Over the years I have had the privilege to be able to do mission trips all over the U.S., Mexico, and South Korea, and have visited and observed many other cultures.
In both Mexico and in South Korea, we observed the Methodist Church spiritually alive and well, growing in leaps and bounds, and literally living out what it means to be an Acts 2 church. We kept asking ourselves, “What are they doing that we aren’t? Why are the churches of Mexico and South Korea multiplying and growing, and we watch our churches decline and die?”
The answer was painfully obvious: a full commitment to the power of prayer, a complete trust that the Holy Spirit would answer those prayers, and a total commitment in everything to be externally-focused in their mission to the world. To be a part of those prayers, even if they were in Spanish or Korean, was a powerful experience. They prayed long prayers (by our standards): 30-45 minute prayers were not out of the ordinary. And when they prayed, they were intent not only in imploring to God, but fervently listening to God’s desire for their lives. The church we stayed with in Korea had a 5am Prayer Service every morning (I didn’t think even God was up at that time of day). The first morning that we were there, I drug myself to the service and was amazed to see over 1000 people there for singing, a sermon, and 30 minutes of self-prayer. It was truly astounding. I felt like I was back in the upper room.
I saw churches whose whole source of power and existence was not in buildings or programs, but outreach to communities and even to the world. Everything they did centered in meeting others needs-just as Jesus did.
I’ll have to admit that I went on these mission trips to be in mission to them, and came back realizing what I learned from them.
We are living in a time of fear and hopelessness around us. My prayer and my hope is that we can find our source of hope and power, and strength and be able to be the outlet to our communities and to the world.
I am praying for a revival – and let it begin with me!