Awakening is striving to make Richland County a place where all students and young adults have the opportunity and empowerment to thrive spiritually, personally and professionally.
Connecting Richland County students and young adults to a community eager to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ.
Psalm 1: 1-3, Hebrews 6:1
Young adulthood is one of the most dynamic seasons of life. Often a person makes many significant, life altering decisions at this age. Awakening exists to provide a healthy community for maturing well through this season.
Awakening's fundamental purpose is to help young adults grow in a meaningful relationships with God. Awakening believes that a healthy relationship with God is evidenced by meaningful and purposeful relationships with others.
1 Timothy 1:5, Proverbs 27:17
Awakening is eager for those who are sincerely interested in spiritual things to search for God in our community. God is love - and perfect love silences fear. The more young adults experience the love of God the more authentic, secure, powerful for the Kingdom, and rightly related to others they become.
Hebrews 10: 24-25
Young adults are leaving the church and a life of faith in Christ at an unprecedented rate. So, there has never been a greater need for a devoted and accessible young adult community that is in love with the Lord. That powerful, peer community also becomes a significant player as they cultivate a love for the greater community at large.
1 Corinthians 10:31
Awakening believes that gifted Christ followers, growing in their faith, and related to the Lord and others correctly are worshippers. They are people striving to do the right things to the glory of God...and they are people who will transform a community.
It started with a simple get-together, a convening of local young adults who shared a similar desire: community.
School-age functions and activities provided ample opportunities for these 20-somethings to get involved in their high school and college years. But as they matured, got jobs and really started "adulting," they discovered that opportunities for peer-like relationships were fewer and further between -- outside of going to bars and clubs.
They wanted healthy and genuine relationships. They yearned for accountability from friends who could encourage them to stay the course in their Christian walk. They sought companionship from those who could understand, empathize, rejoice and celebrate whatever they're experiencing.
Their heart cry was for community.
So a group of 16 young adults came together for a time of prayer. They poured out their hearts to the Lord and left the meeting on a hopeful note that something -- not knowing what exactly -- would ensue.
It wasn't long after the initial meeting that the first worship night with Awakening was held, drawing a crowd of about 60 for a time of live worship and praise music and fellowship.
People wanted more, so we had another worship night. And another one. (You know where this is going.)
Awakening has since grown to include regular activities like monthly worship nights, two weekly Bible studies (one at our local college campus), weekly social and physical activities, retreats, service projects and various partnerships among community organizations and churches.
Ecumenical in nature, Awakening at its core seeks to unite local evangelical efforts and has been blessed to facilitate several community events, including Light Our City, a community-wide Good Friday service, a community-wide Thanksgiving Eve service, and most recently a very unique Christmas Eve service, among other events.
The name of the group is derived from the verse Ephesians 5:14, "Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” We thank God that Jesus has shed His light upon us and awakened us from a spiritual death, and we hope to help others see the Lord's goodness and love so that they may encounter Him in an authentic and meaningful way.
In providing an outlet for young adults to serve and get involved, Awakening aims to help people recognize their God-given callings and giftings -- whether that's music, art, writing, hospitality, administration, serving, leadership, etc.
It is our hope that believers embrace their destiny and seek the Lord with their whole heart, mind, soul and strength. We're excited and hopeful for whatever the Lord has in store next and encourage you to come be part of the fun!