Fanning the Fire of Revival in Youth
Fire on the Horizon
By Winkie Pratney, Renew, 199 pages, $10.99, paperback.
Amid the recent flurry of Christian books that address today's youth culture, Winkie Pratney's Fire on the Horizon stands out like a campfire's glowing embers on a dark night. Although many books about so-called "millennial kids" focus on demographics and sociological issues, Pratney, a youth evangelist originally from New Zealand, presents a prophetic point of view regarding today's youth.
Written in a refreshing, nonpreachy style, Fire on the Horizon challenges the church to embrace a global spiritual awakening among young people and also encourages teens with a powerful message of God's love and hope.
Throughout Fire on the Horizon, the biblical metaphor of fire--which Pratney notes is mentioned 549 times in Scripture--is presented in the context of today's youth culture. Pratney does a good job describing and contrasting God's judgment fire and revival fire, and notes that "fire--one kind or another, ready or not--is blazing its way toward us."
Although Fire on the Horizon is an important book for anyone who wants to better understand the coming youth revival, teens also should read it because it is a prophecy for them. "This is not your father's revival," Pratney writes. Parents and pastors may not understand Goths, punks, Playstation geeks or body-pierced boys and girls, but God does. And if Pratney's vision is correct, these "Marilyn Manson Missionaries" are poised to set the world on fire for Christ.
Lord, I Wish My Teenager Would Talk With Me
By Larry Keefauver, Creation House, 208 pages, $12.99, paperback.
When it comes to parenting teens, author/pastor Larry Keefauver knows what he's talking about. The father of three now adult children has spent a significant portion of the last 30 years in ministry counseling and working with teens and families. In writing Lord, I Wish My Teenager Would Talk With Me, he draws from his own personal experiences.
When teens hit adolescence, Keefauver writes, parents need to base their relationship on friendship, not lordship. Teens can have only one Lord in their lives--Jesus Christ. Instead of being masters, parents must learn to be mentors.
Keefauver helps parents in their goal--to raise not a child, but an adult--by packing his book full of reader-friendly features: summaries of key ideas, communication tips for parents, prayers for parents to pray alone or with their teens, and suggestions on how to spend time together. He ends each chapter with discussion questions.
Lord, I Wish My Teenager Would Talk With Me is especially geared to parents having difficulty communicating with their teens. Keefauver's writing style and presentation makes this an easy read--busy parents can pick it up and read in spurts and still come away with a handful of ideas to implement.
Getting to Know Gen-2K
Generation 2K: What Parents and Others Need to Know About the Millennials
By Wendy Murray Zoba, InterVarsity Press, 120 pages, $9.99, paperback.
Forget computer glitches. For many in the church, the real Y2K preparedness issue takes the form of this spring's crop of high school graduates. They've been called Generation Y and the Millennials. Wendy Murray Zoba calls them Generation 2K.
Shaped by television and technology, bombarded by random acts of high school violence, today's teens face challenges their Baby Boomer parents never anticipated. Those who minister to them must adapt to help these young people face the future with hope.
A mother of three teen-agers, Zoba has written a succinct yet engaging study of these teens. This slender volume is packed with analysis about what makes today's teens tick and advice for ministering to them.
End-of-chapter summaries, complete with "prayer points," help the reader to use this text as either a prayer book or a study guide. Those involved in ministering to millennials will gain much from its content.
--Andrew Careaga No Surrender, No Revival
When the Kingdom Comes: Lessons From the Smithton Outpouring
By Steve Gray, Chosen Books, 192 pages, $9.99, paperback.
Insights into the in-breaking kingdom of God is what pastor of the Smithton (Mo.) Revival, Steve Gray, delivers in When the Kingdom Comes. Gray begins by telling about his own desperate condition and the events leading up to his trip to Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola, Fla., where Gray experienced God's touch in a powerful way. When he returned home, revival broke out unexpectedly in his own church without the aid of any planned programs.
No one seeks revival or welcomes it if they have not been thirsty for God, Gray states. Complacent Christians and complacent churches will miss God's visitation, he warns, and should instead prepare themselves.
Essentially, preparation is a complete surrender to God's will in our lives--individually and corporately. Repentance, holiness, renewed intimacy and the resulting power all come when control of our lives is given back to the One who gave us life in the first place.
Anyone who is spiritually thirsty will want to drink up this book. It will create a deeper longing for God and cause the reader to want to be prepared for a visitation from the Holy Spirit.
--Deborah L. Delk
Melting the Wax
Fire in the Wax Museum
By Bud Williams, Treasure House, 171 pages, $12.99, paperback.
A burning fire does not discriminate. If given the opportunity, it burns everything in its path. In his book, Fire in the Wax Museum, Bud Williams, an Episcopal priest, describes how revival affected him and his church. He says that churches today are like wax museums--"they have a form of godliness but no power." Williams says that at its core, revival is a refreshed relationship with Jesus.
Before his personal revival encounter at Carpenter's Home Church in Lakeland, Fla., Williams was very comfortable as a pastor in a liturgical church. He recounts the day it happened, standing at his own pulpit. On Palm Sunday 1993, Williams began to address the congregation as usual. "The gospel of the Lord," they responded out of habit, saying, "Glory to You, Lord Christ." Suddenly, Williams says, as the people said the word "glory," the glory of the Lord fell. Williams melted to the floor, con sumed by the tangible presence of God.
In his closing chapter, Williams discusses lessons learned throughout the revival. Revival seems to come in an unexpected way, but it always leads to repentance and change. Our attention is taken off religious "things" and focused on a relationship with Jesus Christ.