Helen Keller once said, ‘Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much’. So why is it that we are often tempted to go it alone?
As followers of Jesus, we often hear it said, and Scripture affirms, that we need each other, but that’s not always how we operate, is it? We are all familiar with the words of Ecclesiastes 4, often used at weddings and the like, which remind us of this age old principle, ‘The Power of Together’.
Two are better off than one, because together they can work more effectively. If one of them falls down, the other can help him up. But if someone is alone and falls, it’s just too bad, because there is no one to help him. If it is cold, two can sleep together and stay warm, but how can you keep warm by yourself. Two people can resist an attack that would defeat one person alone. A rope made of three cords is hard to break.
It’s so simple a principle, yet so profound a message; it’s hardly revolutionary, very practical, yet it’s all too often overlooked.
Two are better than one, and three are better still!
It’s the no-nonsense insight that we all need at some point in time. So, when troubles come, and they always do, if we go it alone we’re on our own! What’s more, even the most passionate and warm hearted among us can get discouraged and without others around to encourage and support us, we’re vulnerable and more likely to give up. In reality, it’s in this spiritual battle that the power of together is most evident: together we stand; alone, or, even worse, still divided, we fall.
In the New Testament, Paul again paints pictures of partnership in the gospel, as he speaks words of life into the fledgling New Testament church reflecting the words of Jesus.
In John 17, we read that Jesus prayed, ‘that they will all be one … so that the world would believe you sent me’. As a missional principle, Jesus affirms ‘the power of together’ as evidenced in our unity of witness, no doubt demonstrated through head, heart and hands-on ministry. Which ever way we look at it, God has called us into Biblical community for his glory and His purposes.
As local Baptists, right now we are rethinking what it means for us to be in partnership and on mission together as part of our Directions 2012 process.
REVIVE is an expression of the power of ‘together’. It is a grass roots movement from across our churches and in a real sense can be seen as ‘by the churches, for the churches’. Scripture paints for us pictures of life-giving communities where lives are transformed into the image of Jesus and the gospel is lived out in powerful and holistic ways.
REVIVE exists to inspire the church in building kingdom communities.
It’s the heartbeat of REVIVE! With an unashamed Head, Heart and Hands focus, REVIVE is intentionally holistic, and seeks to uniquely, powerfully and corporately inspire and equip us in our missional endeavours. Over its short history, REVIVE has already shown that it reflects the broader demographic across our churches than has been evident in the past, and actively supports and engages our young people and young families who are strongly represented in many of our growing churches.
Through times of corporate worship, fellowship, inspiration and input, together with an array of workshops that practically encourage and equip, REVIVE offers our people greater insights into our movement and recognition of our partnership together for the sake of the gospel.
Just another Conference?
Surely not! It’s great to attend any one of the plethora of Christian conferences on offer, but the vision for REVIVE is more a movement amongst our churches than a conference. REVIVE offers a unique opportunity to celebrate together and thank God for what He is doing amongst our wider family of Baptist churches. It’s also a great opportunity to be encouraged, equipped and inspired to persevere in the mission of Jesus ‘down the street, and around the world’, together in partnership, not in competition with each other. Sadly, we often don’t even know what God is doing in a sister church nearby, let alone celebrate with them God’s presence in the highs and lows of their journeys. Surely we lose something of Jesus’ vision for his church when we isolate ourselves. We need one another; it’s as simple as that!
With its on-going commitment to the local church, REVIVE champions pastors engaged in ministry in their local churches for input and inspiration. Continuing this priority sees Matthew Barnett, a local church pastor with an extraordinary testimony and powerful city-wide holistic ministry, share with us this year. Matthew has authored several books, amongst which are The Church that never Sleeps and The Cause Within You. Having heard Matthew speak and personally seen his LA Dream Center Ministry in action over a number of years, it’s exciting to know that he’s coming to share with us at REVIVE.
We believe that REVIVE is a God-birthed vision that offers us a unique opportunity to rally together as Baptists in ways that will renew, refresh and REVIVE all that Jesus is wanting to release in and through the ministry of our people and our churches. Don’t miss out; be there and join the movement! The POWER of TOGETHER!