Saeed Abedini: Americans Crave Revival but Some Pastors Only Care About Church Growth
Iranian-American Pastor Saeed Abedini argues that there are some pastors in America who instead of helping Christians grow, are standing in the way of revival, and suggests that church walls, or obstacles separating Christians from reaching society, must fall.
"After being far from the USA for four years and in prison and thousands of hours of prayer have happened, I see that more Christians seem ready to step into revival but not all pastors and leaders," Abedini reflected in a Facebook post on Friday.
"Could it be that pastors are so busy with ministry, church, financial growth plans, and building walls around their church that they are missing the most important thing?" he asked.
Without naming names, Abedini suggested that sometimes pastors are more focused on not losing their members, or finding ways to grow their congregations in size, instead of practicing sacrificial love.
"Is it possible that some pastors need to repent and become humble before God and stop thinking and planing like the world? Where is the difference between church and business?" he asked.
Abedini revealed that he knew a pastor "who wanted increase in his ministry so much that it brought division in marriages and the unity of the church members, needing more control over them."
He added that he has seen Christians in America want to "stand up for the Lord and shine for Him," but some pastors discourage them from doing so.
"Maybe world politics has became the master in some churches and in others money is master. Sometimes pride or a denomination or race has kept people out," he continued.
"Is it possible that sometimes pastors build a wall between Christians and revival instead of leading them to revival and they don't even know it?" Abedini asked.
The exclusive director at Saeed Ministries in Boise, Idaho, added that people need revival in their own hearts before they can bring it to their churches.
"The walls between churches need to fall down concerning faith and prayer. We need repentance so we can pray together even in the streets," he added.
"Christians need to go out from the walls of the church and reach the world, not expect the world to come to them inside the church as is today."
Abedini spent three and a half years in Iranian prison for his Christian faith, and refused to deny Christ despite being pressured to do so, before being released in January.
He has since been preaching on the need for revival among Christians in America, and in a pastoral series last week argued that God's grace cannot be earned through good works or church attendance, but only through an awakening of hearts.
"Revival is not measured by how many hours of service we give to our church or ministry. Revival is measured by the movement of God's Spirit and the outpouring of His grace," Abedini wrote in one of the messages in the series.
He defined revival as an "awakening of the heart toward God," adding that it "first and foremost starts in the heart."
"Revival is a stirring of passion for God and heavenly priorities," he added.
"In true revival, not only is the heart awakened but empowered with a godly passion to love and serve the living God."