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9 Characteristics of Leaders God Uses to Bring About Revival

21 Aug

What kind of human leaders has god used to influence the church when He is pleased to send revival?

In every period of history God has given gifts to the church in the form of servants who are a great blessing to that age. Some periods seem to have a good number of people while others only have a few. Horatius Bonar, the famous Scottish minister in the 19th century wrote a small tract called True Revivals and Men God Uses. In this tract Bonar listed nine characteristics of the kinds of leaders God used in seasons of revival.

Horatius Bonar asks the question this way: “What weapons did they employ?”

1) They were in earnest about the great work of the ministry on which they had entered.

2) They were bent on success.

3) They were men of faith.

4) They were men of labor.

5) They were men of patience.

6) They were men of boldness and determination.

7) They were men of prayer.

8) They were men whose doctrines were of the most decided kind, both as respects law and gospel.

9) They were men of solemn deportment and deep spirituality of soul.

About the Author:

Dr. John H. Armstrong is a former pastor and church-planter, of more than twenty years, the author/editor of eleven books, and the author of hundreds of magazine, journal, and Web based articles. Besides this ministry of writing Dr. Armstrong serves as an adjunct professor of evangelism at Wheaton College Graduate School, teaches in various seminaries and colleges as a guest lecturer, and is a seminar and conference speaker in the United States and abroad. He is the founder and president of ACT 3, based in Carol Stream, Illinois. John and Anita, his wife of thirty-eight years, have two adult married children. Their son Matthew is engaged in a ministry of evangelism and discipleship and is a church planter, while their daughter Stacy is an administrative assistant for ACT 3. John and Anita have two granddaughters, Gracie and Abbie.

John was born in Lebanon, Tennessee (March 1, 1949). He is the youngest of two sons of the late Dr. Thomas H. and Marie F. Armstrong. John’s dad was a dentist and the editor of the Tennessee State Dental Journal. He also served on the faculty of the University of Tennessee Dental School in Memphis for nearly fifteen years. John’s brother is a family physician in Huntsville, Alabama. He attended Castle Heights Military Academy in Lebanon, Tennessee, where he was an ROTC cadet officer and graduated cum honore in 1967. He attended the University of Alabama from 1967-1969, studying journalism and history. In 1969 he transferred to Wheaton College, were he received the B. A. in history (1971) and the M. A. in theology and missions (1973). He did further study at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois, and Northern Baptist Seminary, Lombard, Illinois. He earned the D. Min degree (1979) at Luther Rice Seminary, Atlanta, Georgia.

John is the author of Five Great Evangelists (Christian Focus Publications, 1997), The Catholic Mystery (Harvest House, 1999), True Revival: What Happens When God’s Spirit Moves (Harvest House, 2000), and The Stain That Stays: The Church’s Response to the Sexual Misconduct of It’s Leaders (Christian Focus, 2000). He is the general editor of Roman Catholicism: Evangelical Protestants Analyze What Unites and Divides Us (Moody Press, 1994), The Coming Evangelical Crisis (Moody Press, 1996), Reforming Pastoral Ministry (Crossway, 2001), and The Glory of Christ (Crossway, 2002), Understanding Four Views on Baptism (Zondervan, 2007) and Understanding Four Views on the Lord’s Supper (Zondervan, 2007) He has contributed single chapters, theological and historical introductions, and forewords to a dozen or more volumes, and has been published in Christianity Today, Christian History and similar popular Christian periodicals.

John is a member of several fellowships and societies, including the World Reformed Fellowship, the Karl Barth Society, the John Calvin Society and the Abraham Lincoln Forum. John’s hobbies include baseball, with a love for the Atlanta Braves which goes back to the 1957 Milwaukee Braves who won the World Series, and book collecting. He also enjoys reading great literature, art, movies and walking/biking. He remains an avid college football fan, following his beloved Crimson Tide of Alabama. John and Anita have a special place in their home for Neo, the Armstrong’s miniature dachshund. John and Anita’s grandchildren, Gracie and Abbie, bring very special joy to their busy lives through regular visits.

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