WILL THE DOWNTURN LEAD to REVIVAL? -Andrew Strom. I recently saw a very interesting article from the New York Times entitled "Bad Times Draw Bigger Crowds to Churches". It seems the Downturn in America may already be starting to produce some of the spiritual hunger that would be needed to see a real Revival break out. But I guess we could question whether it is real spiritual hunger - or perhaps just anxiety for the future? Here are some extracts from the article: "The sudden crush of worshipers packing the small evangelical Shelter Rock Church in Manhasset, N.Y. a Long Island hamlet of yacht clubs and hedge fund managers forced the pastor to set up an overflow room with closed-circuit TV and 100 folding chairs, which have been filled for six Sundays straight.... since September, pastors nationwide say they have seen such a burst of new interest that they find themselves contending with powerful conflicting emotions deep empathy and quiet excitement as they re-encounter an old piece of religious lore: "Bad times are good for evangelical churches. "... In Praying for Recession: The Business Cycle and Protestant Religiosity in the United States, David Beckworth, an assistant professor of economics at Texas State University, looked at long- established trend lines showing the growth of evangelical congregations and the decline of mainline churches and found a more telling detail: During each recession cycle between 1968 and 2004, the rate of growth in evangelical churches jumped by 50 percent. By comparison, mainline Protestant churches continued their decline during recessions, though a bit more slowly. "The little-noticed study began receiving attention from some preachers in September, when the stock market began its free fall. With the swelling attendance they were seeing, and a sense that worldwide calamities come along only once in an evangelists lifetime, the study has encouraged some to think big..." [SEE- http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/14/nyregion/14churches.html ] Could it be that there are already signs this economic crisis may lead to a great Revival or Awakening in America and other countries? Or does it have a long way to go yet before it produces that genuine hunger for God and His truth? We have had a lot of interesting comments since posting this on our website a couple of days ago. Please take the time to comment on it, my friends? Here is the link to our website to read all the comments: http://www.revivalschool.com God bless you all. Andrew Strom.