PHOENIX (BP)–A resolution on prayer and repentance adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in Phoenix traces its roots to a church’s revival experience in east Tennessee.
The resolution was initiated by Jamie Work, pastor of Candies Creek Baptist Church in Charleston, Tenn., and a member of the SBC Resolutions Committee and the SBC Executive Committee.
Work’s proposed resolution — which grew out of six weeks of revival meetings at Candies Creek — was edited by the Resolutions Committee and presented at the SBC annual meeting.
In introducing the resolution to messengers June 15, Work said God turned an “11-day summit into a six-week revival” at Candies Creek, and the revival is continuing.
“As a result of corporate prayer and repentance, God is birthing us into a brand-new church,” Work told the convention.
Work gave an extended testimony during the SBC Executive Committee meeting June 13 prior to the SBC annual meeting, recounting how Candies Creek spent weeks in prayer before the initial April 10-20 meeting at the church led by Life Action Ministries, based in Buchanan, Mich.
As a result of the Holy Spirit working in the lives of the people at Candies Creek, there were 25 hours of public confession of sin, Work told the Executive Committee.
“We are still dealing with what God has been saying to us. Our world has been turned upside down,” he said.
In addition to the confession of sin by individuals, the church itself confessed its corporate sin, the pastor said.
Sins confessed by the church, Work said, were prayerlessness; superficiality with God and one another; failure to practice biblical, redemptive church discipline; lukewarmness (a lack of commitment); preoccupation with mammon (money and stuff); and programmatic worship (non-Spirit led).
What has happened at Candies Creek “hinged on prayer and repentance,” Work said in an interview with the Baptist and Reflector, newsjournal of the Tennessee Baptist Convention.
Though the revival meeting ended after six weeks, people are still meeting regularly for prayer, Work said, voicing a certainty that the church will not be the same after what has occurred.
Work hopes the revival’s long-term effects will include a greater sensitivity to the Lord and a greater sensitivity to the sins that offend the Lord.
In addition, Candies Creek will “push all ministries off the table and put prayer in the center. Then, we will rebuild our ministries around prayer,” Work said.
The pastor also noted the church will seek to establish a method of biblical, redemptive church discipline and to end superficiality not only with members with each other but in their relationship with God.
“We need to take people deeper into their walk with the Lord in order to get them into a deeper relationship with each other,” he said.
During his testimony before the Executive Committee, Work shared that “we are still trying to figure out how we now function as a revived church” and asked for prayer for the church and “for a Great Awakening to come to America and our world.”
He also presented several books to EC members written by Greg Frizzell, a prayer specialist with the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, as a gift from the church.
The resolution, titled “On Corporate Prayer and Repentance,” calls on SBC churches, pastors and leaders to “seek the Lord in the manner of 2 Chronicles 7:14 and Joel 2: 12-17, and to repent corporately in their various churches of all sins which God’s spirit reveals.”
It also calls on churches “to renew their first-love devotion to Jesus Christ through full confession of and repentance from all revealed sin.”
The resolution also exhorts Southern Baptists to “pursue a life of genuine repentance, Kingdom-focused prayer times for sweeping revival and spiritual awakening and consistent prayer for specific lost people, missions and ministry.”
The resolution concludes by urging churches to “embrace corporate prayer and repentance for revival in the hope that God would be merciful to our churches, the Southern Baptist Convention, the United States of America and the peoples of the world for the glory of His great Name.”
In a note to his congregation on June 14, Work said he was encouraged “that beyond the presentation of this resolution, there are prayer and spiritual awakening leaders across our nation who are ready to follow up on the subject of the resolution with God-led attempts to put materials in the hands of pastors that will enable them to lead their churches to re-prioritize prayer and to lead their churches in corporate repentance and solemn assemblies.”
Work was excited that the resolution has been well received and was adopted overwhelmingly by convention messengers.
“God is doing something bigger than just Candies Creek,” he told his members. “Keep praying!”
Lonnie Wilkey is editor of the Baptist and Reflector (www.tnbaptist.org), newsjournal of the Tennessee Baptist Convention. The full text of the resolution ON CORPORATE PRAYER AND REPENTANCE follows:
WHEREAS, Both the Old and New Testaments, as well as church history, attest to the reality that God works powerfully and manifests His presence among His people through authentic God-seeking prayer and repentance; and
WHEREAS, Jesus expressed deep grief and righteous anger when He came to the temple and found it to be something other than a “house of prayer for all nations” (Mark 11:17); and
WHEREAS, The book of Acts teaches through the birth of the church that what is birthed in prayer is of necessity sustained by prayer (e.g., Acts 1:14; 2:1, 42; 4:31); and
WHEREAS, The common corporate sins of many churches include, but are not limited to, prayerlessness, lukewarmness, neglect of biblical church discipline, and shallow relationships with God and with one another; and
WHEREAS, In our preoccupation with Mammon, we have too often embraced unbiblical priorities in our spending, our giving, our response to the poor, and our allocation of resources, assuming by our actions, contrary to our Lord’s explicit teaching, that our lives consist in the abundance of our possessions (Luke 12:15); and
WHEREAS, For the past fifty years wickedness and family collapse have been increasing rapidly, and at the same time we have seen that programs and strategies alone cannot revive lagging baptism rates or anemic discipleship; and
WHEREAS, The Southern Baptist Convention adopted the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force report in 2010, a part of which called for pastors to lead their churches in Solemn Assemblies “for the purpose of calling Christ’s people to return to God, to repentance, and to humility in service to a renewed commitment to Christ and the Great Commission”; and
WHEREAS, The Southern Baptist Convention adopted the addition to the Convention Calendar of Activities a focused Day of Prayer for the SBC in 2011 and for the years to follow; and
WHEREAS, God has already promised that He will not despise a “broken and contrite heart” (Psalm 51:17); now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, June 14-15, 2011, do hereby beseech all pastors, congregations, ministry leaders, and denominational workers to seek the Lord in the manner of 2 Chronicles 7:14 and Joel 2:12-17, and to repent corporately in their various churches of all sins which God’s Spirit reveals; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we call on all Southern Baptist churches to renew their first-love devotion to Jesus Christ through full confession of and repentance from all revealed sin, and that they humbly declare their utter dependence upon, and glad surrender to, His grace; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we encourage all Southern Baptists to pursue a life of genuine repentance, Kingdom-focused prayer times for sweeping revival and spiritual awakening, and consistent prayer for specific lost people, missions, and ministry; and be it finally
RESOLVED, That we urge Southern Baptist churches to embrace corporate prayer and repentance for revival in the hope that God would be merciful to our churches, the Southern Baptist Convention, the United States of America, and the peoples of the world for the glory of His great Name.