It’s amazing how God brings so many people together from so many different worlds and yet each enhances the group! We are wrapping up the 4th morning of our Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary classes here in St. Simons Island, Ga. This school operates these residencies in various locations related to the history of revival in the United States. So over the past few days we have been discussing again and again the leading voices of revival history like John Wesley, George Whitefield, Charles Finney, Jonathan Edwards, and so many others. I know that might not sound like exciting stuff…but when you see how God has used so many different people in the past…you begin praying more persistently that God will do that work once again in us today!
For my part of this process, I have already presented two of the books that I read which the rest of the group did not read. I’ll be preaching a sermon later today by Charles Wesley on the very spot where Charles delivered that sermon in the 1700s. So that’ll be a unique opportunity! I’m looking forward to that and hope I can get one of the other group members to get a photo of that.
One thing that I have experienced this week is a real affirmation that God has placed me in this process to really grow my own walk with Him and to impact my ministry as well. There was a lot of questioning about what I had gotten myself into when I started this journey and waded through book after book. But now that we have sat down with the leadership in the program, it’s been really neat to hear their input and ideas for how this program applies to our real world ministries.
Some have asked why I chose Gordon-Conwell for this degree – it’s a school that’s located all the way up in Massachusetts. The reason is because if revival is indeed a genuine work of God, it is always a work that reaches beyond denominational lines. God allowed me the privilege of graduating from two solid Southern Baptist schools (Anderson University and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary). So I wanted to expand beyond that past experience to see how God is using other evangelical, Bible-centered leaders and churches. At the same time, on a very practical level, there was no Southern Baptist institution doing this kind of work surrounding the history and study of revival.
I appreciate all the family and friends around me that have been praying me through this process. Being away for a couple weeks has been tough and wonderful at the same time. I appreciate your support in so many ways!