SHERWOOD – Kevin Hamm, pastor of Gardendale First Baptist Church, Gardendale, Ala., reminded attendees at the 2015 State Conference on Evangelism and Church Growth Jan. 26 that “we’re living in the last days” and that if there is to be a great revival, it must start with them.
He spoke from Isaiah 44:21-23, encouraging attendees to remember that God created them and will never leave them; to return to God; to rejoice in what God has done and to shout to Him.
Hamm encouraged the crowd to “fall back in love with Him (Jesus).”
“It’s not rocket science,” he said. “Just fall back in love with Him.”
He encouraged them to “reach his word with passion” and “share the word with enthusiasm.”
Following Hamm was Alvin Reid, professor of evangelism and student ministry at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, N.C., who spoke about the need for a new Jesus movement.
Reid spoke on the first “Jesus movement” found in the Book of Acts and on the Jesus Movement that occurred in the 1970s.
He noted three things about Jesus movements: they are “Holy Spirit movements,” they are movements about Jesus and they are “consumed with His mission.”
“We can’t create a movement, but we surely can put ourselves in a place where God can use us,” he said, noting “movements don’t start with a mass.”
Rather, he said movements start with a few people.
“I want to encourage you – be filled with the Holy Spirit, be consumed with Jesus,” he said. “That will push you to a mission that will take you to the broken, to the disenfranchised, to the people that make you nervous, and ask God to help you love them."
Tom Elliff, former president of the International Mission Board, spoke from 2 Timothy 1 during the Monday evening session.
“To share the gospel … is absolutely counter to everything in our culture,” Elliff said.
He paraphrased 2 Timothy 1:12 as saying: “This is not an easy road, but you won’t be sorry you’ve taken it because it’s a road that leads to intimacy with Christ by faith, upon which you discover He can handle it.”
He reminded attendees that the lost world needs to hear that God can handle the circumstances in which they find themselves.
Michael Catt, pastor of Sherwood Baptist Church, Albany, Ga., spoke on “what happens when God shows up” Monday evening.
He began his message by reading from 1 Chronicles 17:20, 2 Samuel 7:22 and Psalm 44:1.
Catt spoke to attendees about the recognition of a desperate need, the recollection of a dynamic season and the reminder of the dynamic of the Spirit.
“You can’t work up revival. You can’t work up the new birth. You can’t work up the burden for lost people. You can’t work up the Holy Spirit,” Catt said. “But you can set your sails to catch the wind of God blowing across the landscape. And you can put yourself in a position for God to use you, for God to manifest Himself in your presence in such a way that He changes everything.
Catt added, “There are seasons for wind. There are tornado seasons and hurricane seasons. And I believe we are in a season when God is beginning to bring a wind across this land to give us one more chance for a mighty move in our midst. If we miss it, God help us. … It will take a wind from heaven to change our churches. It will take a wind from heaven to give us the Book of Acts again.”