We dream of a reformation

The word reformation is (almost) hot. Bloggers, writers, speakers, preachers and leaders of Christian organizations regularly use the term. Logical, because it is exactly 500 years ago that Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg and unleashed a revolution in religious thinking in Germany, Rome and the rest of Europe. The starting signal for the Protestant church to separate from the general Catholic church. Yet there is more going on than a celebration or commemoration of a historical fact. Fortunately, every now and then a new desire is reflected in all those texts and speeches about reformation. In the church where I grew up, the word reformation was hardly mentioned. I don’t remember it ever being mentioned and certainly not any desire for it. In contrast, there was an enormous yearning for revival. Not so much the revival conference as towards a huge spiritual breakthrough. We even had prayer meetings, which largely focused on a sudden spiritual revival. A phenomenon in which people are converted en masse and special miracles happen every day. A time when the longing for the presence of God is so overwhelming that people change their daily routine for prayer, meeting and endless worship. Those revival prayer meetings were always passionate and eventful evenings, but there was always some kind of pressure. It had to come quickly. We were ‘always in a hurry’, because it was going to happen ‘now’. At that time, statements were regularly made that we were on the eve of a major breakthrough. Now thirty years later I can say with certainty that that revival has not come. When we started Royal Mission eight years ago, we had to find the right terms to express our dream. We knew exactly what we were doing. Our mission is clear: ‘We are passionate about proclaiming the Kingdom of God and training others to do the same’. Living from the Kingdom and taking others along in that adventure. But why did we do that? What were all these efforts supposed to lead to? Only after we had been on the road for two years did the underlying compassion that God gave us become clear. We gained the insight and courage to say why we undertook all those activities: ‘We dream of a reformation in the church’. We want to make room for and contribute to a fundamental renewal of the churches in the Netherlands. Not so much a flare-up, which should come quickly. But a deep renewal of the DNA in every church, small or large, reformed or evangelical. So that Jesus is central in every church, there is plenty of room for the work of the Holy Spirit and we proclaim the good news of the Kingdom everywhere. Just like in Acts 2. Bring it on! We have often thought that the word reformation might be ‘too big’ for who we are. Yet we believe that we can contribute to a substantial revival and redefinition of the Dutch churches. We can be partners in what God wants to do in this time. Are we in a hurry? No! God is in no hurry, so why should we be! Are we passionate? Yes! Reformation takes more time, but its impact can extend beyond 500 years. Just look at Luther! My desire for revival is still there. Really, but I have no idea whether that spiritual revival is imminent. That is not our responsibility either. Our assignment is to be fellow workers with Jesus, who Himself is building His church. To believe passionately that God wants to revive his church in this time and to give up everything for that. Let 500 years of the Reformation not only be history, but above all a new desire for an essential revival of the church. That’s our Royal Mission! Royal Mission’s vision: ‘We dream of a reformation in the church’

About Martin Koornstra

Getrouwd met Karin, 2 mooie dochters, passie voor Jezus, spreker, schrijver, trainer en een beetje gek!

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