Pastors and lay leaders from around the world met for the “Heartcry for Revival” conference in Ashville, North Carolina to focus on revival and spiritual renewal. The conference, which is held every other year, went on from April 20-23. It is coordinated by Life Action Revival Ministries, an organization dedicated to seeing revival come to the United States.
The conference ended last Friday at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove in North Carolina. One of the speakers at the event, Doctor Henry Blackaby said, “Most of all the people come to this kind of a conference with a cry in their heart for God. This kind of conference creates the atmosphere in which they believe God could clearly speak to them and that they could come with one kind of burden and go away free. That’s certainly happening.”
However, Blackaby, author of “Experiencing God”, is concerned that revival is not taking place in the US, which is a hindrance to evangelism. “The evangelism we’ve been doing so far has been real, but it certainly has not been adequate, because the nation has come to such a critical moment as it has with the evangelism we’ve been doing.” Blackaby continued, “So if there’s to be a turnaround in the nation and if evangelism is to have a part in changing men’s hearts and lives, it’s going to have to be done with a much broader, more extensive touch of God. Revival always releases a magnitude of the presence of God that can turn a nation around.”
Ralph Sutera, who helped lead the first conference, made a similar comment saying that unless revival happens inside the church, evangelism is pointless. “The problem is many of our churches, pastors are trying to get lay people to go out and evangelize and to do what they really don’t want to do anyway,” said Sutera, “Because their hearts are not in tune with walking in the Spirit and knowing what God wants them to do and to be.”
Sutera says because the work is being done in the flesh, conversions are limited. “If it’s a weak anemic brand of Christianity that’s being purported by the converter, it will probably reproduce more of the same. And, we certainly don’t need that in church. That’s why God needs to work in revival.”
Blackaby added that for there to be revival what is needed is prayer. “Because, it changes us in a direction God wants us to go. And when we do that God has a person or a group through which he can now work mightily in revival.”
Throughout the four-day conference, revival and spiritual renewal were the prime focuses, and were emphasized to all the attendants. Other speakers at the “Heartcry for Revival” included Jimy Cymbala, Erwin Lutzer, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, and more. Tapes of the “Heart Cry For Revival are available online at www.LifeAction.org.