Convert your Conference into Outreach and Revival!
By Chad Taylor (This was written nearly 10 yrs. ago and was included as a chapter in Chad's book "Why Revival Still Tarries" http://www.destinyimage.com/searchproducts.cfm )
The first thing you have to do as a host church or ministry is to introduce the elements of prophetic evangelism, outreach, and revival into the conference setting. For example: We did this with a local ministry here in Anchorage that was hosting Cindy Jacobs this summer. The host of the conf. announced that we had partnered with them to train and take teams into the streets. They also announced that this was the FIRST time they had ever done this in all the years of conferencing for this particular ministry! It was a major breakthrough! We had about 30 people that came with us from the general assembly on Saturday afternoon. Numbers is of no relevance here, the few represented the whole, and we had the opportunity to release what was being imparted to the Body of Christ while Cindy was here. We introduced the idea of outreach to the prophetic conference, which was brand new to many. We demonstrated that Prophetic and Evangelistic did not have to be separated or at a different time, that really they worked hand in hand to produce genuine revival!
(Footnote: Cindy Jacobs ministered about the "Shepherd's movement" or how the women were treated unfairly in the church. There was repentance and public apologies, men to women, pastors to the church, husbands to wives etc. Now check this out! When we took the teams out into the streets that Sat. afternoon of the conf., [mostly women], in downtown Anchorage, there was a major outdoor event in the town square, information booths, live music, hundreds of people and groups represented. The title of the weekend event was, "Battered Women Awareness Week!" hosted by local secular and church groups concerning battered and abused women! The conference was only a MIRROR IMAGE of what God was doing on a LARGER SCALE in the world around us! If we do not GO OUT from the conference we will never fully grasp what God is doing ALL AROUND US in the city represented during this conferencing time!)
Now, how do we create such an environment during a conference that provokes this kind of ACTION or REACTION that carries us into the streets? Let's say the conf. is from a Wed. through a Sunday. During the week of the conf. you could have "work-shops" or training sessions where there is the opportunity to teach, activate, and impart the spirit and power of evangelism. This would be done by ministries or individuals that have been out on the "front lines" so to speak, and that have been harvesting themselves! You do not get a text book soldier to teach warfare, you get someone bloody from battle to impart the strategies of war! On SATURDAY morning we have a special session scheduled for TRAINING and then respond by taking teams OUT on the streets, the mall, and convalescent homes. Whatever their level of skill or experience is on the street will determine where we send that particular team. In Juneau, AK. recently we had teams going to the skate board park (youth), the convalescent home (first-timers) and the bars (mostly guys-more experienced). I find team leaders during the conf., ones that I know are seasoned in this kind of thing. (Ironically most pastors are not, they have been so long in the church they freeze on the streets!) Basically, we allow the flow of what the Spirit is doing in the church or conference, to be RELEASED out into the city represented! We initiate a harvest dynamic into the city, "whatever you sow you will reap..."
There is no doubt that the conferences we are attending presently are POWERFUL. Again, there is no doubt the upper room on Pentecost was POWERFUL! But can you imagine the dramatic change in history if they never took the upper-room or "conference" into the market place?! No, really think about it! It is so critical in these days that we allow the Spirit to be released OUT to the common people or population of the city represented during this conference. Without that dynamic, we become barren, the church itself grows and grows but never learns to reproduce, so really what we are propagating is death not life... That is why Jesus stressed the importance of pouring out to others all that He was imparting to them, "Freely you have received, FREELY GIVE..."
Now, one more thing; How do we do it? Who do we talk too? Where do we take the people attending the conference that are interested in outreach? That's easy! That is why the training is so necessary. I am not talking about text book training or long dialogue, I am referring to experience and testimony how the Lord can use ANYONE when we step out and open our mouth! "It is not you who speaks but the Spirit of your Father who speaks through you..." (Matt. 10:20). I go personally with the teams that are released, I don't just talk about it or preach about it, I GO WITH THEM! Into every bar, hospital room, or street corner, I am with them seeing souls saved! We can not continue to lead the church behind the pulpit, we must lead them by example like Jesus did and GO OUT into the hi-ways and bi-ways and compel them to COME IN! Jesus was the first to heal the sick before He told His disciples too. He was the first to cast out demons and preach the Kingdom of God before He required His disciples too, we can't expect the same results that Jesus had or the ones that He sent out, unless we do the same thing that Jesus did as prophets, pastors, teaches, apostles or evangelists...We must lead by example.
