Here is a list of factors observed in revival and renewal movements throughout history, complied by Dr. Paul Pierson.
-The list is flexible and some of these can be combined-but it is good food for thought.
-They always begin on the periphery of the institutional church - They are motivated by a transforming experience (grace) of God by an individual or group. The result is the desire for a more authentic Christian life that often leads to concern for the church and world.
- Face to face groups for prayer, Bible study, and mutual encouragement are important.
- New methods of selecting and training leaders become important. These are less institutional; more grass roots and lay oriented.
- There are theological breakthroughs, that is, rediscovery of aspects of the Biblical message that have been forgotten or overlooked by the Church; usually they involve a focus on the gifts of every believer.
- There is a leveling effect, distance decreases between clergy and laity, social classes, races, men and women, and denominations.
- The movement is countercultural in some ways, often because it reaches out to those who have not been valued by their society.
- Consequently there will be opposition by many in the dominant culture and church.
- There will often be manifestations of spiritual warfare. Such movements sense the reality of evil and the need to recognize the victory of Christ in the cross and resurrection.
- At times there will be unusual manifestations of the power of the Holy Spirit; healings, visions, glossalalia, miracles. etc.
- More flexible structures of church and mission will be needed and often emerge, different from traditional structures.
- The movement will be led to significant recontextualization of the Christian message, which will be communicated more widely by lay persons to those outside the church.
- New music is often a characteristic.
- Biblical concepts ignored by the traditional church but relevant to the hearers are often discovered.
- There will be a growing concern for the marginalized, often expressed in ministries of compassion.
- At a later stage this often leads to concern for broader social transformation.
- As the movement matures there will be concern for the renewal of the broader church.
- As the movement continues to mature many will see themselves not only as part of the particular movement but as citizens of the Kingdom of God, transcending their own movement.
- Finally, every movement is less than perfect and often messy at the edges and sometimes, at the center. This is inevitable as long as sinful humans are involved.