Tent revivals have a historic and nostalgic place in American Christian culture. Such revivals are still staged to provide a change of pace for congregational worship and to cultivate community interest. A variety of church denominations and fellowships conduct these events. Certain logistical considerations can apply. If the tent revival is to be a large one, planning must be detailed and energetic.
Contact the city or county governing authority to secure a permit for your tent revival. Many municipalities restrict areas where tent revivals can be held and issue guidelines for noise levels. You might be required to obtain letters from property owners authorizing the event and residents in the adjacent community may have the right of review or comment before a permit will be issued.
Purchase or rent a tent. The style and size of tent will depend on the location for the revival and the expected crowd size. Purchased tents range in price from $1,000 to $10,000.
Recruit workers for the revival. You will need set-up workers to erect the tent and handle the placement of chairs, as well as construct and set up a platform area. Assign ushers to manage crowd flow and help collect and count offerings. Qualified personnel will be needed to handle lighting and perhaps set up a public address system. You may need sound technicians to provide quality multimedia and acoustic presentation. Recruit workers to man registration tables or to help with the sale of any books and CDs. Prayer ministers will be an asset in serving the needs of those who may respond to the preaching and teaching.
Recruit a worship team. It will be important to set the atmosphere of the revival services by providing music for congregational singing. Make sure to check your permit and local noise ordinances to avoid citations.
Plan for follow up on respondents. Prepare a list of churches to have available to give attendees, especially those who respond for prayer. Typically, the focus of a tent revival is to "cast the net" and draw people into a local church or into a relationship with God in general. Have prayer cards and registration cards available to give attendees a way to share their addresses and phone numbers. This information can be passed along to church leaders and workers who may wish to contact revival attendees.
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Mark Quick began writing professionally in 1998. His experience includes six years as a reporter and editor-in-chief for Houston Community Newspapers. He has been a credentialed minister since 1993 and currently serves as senior pastor of Cornerstone Assembly of God.