Every great revival has both sizzle and steak. The sizzle is the rally point for the revival, the shock and awe of an event or a moment that captures attention, imaginations and hearts.
In Acts 2 on the Day of Pentecost the disciples started speaking in languages they didn't know (and a massive crowd gathered to hear them chatter). The result of this "sizzle" event? 3,000 were added to their number that day (Acts 2:41)!
Think of Paul passing out his handkerchief, massive amounts of people getting instantaneously healed and everyone in the Province of Asia hearing the Gospel (Acts 19:10-12.) Now that's some sizzle!
Think of Martin Luther nailing the 95 Theses to the Wittenberg door. This act provided the "sizzle" to the steak of what we now call "The Reformation."
In the 18th Century, George Whitefield provided the "sizzle" by preaching to crowds that numbered in the tens of thousands. People would flock to hear this bellowing, articulate, cross-eyed preacher of the Gospel.
In 1949, a young Billy Graham preached with sizzle and passion and he attracted 350,000 people over the course of 8 weeks to his Los Angeles revival. 3,000 came to Christ and evangelism captivated national headlines once again.
Whether they be large crowds, defining acts or miraculous activities throughout church history there has always been at least a little "sizzle" to the steak of revival.
But sizzle without steak is just a mouth-watering sound that disappoints.
That's why every true spiritual awakening has had steak as well. What I mean by that is that there have been thought out, prayer driven, theologically solid strategies that have "gospelized" those who were once institutionalized. Here's a sermon I preached on this very subject...
Peter helped disciple the 3,000 who put their faith in Jesus by immersing them into solid teaching, fellowship, communion and prayer (Acts 2:42).
Paul planted churches that helped the new believers he led to Christ grow deep in their newfound faith (Acts 15:41).
Martin Luther followed up the 95 Theses with countless books and sermons that helped the German people (and many more) accelerate the Reformation movement.
John Wesley developed methods (BTW, that's why his movement is called "The Methodists") which solidified the new frontier Christians into deep relationships with other believers.
And Billy Graham developed The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association which has countless trainings, tools and resources to help provide some "deep" to the "wide" of their still sizzling evangelistic efforts.
Great awakenings require both sizzle and steak, deep and wide, evangelism and discipleship.
At Dare 2 Share we are praying for both sizzle and steak in our efforts. We are asking God to use Dare 2 Share Live to provide some sizzle (with up to 50,000 teenagers mobilized to evangelize in 69 locations across the nation on September 23rd.)
And we are praying that our philosophy/strategy of Gospel Advancing ministry provides some steak (7 values that youth leaders can implement to experience long-term systemic transformation in their youth ministries.)
Only God can truly bring forth revival. But we want to play our part in his great plan. How can you play your part? Pray for revival on September 23rd (the sizzle) and pray for the steak to follow it.
On a different subject, for some reason I'm really hungry right now.