Dr. Brown, 50 Years a Servant of Christ: Part Three, Continuing to Make the Main Thing the Main Thing

By Al Perrotta Published on December 20, 2021

December 17, 1971. A drugged-out rock-n-roll drummer named Michael Brown gave his life over to the Lord. And what an amazing road the Lord has had him on since. We got a chance to speak to Dr. Brown about that special day 50 years ago … and the journey he’s been on since.

In Part One, we discussed the months leading up to his surrender to Christ … and the joyful December 17, 1971.

In Part Two, Dr. Brown talks about being sharpened by rabbis and the highlights and lowlights of his half-century in ministry.

In Part Three, Dr. Brown answers what advice he’d give that young drummer … and what he has in store for the future.

The Church in America, A 50-Year View

The Stream: Looking back on your half century, what development impacting the church has surprised you the most?

I have seen the gospel in America become more and more superficial. I have seen the church become more and more like the culture. I have seen us become more like the world than change the world. And that’s why I believe America is in such bad condition because so much of the church is in bad condition.

The good is that we’re recognizing something has to change. The good is that we’re recognizing that things have become have become somewhat dire. The degree that young people have become religious “nones,” have no religious identification. That’s been a very negative trend.

But I do believe we’re on the verge of a great harvest. And just as we saw the craziness of the sixties leading to the Jesus people movement, I believe that many are looking for more and hungering and thirsting. And if we will really seek out earnestly, we could see a great outpouring, a great harvest and even great cultural change. 

The Stream: We need more churches acting like that little Italian church that was praying for you in 1971. 

Yes. That church was very simple in its faith. I don’t know that there were college grads in that church. Certainly not preaching from the pulpit. There was a very simple approach to loving God, but what mattered most was what was central. And I think if we get back to the basics, then a lot of the other things will fall into place.

Advice for That Hippy Drummer Turned Jesus Freak

The Stream: So, looking back from December, 2021 to December 1971, what advice would you have for that young rocker turned preacher?

I would tell him major on the majors. Make the main thing, the main thing. Nothing is more important than your personal relationship with God. It’s more important than your public ministry. It’s more important than any other activity. If you put your roots down deep in God, with intimacy and prayer, with being a person of the Word.

And if you will always remember to reach out and touch those who don’t know the Lord, walk in purity and humility before God, everything else will fall into place. Be it provision, be ministry, open doors, be a team that you need with you. Let public ministry simply be the extension of your private life. If you do that, if you put those spiritual roots down deep, they will endure through the years and you will bear much lasting fruit.

The Stream: You think you would’ve listened to you?

In the early days? I think so, because that’s pretty much all I knew at the beginning. It’s as time went on that other things pulled at me and, and I had to get my priorities right. I went through a stage of spiritual coldness and theological and academic pride where scholarship became an idol and I had to get my priorities right. But there, too, people really prayed for me and their prayers made a difference,

Rediscovering Your First Love

The Stream: I’ve heard others in public ministry speak of going through a similar period of spiritual coldness. 

Yes. In my newest book, Revival or We Die, that came out in October I have a chapter of prayers for the restoration of my first love. I was a committed believer the whole time. I was preaching periodically in my home church. I taught the adult Sunday school class. I played drums in a Christian band and we would minister in different churches and call people to stand for pro-life and take in refugees. We took in refugees from Vietnam. They became part of our family. We took in others that were needy. Everyone at the university that I talked to knew that I was a committed believer.

And yet I had left my first love.

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You can be an Orthodox Christian active in service. And the thing that matters most to God, first love, is missing. And that’s what happened. And over years and years, what it means is you’ll gradually backslide. Over years and years, you’ll let more things in your life that shouldn’t be there. And it can ultimately lead to theological compromise or moral compromise.

So, who knows where it could have led in my own life, if God did not graciously renew my heart? This happened in the late seventies and early eighties. And then when my heart was stirred in 1982, I went through about six months of really soul-searching repentance. Then I had my first experience with an outpouring of the Holy Spirit where God got hold of me. And that’s why revival then became a great passion.

Ever since there are checks in my life to make sure I never go back that way. And then my wife, Nancy, is very perceptive to see spiritual ebb and flows and will always encourage me to keep the main thing, that main thing. So, to this day, that’s something I strive to do.

Cutting Back, Digging Deeper

I’ve even done something this year now in 2021 to continue to 2022, which is cut back on my preaching schedule. Take one weekend a month just to go alone and do a prayer retreat, seek the Lord in prayer, get into the scriptures to burn even brighter and to see the years ahead be even more effective than the years behind.

The Stream: I started with the question “It’s 1971, who is Michael Brown.” Let me end with this question, “It’s December, 2021, who is Dr. Michael Brown?

Someone who wants to love Jesus more than ever. Someone who wants the whole world to know how good God is. Someone who is determined to see the will of God fulfilled while he still has breath. That means a revived church. That means a nation turned around. That means the gospel flooding the nations of the world. And that means seeing a mass harvest of Jewish souls, what I burn for more than ever. That’s what I’m committed to more than ever. And I’m more humbled and thankful than ever because of the amazing goodness He’s shown.

I don’t know how many years I have. But I want each year to count more than any year has counted in the past. And I’m believing for great and impossible things. My faith is stronger than it’s ever been. That we’re gonna see our dreams in Jesus come true because they’re the dreams that He put in our hearts.


Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Revival Or We Die: A Great Awakening Is Our Only Hope. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter or YouTube.

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