I Am Not Alone

Finding a place of belonging at Revive

Brandon Voss has recently connected with Revive in Annapolis, MD

By Brandon Voss

Revive is true to their name. They want to revive the need for faith in Jesus’s love in our lives. Their effort to spread and show love throughout our community illuminates a pathway to the kingdom of heaven. The most intriguing part of that message, for me,  is that no requirements or qualifications are needed to join in the effort. You just need to be human.

You know that inclusion and acceptance are core values of Revive because it never needs to be said, it is modeled and understood. What is understood doesn’t need to be spoken. It is simply felt by the heart.

They proudly demonstrate that a traditional church building is not the nucleus of the journey with Jesus. Acceptance, collaboration, inclusion, and vulnerability are critical components of the journey, and you can find those things out in the world. In fact, it is better to seek those things out in the world where God’s people are.

I feel like Revive was built for me personally. They figured out what it takes to bring the lost sheep to Jesus. I, like many others, struggle with my faith journey. My interaction with Revive, and more specifically, with Caleb and Mel Kaye has been nothing short of fascinating. I have learned I am not alone. There are others that struggle with faith issues just like I do. Churchgoers know there are people in the world that need guidance and need to be shown the way to the Lord. Revive doesn’t just know those people like me exist. They actively go find them and invite them to be part of the pack.  

I first met Caleb and Mel in a traditional church setting. They were already a large part of that environment in an amazing way. Then one day they decided they were going to create a church entity that was fundamentally designed to bring the message of Jesus into the darkest corners of the local community. Combined with the idea that you don’t have to follow “me” to know Jesus, you don’t have to come to “my” church building to experience Jesus. We can just talk about Jesus right here on the street corner, and furthermore if you don’t want to discuss God and religion that’s cool. We just extend our love to you. I don’t read the Good Book nearly as much as I should, but I’m pretty sure that’s how the Man Himself did it when he walked among us.

Brandon Vass (right) with his wife and daughter, along with Caleb & Melissa Kaye (left) at an outdoor baby dedication. Photo provided by Caleb & Melissa Kaye.

One of the things I love most about Revive is the “come as you are mentality.”  No one is there to impress anybody else, which is why I personally have always disliked the phrase “your Sunday best.” You’re the best you are on the Sabbath because you are you, not because you woke up early to do your hair and put on your nicest clothes just so you wouldn’t be judged at church that day. We all come into this world stark naked, cold and screaming. That entrance testifies to how much God cares about what we wear and whether or not that qualifies us to be part of The Kingdom.

Revive is a type of community that will begin to help the world understand faith and help us understand that religion is based in love, not how many Bible verses you can recite by heart, or type of suit you wear, or car you drive, or how much you tithe, but about the genuine regard we have for other people. That’s why Jesus loves us, simply because we exist. There isn’t a qualification exam. It is simply a matter of existence.  
The Revive community is not based on membership, affiliation, or a certain level of struggle just to participate. They want us because we just happen to share this planet with them too.  A community that recruits others only because the people of this world deserve love, might be the most “religious” effort I’ve ever had the pleasure of being a part.

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