Pastor David’s oldest son, Walter, is spending the year traveling the country with Life Action Ministries starting revivals in churches. He occasionally sends updates back home. This is the second of those updates. View the first here. Shared with permission.
Dear Friends and Family,
I’ve now traveled three months and it’s only gotten more exciting! Since my last newsletter we’ve done two Thirst Conferences and three Summits. During that time God has been continually moving in the churches, our team, and my own heart. This past month God has especially taught me to trust Him for my strength on a deeper level.
Moving along the U.S.
Since being in Chattanooga TN we’ve gone to Memphis TN, Fort Mill SC, Bristol TN, Waterloo IL, and Kansas City, MO doing Thirst conferences and Summits. It’s been tiring traveling so often and meeting so many people on a hectic schedule, but God has definitely given this whole team great grace to do the work well. I realize that you may not know what a summit is if you haven’t experienced it for yourself so I’d like to explain how they run in this letter.
Break Down of a Summit
A Summit by definition is an event hosted by a church where one of our road teams will come in and lead the whole congregation for eight days in a time set apart to seek God. The whole event is geared towards people who are already believers both in the kids clubs and within the congregation; although the gospel is consistently made clear and at the end of the week there have been people who have testified of becoming believers during the summit. The hope is that during the week God will move in the hearts of His people and bring them to live a more Christ-like or “revived” life where every thought, word, and deed is done to His glory. It has truly been amazing to see God move in so many people’s hearts, and even more so in my own!
The Summit usually starts on a Sunday for the church, but for those of us on the team it really starts Friday. Typically we’ll get to a church on a Friday afternoon and immediately begin unloading the semi-truck of all the equipment and materials. Once that is completed we all move to our main job areas (band members on stage, children’s ministers in their rooms) and begin the setup process. For me this is always the sanctuary where it’s my responsibility to move boxes, setup the stage TVs, setup the monitor, run all TV cords, and setup my bass guitar. On a day that we get to the church early we can get very close to finishing, especially now that we’ve gotten to know our responsibilities well. At about 5 p.m. that day the whole team will go to dinner and then return to the church that evening to meet our host families. Saturday then is spent finishing setup, meeting the pastor, and then going to spend time with our host families.
Sunday morning we wake up bright and early to get into the church two hours before the service. In that time those of us on the band will run through a rehearsal of the songs being played that morning, the children’s ministers prepare their lessons, and the revivalists.. I’m not sure what they do but they’re always ready! We then proceed to have services during the Sunday school time and the main service time (and potentially another service if the church has two main services normally). Upon their completion the team disperses to eat lunch with host families, before returning to church at four to prepare for the evening service. Forty minutes before every service (weekend, weekday, any service) we have a team meeting where we discuss the schedule and spend time in prayer on behalf of the church. Each service centers on a different aspect of revival; one message on the family, and another on individual hearts. During the first half of every service, the band will have played and then reports to their assigned children’s club or the prayer room. That night most of us will return to our host homes to crash and get some rest before the next day.
Weekdays (With the exception of Friday which is off) all share the same or similar structure in the way that our time is used. We are required to get the church by 9:15 to have a team meeting which typically consists of a bible study, devotional book, or extended time in prayer. After this meeting ends at 10:30 we are given free time until 12:00 when we must be at lunch (prepared by some very generous people at the church). While this is free time, it is expected that this time is used for our personal devotion and quiet time, and most of us find it the best time to do so. After lunch we are given another block of free time until diner at 5:30 (also provided by some very generous people at the church). With this time most of us will attend to secondary responsibilities (mine is to monitor and empty the revivalist’s trailer’s black water) or personal things. Forty minutes before the service we have a team meeting to review the order of events and spend time in prayer. We then proceed with the service and on Monday invite people to go to the prayer room and pray if God is moving in their hearts. There is a lot of emphasis put on listening to and obeying God immediately by the revivalists. Those of us on the band who are not in a kids club are then in the prayer room to pray with and talk to the people who come in. It has been in this room talking to people in whom the Spirit is moving that I can see God at work the most, and it’s an awesome experience!
On Thursday mornings we also deviate somewhat from the normal schedule of things by hosting the Ladies’ Luncheon. This is an event geared exclusively towards the women of the church where they sit under the teaching of the revivalist’s wives while half of the team serves them and the other half watches their children. The church provides the food, tables, chairs, rooms, and electricity while we bring all the decorations, table settings, materials, and electronic equipment in from the truck. The luncheon is usually set up in the church’s fellowship hall the Wednesday night before so that we are totally prepared the next day. On Saturday we also have a special event called the Home Life Café which is meant for the family. We have a completely different setup for this that requires the shuffling of several pieces of equipment from the sanctuary, but doesn’t take terribly long. The session starts at 9:00 a.m. with the children attending Expedition Creation (where they learn about creation) or Life’s Pizza House (for the youth), and the adults listen to the family revivalist for four hours on raising the family in a Biblical way. Not four straight hours! Those of us working in the kitchen prepare three tables of food and drinks for the people to eat during the breaks and there are marked times where people are to discuss what’s been taught in the last session. In between all this there is also a three part skit where two team members pretend to be married and come to the “Home Life Café” during different stages of their marriage. A waiter comes in each time and points them toward a Godly direction that will help grow their marriage. I play the waiter in the skits and God has defiantly poured out grace on me in this as I had no previous acting experience!
The second and final Sunday is identical in structure to the first Sunday with the two services in the morning and another in the evening. This Sunday is different in that in the morning the microphone is opened to anyone in the congregation whom God has worked in that week and wish to tell their church family. This is a very encouraging time for the pastor and those on the team as we have consistently heard amazing stories. In Bristol TN my host dad went up to the mic and told everyone that his marriage had been falling apart badly, and they had managed to hide it from everyone, even those of us staying in the house. He confessed this to the church and told of his new, God-prompted drive to restore their marriage. The evening service is celebratory in nature as we celebrate everything God had done that week. Immediately after the closing song we all jump to work in tearing down and cleaning up the church. This leads for a very late night as we have to have everything out and loaded in the truck that night. The next 3 days we stay with our host parents resting. The extra days are allotted so that the team can rest, but primarily so that if the church begins to experience revival on a large scale the conference can be extended.
And there it is! A general description of our main event that I hope helps you envision what it is I do. I hope you’re able to attend one if you haven’t already!
You may be wondering what it is that you can be praying for when you think about our ministry, team, or me. Below are some of the things that I would greatly appreciate prayer for:
- A nation-wide movement of God that brings another great revival
- That God would be preparing the hearts of the congregations we have plans to go to so that they would be ready to hear from Him
- That God would put me in host homes that would stretch and grow me in my faith or where I can be a witness to the family
- That I would grow in faith while I’m here and establish disciplines that glorify God
- And that our team would continue to co-exist in harmony and love that is a clear reflection of the body of Christ
Our team is currently on Christmas break and we’ll get back on the road January 5th. Thank you again for your prayers and generous support!
Love in Christ,