Many churches in North America are struggling and in need of revitalization. Chuck Lawless offers hope for these churches through reflecting on truths from the Christmas story. First, darkness does not have the final say. Despite centuries of darkness, Jesus, the light of the world, was born in Bethlehem. God’s church will also prevail, even when it seems defeated.
Second, God works in His perfect timing. Jesus was born at just the right time in history. Leaders longing for revival must trust God’s timing, even when it’s slow. Third, God brings revival in unexpected ways, just as Jesus came humbly as a baby born to a virgin peasant girl rather than a king. Leaders must embrace God’s surprising methods.
Fourth, humility is key. Jesus was born in a small, obscure town to a poor family, not with royal honors. God uses humble leaders, not the proud who seek fame. In the end, leaders can take heart because God is in complete control of revitalizing his church. Just as God planned Jesus’ birth and resurrection, he has a set plan to revive struggling congregations who faithfully follow his call.
Reflecting on the humble beginnings of Jesus’ life gives hope that God can bring new life to dying churches in his timing and way through humble, faithful leaders who trust in his ultimate sovereignty, even amidst darkness.