Twenty years ago this month we hosted our first Life Action Summit under the leadership of Steve Canfield. As I reflect back on my tenure at First Baptist Church Gonzales, LA (FBCG), the Summit of 2000 was one of the most significant moments in the life of our church. That encounter with the Lord was a vital time for us as a congregation. It was a time in which God dealt with us in many ways. It was a season of repentance and obedience in our walk with Christ which prepared us for challenges and growth in the coming years.
The Elders, in anticipation of this anniversary, led the church in hosting another Summit which we have just completed (January 19-February 2, 2020). Steve Canfield and the team returned for what was an incredible fifteen days together. On the road to heaven there are some people who make deposits into our lives in which we owe them unpayable debts. This is by God’s design, of course, as none of us in the family of God were created to do it alone. Life Action has provided such ministry to my pastoral work and to the spiritual life of FBCG.
Over the last few months in preparation for the Summit, I spent time reading in church history about special visitations of God’s presence that brought transformation to millions and monumental change to entire nations. Collin Hansen and John Woodbridge have written a helpful work to that end, A God-Sized Vision: Revival Stories that Stretch and Stir (Zondervan, 2010). I was gripped by one particular sentence that became my prayer as we approached the Summit this past month, “During genuine revival, the Holy Spirit contends and convicts, but he does not manipulate as he grants Christians a new experience of God’s presence and power.” (more…)