(Image via Wikipedia)
In the first century at the founding of the church the marketplace was a major point of growth for the church. This came before all of the permanent churches and ecclesiastical structures that would characterize the church 3 or 4 centuries later and beyond.
So much of what went on in the first century church actually happened in the street. The Holy Spirit fell upon 120 folks in the upper room on Pentecost but it wasn’t until they got down into the street below with everyone else that over 3,000 came to Christ that day—the first Christian revival.
In the past 100 years or so we have come to view ‘revival’ as something that happens in a church. Sometimes that has been the case in the past when the culture was such that the majority of everyone in a town would be together in a church on Sunday morning then the spirit would fall and change the entire community. I’m thinking of the Welsh revival or the Great Awakening in America. Those revivals emanated from the church.
However, there have been other revivals like Wesley’s that weren’t allowed in the church as such but happened outside the ordinary ecclesiastical structures and buildings. Some like Finney’s New York City revival actually took place in the factories and marketplace.
What about today? If the Holy Spirit fell in one of Europe’s great cathedrals today on any given Sunday only a couple of dozen seniors would be touched.
Today if God really wanted to reach out to a whole city or community on any given Sunday he would probably have to visit a football game or mall? Then there are the Chinese Christians who continue to show us how a revival can touch 100 million or so one at a time in a house church and marketplace movement.
What is destined for America? I believe that the revival we are about to embark upon involves the home and the marketplace in a major way like no other revival movement before. More later. *Top