What can you expect from Revolution? Following Dr. Mark Dever’s wonderful book, ‘Nine Marks of a Healthy Church’, when you walk into Revolution (kicking off in Portsmouth at 7pm on August 31st), you will find the following:
1) Expositional Preaching: Preaching through the Bible verse-by-verse. While Dave Dunham and I will occasionally preach a topical sermon, the bulk of the sermons at Revolution will center around working through whole books of Holy Scripture. Now, that being said, let me add one caveat–the first week will focus on the vision for Revolution and the first few months will center on the grand narrative of Scripture. Beginning in January, however, we will begin working through the Gospel of John verse-by-verse.
2) : All preaching (and teaching, whether in small groups or as community) will be steeped in the unfolding revelation of God as found in Genesis through Revelation. Even when working through a book of the Bible, all exposition will be influenced by the graceful unveiling of God as presented in all 66 books of the Bible.
3) : Let me simply quote Dr. Dever, ‘The gospel is the heart of Christianity. But the good news is not that God wants to meet people’s felt needs or help them develop a healthier self-image. We have sinfully rebelled against our Creator and Judge. Yet He has graciously sent His Son to die the death we deserved for our sin, and He has credited Christ’s acquittal to those who repent of their sins and believe in Jesus’ death and resurrection. That is the good news.‘ THE good news will saturate everything Revolution does. Every sermon, every lesson, every gathering, every song, every everything will be tied to what Jesus has done!
4) A Biblical Understanding of Conversion: While we will seek to faithfully serve, ultimately conversion is an act of God. Therefore, any conversion (and we hope to have lots of them) brings honor and glory to God only and we will celebrate it as such.
5) A Biblical Understanding of : We will not water down the Gospel. In other words, we will not shy away from proclaiming the holiness of God, the sinfulness of all people and the need for repentance and faith. However, that being said, I promise to keep the screaming to minimum…yet, being a lawyer, we need to define what the ‘minimum’ is!
6) A Biblical Understanding of Church Membership: We may or may not have an official membership role but we will expect every ‘member’ to be active, in other words, not just to sit back and enjoy the show but to take ownership of Revolution and to be loyal to King Jesus to the point of storming the gates of Hell itself.
7) Biblical Church Discipline: Without being mean or authoritative, we will commit ourselves, especially through small groups, to discipline. If someone claims to be loyal to Jesus but is clearly unrepentant then he or she should be confronted, kindly but forcefully, with the need to turn from that sin. Now, let me be clear about this, we will confront our brothers and sisters with sin clearly delineated by Scripture not by the fundamentalist/evangelical Christian sub-culture! In other words, we don’t care if you drink (in moderation), smoke (stupid, but go ahead if you want smell like a foot), watch R-rated movies or listen to rock radio, etc. We do care if you are cruel to people, addicted to porn (or addicted to anything, really) or so materialistic that you make the casts of The Hill or Gossip Girl look like the friggin’ Amish.
8 ) A Concern for : The leadership of Revolution is committed to the mantra ‘steps not programs.’ Revolution is not a church concerned with meeting perceived ‘felt needs’ but with moving every member from corporate worship to groups where they are assisted in engaging the classical Spiritual disciplines of memorizing Scripture, praying daily, fasting regularly, giving generously, witnessing constantly, etc. and then taking their faith into the streets like missionaries in a foreign country. and Growth
9) Biblical Church Leadership: No one person will call the shots at Revolution (well, except Jesus…He can do whatever He wants) nor will the whole community. There will be a plurality of leaders (elders if you prefer…even though none of us are that eld). Everyone will, and should, have a voice but, in the end, the leadership (me, Eron Elswick, Justin Clark, Dave Dunham and Ryan Rolfe) will make the ultimate decisions keeping in mind that we will be held strictly accountable both to a Board of Advisors, consisting of a number of local ministers and/or Christian leaders, and, of course, to King Jesus.
Hopefully, this gives everyone a good idea of what to expect but in order to truly experience it then you need to show up on August 31st at 7pm at a location to be disclosed very shortly.
Revolution: One people loyal to the one true king.
by Matt Rawlings, Pastor of Revolution