In his book AND: The Gathered and Scattered Church Hugh and his co-author Matt Smay write about two important moments for the church. These are gathering together and scattering for mission. They believe that both movements need to work together in rhythm for the church to be effective in making disciples.
Jesus’ final words left his disciples with a clear focus.
‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’ Matthew 28:18-20
Jesus sent his disciples out to be scattered amongst the nations to make disciples of all people. He called the church to be a scattered movement of disciple making disciples. That is, a movement of people who are becoming more and more like Jesus and leading others to know and become more and more like Jesus.
We are scattered for mission, and yet gathering maintains an important place in our life as disciples of Jesus. We are not simply called as individuals to make disciples; we are called to reveal Christ to the world together.
The author of Hebrews wrote of the importance of gathering as believers.
‘And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.’ Hebrews 10:24-45
Gathering is about spurring each other on towards love and good deeds and encouraging one another in our mission to make disciples. Gathering isn’t the point or the end in itself. We gather for the sake of sending and scattering. Gathering and scattering form a rhythm in the life of the church on mission. The goal is that Revive, as an annual event, will become an increasing part of the gathering and scattering rhythm of our movement of churches.
I am not suggesting that the writer of Hebrews had in mind a conference type of gathering like Revive. However, the principles of why we gather for Revive remain the same as for other gatherings of believers. The purpose of Revive is to provide an opportunity for our movement of churches to spur one another on towards love and good deeds. It is to encourage individuals and churches alike in our mission to make disciples.
Revive is an opportunity to gather together with all the various parts and expressions of Christian faith that make up our movement of churches and spur each other on.
This year at Revive our central focus will be on discipleship and what it looks like for us to become more effective at making disciples. I invite you to gather with us as we seek to be better equipped and empowered for this mission.
Hugh Halter is the founder of Missio, an international organisation that provides training for missional church leaders. He is also the pastor of Adullam Church in Denver and the author of several books on missional church and life. Hugh’s wealth of insight and experience will challenge us, inspire us, equip us and empower us around disciple making.
As well as Hugh Halter and the main stage sessions Revive will also play host to a variety of workshops focusing on different aspects of discipleship. These workshops will teach (head), inspire (heart) and give you practical tools (hands) to engage in the mission of making disciples.
Revive isn’t just about the main sessions and the workshops though. It is also an opportunity to connect with other parts of our movement to share your stories and hear theirs.
You can help make revive a success in several ways. You and your church can invest by praying for Revive and it is not too late for your church to make a financial investment towards the cost of running Revive. The biggest contribution you can make to the success of Revive as a gathering is to come along and invite others to join you. Not only will you be encouraged and inspired but your presence will encourage and inspire others as well.