The professional clergy are not the only ones who start revivals. Many revivals began with lay leadership. Lay leadership played a pivotal role in spiritual revivals in American history. Christian Leaders Institute is developing a new course called, “Evangelistic Missiology.” Dr. Bruce Ballast’s book, “Ordinary People – Extraordinary Things – How God Brings Revival” highlights impact of lay leadership in revivals. In fact, Dr. Ballast himself will be featured in the course.
Lay Leadership Starts Revivals
Dr. Ballast points out that lay leadership start revivals. Ballast talked about the “Great Revival of 1857” in the USA. This revival was started by Jeremiah Lanphier. Here was a lay leader working at a mercantile business in New York, NY in 1850s. As a lay pastor, he took over a dying church with few members. The professional clergy had vacated this work. This bi-vocational lay pastor canvassed the area, but still hardly anyone came to his vacant church. Then he started a prayer group on Wednesday. Revival started at this local church. What did he do?
Jeremiah passed out cards with this simple paragraph written down,
- “As often as the language of prayer is in my heart; as often as I see my need of help; as often as I feel the power of temptation; as often as I am made sensible to any spiritual declension or feel the aggression of a worldly spirit. In prayer, we leave the business of time for that of eternity, and the intercourse with men for intercourse with God.”
At first the prayer group was not that large. In a short time his church started to grow. Churches all over New York City got involved. The professional clergy joined the lay leadership supporting prayer. This movement spread through out the United States so that by 1858 churches were praying and growing everywhere. Check out Jeremiah Lanphier at Christian History Magazine and find out more of his excellent lay leadership.
Christian Leaders Institute Helps Lay Leadership for Free
At Christian Leaders Institute we have plans for the lay leadership of the English speaking world. We will help lay leaders get free ministry training to become pastors to spread Christianity everywhere. Who knows, maybe God will use you to bring revival to a nation? Let the lay leaders get trained!