A couple of weeks ago, I retweeted an article from Slate reporting on the surprising growth of Christianity in New England (presumed to be closed to the gospel.) If you didn’t read it, you can find it here: New England’s Quiet Christian Revival. It’s well worth the read in terms of tracking the moving of the Holy Spirit and the rise of the gospel across New England.
Truly, I concur with the article, in that I believe the Lord transplanted our family here, to this ripe mission field, to be a very small part of a much larger harvest that He desires to reap at present. As a new pastor, learning the ropes, I feel quite inadequate to the task, and know that I am relatively insignificant to the need. But I’m grateful to see God moving in spite of human limitations and frailty.
I greatly rejoice in the moving of God at Emmanuel, and in many other places in New England. The photo above represents about 40 of the 65 new members and new Christians that God has brought to EBC in recent days. Last night, we hosted our first “New Members’ Reception” at which time we introduced or new members once again to our church family. The joy and delight in the fellowship was only that which the Holy Spirit could create. I wish I could share the story of every family in the photo above, and what God has done in their lives.
What are we seeing in Connecticut? Nothing less than a move of God in which we are privileged to participate. The Holy Spirit is leading people to salvation weekly—they are genuinely responding to the clear and powerful gospel, both in church, in homes, in the office, and wherever God opens the door. The Holy Spirit is moving in the hearts of wandering sheep—Christians with no church home are responding to God’s call to return to Him and reclaim and revive their faith. The Holy Spirit is healing wounded sheep—some who have been beaten up by disappointment or failures of men and movements are allowing the grace of God to restore the joy of their salvation. The Holy Spirit is reviving His church—the EBC family is alive with fresh vision and God-given passion for the Lord and for souls.
To the glory of God, the gospel is changing lives, new Christians are committing to growth and faith, discouraged Christians are coming back to the Lord, and the foundations of many generations are being rebuilt (see Isaiah 58:12).
I hesitate to share this, in that I fear being misunderstood. None of this is to my credit. I fully understand that. I’m like the fly on the back of the Elephant crossing a bridge. Once they were across, the fly said to the Elephant, “Wow! We really shook that bridge, didn’t we!?” This is a moving of God of which I am merely a small individual contributing minuscule drops of water to an ocean of need. But I rejoice greatly to see God at work, and through this post, wish to give Him glory and invite praying friends to continue praying and to rejoice in answered prayer!
Pray for the “quiet Christian revival” unfolding in New England. Pray for the move of the gospel in the convicting hands of the Holy Spirit. Pray for laborers to come to this ripe harvest field. Pray for another “Great Awakening!” The needs are great. The fields are white. We need laborers, provision, and the continued outpouring of God’s grace and wisdom—wisdom to seek His guidance, hear His voice, and follow His lead every step of the way!