What Is ‘Revival’?

Understanding when revival begins...

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There are church buildings everywhere in North America, but why aren’t they all full of passionate believers? We all seem to have the answers – create new programs and use new methods; or hold on to old ideas and traditional methods. But any success is marginal compared to past ‘revivals.’ We live in a world that is looking for authentic experiences, so does the Church have something to offer?  The answer is simple – YES! God is longing to connect with all of humanity!  The question is – is the Church ready to be revived?

what is revival

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Should Christians Play Pokemon Go?

Finding the Balance between Distraction and Opportunity

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The more I hear about the new Pokemon Go app, the more it makes me think. I’ve seen the game act as a distraction and also as a ministry tool. My question: do we have to worry about balance?


For those living outside of the Millennial/Gen Z craze, Pokemon Go is a new game played on your smartphone.  In its simplest form, you have to walk around, with your device in hand, looking for Pokemon (cartoon creatures) to catch.

This might sound a little obscure and silly, but so do many games until you start playing.  In fact, games can become highly addictive. A little silly game can quickly consume large portions of our time and conversation.  Candy Crush is a great example.

I’d be the first to admit that I spend my fair share of time playing silly phone games. I’d also be the first to admit, that it doesn’t help me grow in my Christian journey.

I’ve started to re-ask myself a very basic question, “If Jesus were here today would He be trying to ‘catch ‘em all?’” It might be a complicated answer.  There are two questions we have to keep in mind: 1) is it a distraction; and, 2) is it an opportunity?

Pokemon Go as a Distraction

There are many things that can distract us from what is actually important in life.  Games, in general, definitely make that list.

Actually, “distraction” might be an understatement. Pokemon Go has caused car crashes, people to walk off cliffs, and otherwise completely disregard all forms of basic humanity.1

Games like #PokemonGo have the potential of distracting a whole generation from the #gospel. Click To TweetIn writing to Timothy, Paul warned him to avoid “youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace…” (2 Timothy 2:22). The phrase “youthful passions” is often debated, but it’s fair to view this in a general sense.  It’s a tendency to be lured into “immaturity” and the “new thing” and distracted from what’s important – “righteousness, faith, love and peace” (ie. the gospel.) 2 Games like Pokemon Go have the potential of distracting a whole generation from the gospel.

Paul also understood that we live in grace.  There are many things that we are free to do, “but not all things are helpful” (1 Cor 6:12, 10:23).  Paul was discussing specific issues when he wrote that, however, he was simply stating our freedom and responsibility in Christ.

We can participate, but is it helpful?

Pokemon Go as an Opportunity

Just like there are distractions, there are also opportunities.

Jesus made the most out of every opportunity while bringing people down the road of #SpiritualLife. Click To Tweet

Jesus connected with people in culture. In fact, he connected with them wherever he went. Jesus made the most out of every opportunity while bringing people down the road of spiritual life. Shouldn’t we aim to do the same?

Several local churches have made new connections with youth and young adults through the game.  Some have set up a charging station, put up a sign to welcome Pokemon trainers, and otherwise interacting with those running around their city or town.3

Check out this local church (their building happens to be a Pokestop):

Paul wrote, “I have become all things to all people that by all means I might save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22).  That means, for the sake of the gospel, we sometimes need to engage with things in order to connect with people.  It’s not a call to avoid holiness, rather a call to relate. We are by no means threatening our relationship with God by engaging in Pokemon Go.  But, by participating, we may in fact connect with kids and teens for the Kingdom!

So What Do We Do?

Ultimately, we all need to distinguish between a distraction and opportunity for ourselves.  As I observe, however, these are my best suggestions:

  • Understand the game and learn why culture is so caught up with it;
  • Sign up for the game and try it out; and,
  • Interact with those around you; BUT,
  • Avoid becoming personally invested in the game; and,
  • Keep your attention towards relationship building and Kingdom growth.
#PokemonGo can help us engage w/ culture so we can lead others to what really matters – Jesus! Click To Tweet

I won’t say Pokemon Go (and other games) are “sinful” or “ungodly.” However, if God wants us to live our lives for His glory, the Devil is certainly excited to see Christians fully engaged in silly games.  If we’re not focusing on our spiritual journey, then we won’t be able to lead others to Christ.

