I was riding my motorcycle in Eastern Washington with some of my friends, early one August morning, in 2004. For months I had been troubled by what I was seeing of the wide-spread discouragement in pastors and the rapidly declining influence of the church in our state. We were winding our way south of Spokane, through the rolling hills of Eastern Washington, when, on both sides of the road, I saw dust rising from several combines harvesting the wheat fields.
That was when I heard the Lord say to me, “Ask me for the state of Washington.”
Not for me personally, or even for Church Awakening. I believe the Lord was challenging me to lift up my eyes outside of the borders of my own congregation and accept a stewardship for the spiritual condition of our state. And not just me. I believe this is His desire for every pastor in the state of Washington.
The vision for Church Awakening was birthed in me that day.
It is a vision to call pastors and Christian churches…
* …to return to their first love
* …to draw near to God through repentance and prayer
* …to experience God more fully
* …and to seek God for spiritual awakening in their personal lives, their churches and their region.
For the last 14 years, Church Awakening has been a voice to pastors and churches in our state for spiritual awakening. We now have a network of 2,000 pastors across the Pacific Northwest, regularly communicating with them on these themes via e mail and social media.
We engage the pastors in state-wide conferences on themes of awakening, with speakers like Jim Cymbala, Jim Garlow, and Ann Graham Lotz. We meet with pastors in regional Pastors’ Prayer Gatherings, from Spokane to Aberdeen, to encourage and to envision them for personal and corporate spiritual awakening. We host two-day Pastor’s Prayer Intensives at Westgate Chapel, where 40-50 pastors gather from across the state for instruction and participation in personal and corporate prayer. We provide resources on our website that pastors and churches can use for prayer meetings and teaching on revival. We’ve also developed a book and a DVD teaching series, with workbook, called, The Presence. These resources contain stories of people who have experienced revival in their times.
I inherited a book from my father on the subject of revival, written back in the early 1900’s. The author likened revival to an avalanche. He writes that the stroke of an ice ax or the shout of a climber will set an avalanche in motion. It’s not the shout that’s sufficient to move the tons of snow, it’s the accumulated weight of the snow itself, gradually gathering in balance until the least vibration of air starts the avalanche.
We absolutely realize that Church Awakening cannot bring about revival. That is the sovereign work of God. What we can do, and only with the help of the Holy Spirit, is to be a catalyst for one more layer of snow on the face of the mountain.