WARNING: There’s a lot in this blog. If Awaken is your home church, I encourage you to bookmark this page so you can come back and read, watch, and listen to all that is below. It defines who we are as a church and what our focus is.
I almost never blog on Wednesdays because I’m normally studying to teach on Wednesday night. However, tonight is the first Wednesday night since the church began that we don’t have a service. I will be studying today, but I’m not in over my head like normal (yet).
Canceling our Wednesday night services was just one of quite a few changes, shifts, additions, and subtractions that we have made at Awaken as of late. I took January to define who we are as a church and the direction I feel the Lord is leading. I cast vision, we added and subtracted some things, and most of all, I defined what we were going to channel our time, resources, and energy into.
Here’s a brief look at some definition and focus that I gave in January, as well as the audio and video of each message, in case you missed them or want to watch again…
Awaken Church is a very simple church. Instead of doing a lot of things ok, we do a few things very well: we specialize. At Awaken, we specialize in 3 main things…
We have an elite calling (ambassadors for Christ) and an urgent message (the Gospel) to deliver to a dying world.
One of our primary reasons for living is to share that news with those who don’t know Jesus. At Awaken, we do that in a few ways. We have a street evangelism team called Illuminate that meets every other Saturday to hit the streets and share the Gospel. We’ve only gone out once so far and we’ve already gotten to pray with 2 people to receive Christ and 1 to rededicate his life to Christ! We also launched the beginning of a movement called The Uprising. It’s a series of large-scale events focused on aggressively and unapologetically reaching a lost generation with the hope of Jesus. Our first-ever Uprising event is Wednesday, March 14, 2012. It’s going to be massive and YOU can still be involved by attending our Join The Movement Meeting on Thursday, February 9 at 6:30pm at Awaken Church. It doesn’t matter which denomination or church you represent, you’re invited!
Church events aren’t the only way to evangelize, though. I always encourage people to be intentional and invitational with their faith in their schools, work places, classrooms, and neighborhoods.
Watch my message about evangelizing below or click HERE to download the audio.
We were created for community.
Adam wasn’t good by himself and neither are you! We put a lot of time, planning, and resources into our small groups called Awaken Groups, which started signups last weekend. People get really excited about it. Signup launched at 6pm online at awakengroups.org, and we had 15 signups within the first 44 seconds! The times of corporate worship are vital, but we can’t stop there. Awaken Groups are designed to help you take what you learned on Sunday and walk it out together as a group. The groups are laid-back and discussion-driven, and we have more groups than ever before, with at least 1 meeting every night of the week (except for Wednesdays, which we intentionally left open). Part of our motivation for canceling our Wednesday night services was to drive more people into small groups, where the deeper discipleship takes place.
Discipleship doesn’t only happen by semester in Awaken Groups, though. It also happens as groups of men, women, and students gather throughout the week in homes, coffee shops, and classrooms, and live life together. We were called not to create converts, but disciples. If you’re a Christian you need to be discipled and make disciples! It’s not an option!
Watch my message about discipling below or click HERE to download the audio.
You were given a gift in order to re-gift it to others. Don’t hoard it; distribute it.
If you have committed your life to Jesus, you have the Holy Spirit inside of you (the same Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead, by the way!!!)! That’s HUGE! God has given each person natural gifts, talents, and abilities, but unfortunately, we misuse those or misappropriate them at times. Some Christians mistakenly think that church is about spectating more than participating, but that’s obviously not the case. The local church is a place to come and receive, but also to give back. Re-gifting your birthday gift may not be encouraged, but we do encourage re-gfiting of your Spiritual gifts at Awaken!
This was a very timely message, because not only had we planned a Get Plugged In meeting for Sunday, February 5 already (where people can come sign up to serve in different ministries), but we also just announced our move to 3 Sunday services beginning February 19! Any time we add a service, that of course increases the need and opportunity for people to serve. The need is greater than it’s ever been.
You have a gift, but you are not the owner. You are the manager and distributor of that gift. Put it to use!
Although “worship” is normally tied to singing, I barely mentioned singing at all – it’s not the only (or even primary) way to worship. However, we did provide an outlet for worship through singing, by closing down our Wednesday night services with an amazing night of worship!
Watch my message about worshiping below or click HERE to download the audio.
So there you have it. Awaken Church has a HUGE vision, and a SIMPLE focus. We evangelize, disciple, and worship. Everything we do falls under those categories. We do some things that most churches don’t, and we don’t do some thing that most churches do. We’re not into tradition, or doing things because we’ve always done them. We want to be as effective and far-reaching as possible in God’s plan, so we intentionally trim the fat, prune the excess, and like a laser, focus on the things we’re called to.