If, however, we use games like Pokemon Go to help build the Kingdom, there are some great opportunities.  Pokemon Go can help us engage with culture so we can lead others to what really matters – Jesus!

On a physical level, there could even be some positive outcomes to playing such game (12 Surprising Health Benefits Of Playing Video Games).

Your turn…

Question: How will you engage Pokemon Go? …and other games? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

I would love to hear from you!  Feel free to comment below, on social media, or by email (andrewholm@gmail.com).  SUBSCRIBE HERE!


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You Can’t Fight Hate with Hate; Respond With Love

3 Reasons Why Christians Must Respond With Love, Not Hate

Reading Time: 5 minutes

The world is in bad shape.  It seems like every time I turn on the TV or read a news article online, I’m faced with another tragedy or senseless act. Even the local crime rate seems to have escalated.  As I read each story and witness the pain, I’m left to respond in some way.  It’s difficult, however, to find words or even manage emotions.  I’ll be honest, it’s easier when the tragedy or crime is at a distance, but the reality of the pain and the thoughts of a potential parallel situation, are difficult to absorb.


Question: How do we process this? How do we respond? What if it becomes personal? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Jesus gave us a clear teaching: don’t fight hate with hate; respond with love.

Here are 3 reasons why:

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We Don’t Have To Go To “Church”

The Power of Being Present

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It’s beautiful outside, we’re off for the day, why not spend time with family?  Do we really have to go to church every single Sunday?  After all, we’re saved by grace, not by how much we attend church services…right?

Going to church

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The Elbow of Trudeau

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It’s a joke, Canada has “Micky Mouse” politics.  While the country is discussing the serious matter of Bill C-14 and Medical Assistance in Dying and its implications, our government is determining the implications of the elbow of Justin Trudeau.


I’m not going to lie, our Prime Minister doesn’t have the greatest reputation among conservative Christians.  That said, the House of Commons, and reaction as a whole, is a little off course.

If you haven’t seen this yet, here is some of The National’s coverage:

The Christian Forgiveness Model

I’m not about to hold Trudeau to Christian principles, but I will hold Christians to their response to his actions.

When we wrong someone (whether intentional or not), we are called to follow Matthew 18. Here are the basic points:

  • If someone wrongs you, go to the person and explain the issue;
  • If they don’t listen, bring someone with you;
  • If they still don’t listen, tell the Church; and,
  • If they still don’t listen, move on.
  • BUT, if the person asks for forgiveness, forgive them.

Some call this a “conflict-resolution model”, but I call it a “forgiveness model.”  Why? Because, as believers, we need to have a forgiving spirit.  When we go to someone who has wronged us, we need to already be ready to forgive them.  According to Jesus, there are no situations where we are not to forgive someone when they ask.

Mistakes happen…

Clearly, our Prime Minister took off his thinking hat, and quickly acted in the heat of the moment.  Did he use force?  Did he mean to use his elbow?  Did the NDPs try to get in the way?  Does it matter?

Trudeau realized he made a mistake and apologized.  In fact, he apologized several times – not only for his direct actions, but also for his failure “to live up to a higher standard of behaviour.”1

As believers, we need to accept that and move on.

Stop Making A Big Deal Of the Wrong Issues…

There are much bigger issues that we need to be praying and thinking about.  The issue of Medical Assistance in Dying is far more critical than the “swinging of ones elbows.”  This is a turning point in our history, and the right decision will greatly impact our moral obligations.

I have no doubt that this is the work of the enemy.  Up until a few days ago, much of the attention was towards Medical Assistance in Dying, and now we’re talking about “fear in the workplace” and comparing his actions to that of drinking and driving.  Where did that come from?

Stop Complaining And Start Praying…

No matter how you feel about Justin Trudeau, he is still our Prime Minister and our leader.  Pray for him, his Cabinet and their leadership.  Pray they make the best decisions and know that God has everything in control every step of the way (Romans 13:1).

Every time we focus on the wrong issues, we distract ourselves from what we should be praying about.

Let’s move on.

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