With his newest book, Australian Pastor and author, Mark Sayers, takes his well-known and insightful cultural commentary and applies it to the topic of revival.
Sayers wrote this book for an audience he expects is “hungry for God” and “[desires] to see him move again with power” (10). This book is not for the cold or lukewarm Christian (although I’d expect he would hope you would read anyway and catch fire). Instead, it’s for those that want to be a part of real, heart-felt and God-given, revival in our world.
For those that might grab a copy of Reappearing Church because you enjoy his cultural commentary, you won’t be disappointed. Admittedly, this book was my introduction to Sayers in general. I had heard bits and pieces about his work, but never read or listened to him. His voice and cultural critique is a welcome and refreshing one.
There were undoubtedly some preferential differences in how we should communicate this topic generally, and how the church should be active in revival specifically. However, that did not detract from the whole of the work. Sayers reminds us, rightly, that a revival of any size must start “in the human heart” (39) and “only God can cause such a mighty move of His Spirit” (173). These truths are comforting because they are correct, and they are the reminders we often need as we labor for God’s glory in this world.
The following is a list of 10 of my favorite quotes. Enjoy!
1. Page 24
The salvation of humanity by God is supplanted by humans gaining redemption and bliss through their own effort…driven by the belief that we can attain perfection without the divine, faith in God goes over to faith in ourselves.
2. Page 37
Many of those who prayed fervently for Melbourne to see revival never lived to see the results of their prayers.
3. Page 39
…for renewal always begins with the human heart.
4. Page 93
Every renewal, every revival, is about Jesus.
5. Page 122
We learned from Edwards’s experience that renewal occurs when people get to the end of themselves, when the social bonds that have kept us strong begin to break, when the stories we have told to explain the world no longer make sense.
6. Page 141
Personal renewals begin in the hidden places, often driven by solitary prayer, self-examination, communion with God, fasting and the habits of secrecy, the uprooting of sinful patterns, and confessions with trusted leaders and pastors. Eventually this inner change of the heart will overflow out into our external lives, creating a potential for renewal in the social world around us.
7. Page 165
A constant dynamic in the history of the church is the way in which the larger church is renewed by a smaller remnant within the church.
8. Page 170
Jones warned his fellow Christians that the temptation to treat [the challenge of post-Christian society] with silver bullets of more effcective methods, better programming, or slicker use of technology would do nothing to halt this lumbering juggernaut.
9. Page 172
Renewal only comes with prayer and fasting.
10. Page 173
But can we call for God to break out revival? The wide-scale pouring out of His Spirit, in which churches, movements, regions, cities, countries, and continents are changed? We can desire, hope for, cry out for such a move, but we cannot make it happen. Only God can cause such a mighty move of His Spirit. But we can contend and wait.