Our Story & Mission
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 12 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 have hosted a weekly 30-minute radio program on KGNW, with live interviews with prayer and revival leaders from around the world.
We provide resources on our website that pastors and churches can use for prayer meetings and teaching on revival.
We’ve developed a book and a DVD teaching series, with work book, 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.
As goes the pastor, so goes the church.
In my two senior pastorates (Cedar Rapids and Seattle) the Lord first dealt with me, worked in me, brought me to brokenness and desperation for Him. Then, it was through that brokenness and desperation that He moved in the congregation.
We believe the pastor is the key to an awakened church.
Eugene Peterson, in his book to pastors, Working the Angles, laments that in our (pastor’s) rush to success, pastors have abandoned the three things that made the last 2000 years of our forebears successful in God’s eyes: prayer, the Word, and relationship with those who call us to spiritually higher ground. A. Skevington Wood, in his biography on John Wesley, describes conditions in 18th century England before the Great Awakening that are alarmingly similar to conditions in our nation today. And he quotes Campbell Morgan, placing the blame at the feet of pastors, lamenting that “indifference in the world is largely the result of passionlessness in the pulpit.”
Recently published research on the condition of the church in North America by George Barna and John S. Dickerson, is cause for deep concern in us all.
Barna’s research has uncovered an alarming lack of difference between the people in our congregations and the people in the society-at-large. We have lost our ability to call the nation to repentance, as Jesus and the apostles did, because our own house is not in order.
According to pollster, George Barna…
* …only 15% of Christians placed faith in God at the top of a list of life priorities
* …35% believe that freedom was being able to do anything you wanted
* …53% believe that the main purpose in life was personal fulfillment
* …47% believe that all religious faiths taught the same basic principles
* …56% believe that moral truth was relative
* …and 20% believe that watching pornography was a matter of taste, not morality.
So, where are we to turn for hope?
There is only one hope, and it is spiritually revived pastors and churches, influencing every strata of life with Christians who are fully alive in God.
By its very definition, revival has to begin with the Church since the word implies a revival of a love for God and a quality of life that once existed. When once the fire of love for God has been re-kindled in the lives of believers, the flames will not be contained within the walls of the church. Homes, schools, businesses, government offices, and neighborhoods will be changed. That is the vision of Church Awakening; a vision well supported by the historical record of revivals over the past 2000 years.
1. Every pastor, with the encouragement and support of Church Awakening, experiencing God in such a way as to revitalize their personal prayer life and fuel spiritual awakening in them and their church.
2. Every church, under the leadership of a spiritually revived pastor, experiencing God in such a way as to launch and sustain the corporate prayer meeting as one of the most important gatherings of their week.
1. Prayer Conferences for Western and Eastern Washington pastors, with nationally-known speakers who will fuel the vision for prayer and spiritual awakening…every 2 or 3 years.
2. City-wide and/or regional Prayer Gatherings calling pastors together to pray for the pastors/churches of their area, and to envision and recruit pastors for Church Awakening Prayer Intensives.
3. Prayer Intensives, where pastors are instructed in and exposed to personal and corporate prayer principles, and equipped for leading their own corporate prayer meetings. Initially these Prayer Intensives will be held at Westgate Chapel, concluding with our Tuesday night prayer meeting. Eventually it would be our desire to build a team of Westgate Chapel people who would be able to travel to other cities, with Church Awakening leadership, and conduct a Prayer Intensive, concluding in a corporate prayer meeting at that location.
4. Follow-up for pastors who after having attended Church Awakening Prayer Gatherings and/or Prayer Intensives, who commit to making prayer a priority in their church.
5. An array of Church Awakening Resources for pastors and churches who desire to make prayer a focal point of their lives and ministries, including but not limited to…social media posts, blogs, books, DVD teaching series, and intercessory teams available to travel to a church for support and encouragement in the development of their prayer ministry.
6. An interactive Church Awakening App (Still being developed) to assist pastors in their personal prayer life, to help pastors be accountable for their prayer life, to share prayer resources, to share encouraging prayer testimonies, and to assist churches lead corporate prayer meetings.
7. Live stream Westgate Chapel (visit westgatechapel.com for live stream) prayer meetings as a resource and encouragement for churches leading corporate prayer meetings.
Would you join us?
If you believe in this vision, and share our concern for the hearts of pastors and the condition of the church, would you consider doing three things:
1. Would you go to churchawakening.com and order The Presence for your pastor…the book and the DVD if possible?
2. Would you encourage all the pastors you know to check out our website at churchawakening.com?
3. Would you consider supporting this ministry with a monthly gift? We are committed to not asking pastors or churches for support. We would love to minister to them with no strings.