What is Revival?

One basic question that people ask is, ‘What exactly do you mean by revival?’ There have been many attempts to answer that question, and this page is where we will attempt to give you some of those answers.

From studying the Beddgelert Revival, and other major revivals, Alan Lorrimer-Riley has come up with the following description:
A revival is God in action. It is where he moves in a tangible and powerful way, which transforms the life of a community.
It starts in the church – not the building, but the people.
A church that has become complacent;
A church that has become ineffective;
A church that has become inward looking;
A church that is not revealing God to people around it;
A church that is not having a significant impact for good on its community.

It begins with Christians being challenged about their lives;
About whether God is being honoured through the way they live their lives;
About whether people are able to see Jesus through them;
About whether they are proclaiming God’s truth;
About whether they are sharing God’s love;
About whether they are revealing God’s power.

When Revival comes there is much heart-searching and repentance, and many, many tears are shed among the people of God. And their lives change – often in dramatic ways.

But it doesn’t end there. It spills out beyond the church and affects the whole community. People who have previously not been interested in God, or the things of God, suddenly become aware of their need for him. They become aware of a deep emptiness in their lives that nothing but God can fill.
They become aware that the way they are living their lives in not right, and is not really satisfying.
And they come rushing to the church because they think that that is where the answer might be found.
Once again, many tears are shed and there is much repentance.

People who have been touched by revival want to spend time in God’s presence, so they gather together with others of like mind, as often as they can, and for as long as they can.

And miracles occur. People are healed. Broken relationships are restored.

Communities become different places. Things that spoil people’s lives, like violence, crime, drunkenness, and anti-social behaviour, are dramatically reduced. Life becomes more pleasant. People feel that their community is a better place to live in.

In some revivals, like the Beddgelert Revival, it does not stay in one community but it spreads across a wide geographical area, having the same impact wherever it goes.

People who experience the reality of revival come to know that God exists, that he is powerful, and that he is loving.

A description of the impact of revival on communities and individual lives can be seen in this quote from the 1904 Welsh Revival: “The Welsh revival teaches people a new way of paying old debts. Thousands of husbands and wives now find pleasure in their homes for the first time in their lives. Their children are clothed and fed and brought up as they never were before. Workmen are more satisfied with their wages and surroundings, and the revival has exorcised the evil spirit of disaffection from the mine and workshop. Collieries in many instances have been turned into temporary places of worship.”
– Awstin

Theologian Jim Packer said: Revival is “God’s quickening visitation of his people, touching their hearts and deepening his work of grace in their lives.”

A real revival is a unique visitation from God.
Ģod says, “I don’t send revival… I come Myself.”

“A revival does two things. First, it returns the Church from her backsliding and second, it causes the conversion of men and women; and it always includes the conviction of sin on the part of the Church. What a spell the devil seems to cast over the Church today!” – Billy Sunday