I recall the time when most all churches had revivals each year and they were the main event in the community.
All the Baptist churches would plan a two-week revival in the fall of the year, just after harvest time, when most people were available and able to come.
The preacher would call a meeting of all the deacons and they would begin to talk about the need for a real Holy Ghost revival. This would be in the spring, probably, for they knew how much work had to be done to lay the proper plans. They would decide who would be the revival preacher, and if it was some evangelist, they would contact him soon and schedule him to come on the fall revival dates.
They would consider who would lead the singing, either their regular leader, or if they wanted some well-known revival song leader, and if so, they would schedule him to come. Then, they would begin to select committee chairmen for the various duties that had to be done.
There would be several contact groups, whose job it would be to seek out every person and family for miles around and plan visits to invite them to come to the revival. There would be one or two prayer groups whose job it was to pray every day for souls to be saved in the revival.
The Sunday school leaders would begin to promote the revival through the various classes. They would be asked to select challenging goals for each class to work toward getting people to come to class and church each week.
Every family would be assigned a pew to pack for the revival, and they would be encouraged to work hard to fill their pews. The choir would begin to learn new songs for the revival, and a soloist would be selected to sing special songs.
All these plans would be promoted every Sunday in church services. Every one would be encouraged to work hard on their jobs and some would be asked to report on their progress. There would be competition between classes in Sunday school to see who could get the most people to come. The revival would be promoted throughout the county, so every one would know the dates and could plan to come. As the time grew closer, every one would be encouraged to invite every one they knew to come and to pray every day for God to bless this great revival with many souls saved.
The evangelist would come a week before the revival date and would begin to visit people all over the area with the pastor and deacons. The revival would begin on Sunday morning and end on the second Sunday evening. These meetings would be well-attended, many would be saved and baptized, and many church members would be revived.
We can still have great revivals today, with the proper planning and organizing of church members. The Lord knows we certainly need to concentrate on contacting people and encouraging them to come to church.
Church membership and attendance has fallen off considerably, and I believe the reasons are found in the lack of sharing the gospel, both individually, and through the lack of gospel preaching and churches failing to have revival meetings. Our ministers have been discouraged because of the poor attendance at revivals and have retreated to having only weekend revivals, or none at all. We need to pray for the Lord to "send a revival and to let it begin in me."
Personally, I was saved during a church revival, and it sure was the best revival I had ever attended! Having a personal relationship with the Lord, our God, is the most important thing that could happen to anyone. It is a life-changing experience, and one that continues to bless those who accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
If you have not yet decided to have a relationship with God, I pray you will, and soon (See Romans 10: 9-10).