this order. (I feel depressed. It must be because nobody loves me.) When we revive a people who have lost a grasp of true Christianity, we will inevitably cause them to link their new fervor to their existing convictions, and so empower them to endorse the very thing we are trying to fight against.

  4. I consider myself a “revivalist” whatever that means these days “My ministry” is called Revival Partners International. There is nothing in the present system that I have been able (or wanted) to revive. In more than 200 trips to over 55 nations, I have found that American TV / and the Neo Apostolic Paradigms have provided the sinkholes upon which they; copying our dry bones skeletons, have build egotistical mini kingdoms. I am 100% percent with what you have shared Steve!

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