Do Lutherans do revivals?
Worship that draws directly on the revival tradition seems strange to many Lutherans. In fact, revival meetings and revivalistic preaching have been at least a small part of the Lutheran landscape in North America for a long time. Just as there are cautions when it comes to borrowing from the revivals that grew out of the Great Awakenings, there are benefits — and things to be learned — from worship that seeks to open hearts and minds to the work of the Holy Spirit in and among the gathered people of God. For Lutherans, the means of grace are central. At best, the many styles of worship will bring to rich expression these central things, avoiding the danger of focusing instead on the centrality of a person's decision for God, and accenting the continual surprising revival that comes from hearing and knowing God's decision for us. So, whether or not talk of revival seems strange to many Lutherans, worship that helps people to trust that it is the Holy Spirit of God poured out in the assembly, making baptism, word, meal, and the people themselves full of God — full of God for the sake of the world — is very Lutheran indeed.