One more thing, confrontation is necessary! Jesus confronted people constantly, even His own disciples were confronted when He found them doing their daily job and confronted them boldly with the command, "Follow Me and I will make you fisher's of men!" We teach people how to be empowered by the Holy Spirit EVERYWHERE they are, not just the church meeting or conference. Usually you would not even know a person was a Christian outside the conference experience. But when you read the Bible, the early church was more known OUTSIDE the temple and synagogue as Christians! "They were scattered abroad preaching the gospel... The Lord WORKING WITH THEM confirming the word with signs following..."
The greatest element you confront in the church in this kind of training is fear. Fear of man, fear of the unknown, fear of the devil, and even fear of rejection. All of these elements Jesus warned us about. That is why He baptized them in a holy fire of His love that drove out that fear! When we take people out, we are not only teaching them to save souls, we are helping them deal with the most fundamental areas of life through the boldness of Jesus Christ. So many people are controlled by fear. One day out in the streets, during what seems to be another typical conference, this bondage is crushed! Then we see so many Christians that have been saved for years finally walking in the divine destiny and power God had always intended. So, this does much more than we could ever imagine. It empowers a church to confront everyday life with His power and glory and change it! We must take them OUT!
The Lord had been dealing with me very personally concerning the harvest and revival, reminding me when I worked in the apple warehouses, processors, and canneries years ago in Yakima, WA. during the apple season. How intense it was and how that every waking minute you had to be ready to HARVEST! The Lord made it very clear that I had no business just going to conferences, cities, or churches just to prophecy or be on a "big ticket" of well know people or prophets. That harvest time was taking precedence and I must be very focused on this, conveying and imparting this urgency to the church abroad. After being close to many intenerate ministries, I saw such a lack of unity, respect, oneness, or vision, that it grieved my heart. I saw a lack of real concern for the cities where these conferences were being hosted, it was more of a "business as usual" mentality. No body prayed together, no body really connected, it was just like we were "hiring" the pros to come in and do their thing. And if you walked the streets the following day, week, or night, (which I often did), there was no change. People were still dying, children were still crying, and God's heart was still breaking. And I realized that this was not enough. To just have a conference and pray that something happened. That we had to GO OUT AND MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN! We had to become fire starters and lights of the world, cities upon a hill that could not be hid. Then, and only then, would we see the impact that Jesus had so often spoke about and taught.
I have heard the Lord say over and over recently, that the church was about to cross a line with its conferencing and meetings if it did not begin to REACH OUT and touch the streets and the common everyday people that were seemingly overlooked in our conferencing. Our focus has been predominately the CHURCH and somehow we were forgetting the WORLD, the LOST and the PRODIGAL. I see a line of offense where we are close to offending the Lord in our feasts and gatherings. We need to implement evangelism and outreach into our events! We must not only focus on the 99, but as Jesus did and taught, the ONE that is lost.
I believe a higher standard is being set for the church of 2001 and beyond. The Lord is going to give us a divine yet simple strategy to impact our streets and cities for Christ. Not to allow another conference setting to pass us by that we are not reaching out and building a bridge of revival between the church and the street. We need to be focused with a deep sense of heavenly resolve as harvest rises up before us! There is a powerful promise hidden in Luke 14:12-14. "Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed..." If we invite the poor and the lame, the sick and the sinner, the Lord says HE WILL BLESS US! Can you imagine at your next conference, you not only advertise on the Christian web sights, radio, and church bulletins, but you make it know in the streets, grocery store bulletin boards, bars, and street corners!? If you introduce this element into your conference you will create an atmosphere for the power of God and revival to break out in your church and city! It is time for confrontation in our conference! It's time for harvest!