In 1911 famous writer, pastor, and missions leader Andrew Murray wrote a book in response to the World Missionary Conference held in Edinburgh, Scotland. In The State of the Church, Murray described a great need of the Christian churches in his day that is just as great a need for us today. In the conference Christian leaders acknowledged that the home church was sick, weak, and lacking in spiritual power and vitality. They realized that the great need for world missions and evangelism was a revitalized and healthy home church. Murray described the need:
Nothing less than a mighty revival is needed to rouse and fit the Church for the work to which God calls her. And yet …
there may be a great difference in what we understand by revival. Many will think of the power of God as it has been manifested in the work of evangelists like [D. L.] Moody and [R. A.] Torrey, and they feel sure that what God has done in the past He can do again. They will perhaps hardly be able to understand us when we say that we need a different and a mightier revival than those were. In them the chief object was the conversion of sinners and, in connection with that, incidentally the quickening of believers. But the revival that we need calls for a deeper and more entire upheaval of the Church. The great defect of those revivals was that the converts were received into a Church that was not living on a high level of consecration and holiness, and speedily they sank down to the average standard of ordinary religious life. Even the believers who had taken part in the work and had been roused by it, also gradually returned to their former life of clouded fellowship and lack of power to testify for Christ.
The revival we need is the revival of holiness, in which the consecration of the whole being to the service of Christ, and that for the whole life, shall be counted possible. [Andrew Murray, The State of the Church (London: James Nisbet & Co., Limited, 1911), 66-67.]
Just as the churches in 1911, most Christians today are living at such a low spiritual state their behavior is hardly different than the society around us. They live a “life of clouded fellowship and lack of power to testify for Christ.” We, too, need this revival of holiness and consecration that Murray described. As you are in the process of sharing Christ with your world, please consider (and help your church consider) the bigger picture. Let’s examine ourselves and return to the Lord in such a vital and vibrant faith that those who come to faith in Christ will get caught lip in a church that is alive and powerful in fulfilling Christ’s command to make disciples of all peoples.