Back in the day
To hear old timers tell it, it seems that the concept of revival actually started out as a series of services. These reminiscences usually start out with, "Back in the brush arbor days . . . " Wow. Tents, kerosene lamps, dirt floors, hard pews, weepy sinners, tongue talkin' and holy rollin' populate the narratives. Those were the days. Back when people weren't so caught up in their lives that folks had revival everyday for weeks on end. Back when sinners used to literally run up to the altar. JAY-sus. Those were the days. (Note: There still exists the concept of revival as a literal series of services, but it's much less common and tends to happen usually in more rural areas.)
But now . . .
But now the concept of revival has undergone a shift from a literal series of services to more of a metaphysical idea. First of all, now revival is ubiquitous. We're told that we need to have revival in our hearts and in our lives. We sing about having it from the "pulpit to the pew." It happens in various places all over the world. If a certain church has experienced a sudden increase in membership, we say, "Whoo! They're having revival over there!" You see, you just can't get away from it.
Revival is also thought of in various states of arrival. And no matter what state of arrival it's in, when announced, it always receives an enthusiastic response. Here are the most common states of the Apostolic concept of revival:
1. We need to have it. (Whoo! Yes, Lord!)
2. It's on its way. (Whoo! Yes, Lord!)
3. It's already here, we just needed to be reminded of its presence. (Whoo! Yes, Lord!)
You see, revival cannot lose. No matter where it's at, no matter what state it's in, whether it's a literal, back in the day hard-core brush arbor or simply existing in our hearts, Apostolics are going to get excited about it.