After Awaken moved to our current space, having room for growth wasn’t an issue for a while. When we filled one service up, we added a second, when we filled those up, we added a third. After we went to 3 services, we started praying a lot that God would provide more space for us.
Last July, during a staff meeting, we walked around our building and prayed for God to give us more space right where we were. I had been reading in Genesis 13 that morning, where God told Abram, “Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you” (Genesis 13:17). It was like God had spoken that verse to me, so we did that: walked the land, believing God would give it to us.
For months, it seemed like nothing was happening, chairs were filling up, and we were running out of options. Then we got a phone call from our landlord: Curves was going out of business (sad for them, great for us!). We immediately met our landlord there and began talking options. The addition would help, but it wasn’t worth the increased cost and term of lease. So we abandoned that thought and kept praying.
In April 2013, we added our fourth service (Saturday night), thinking that would help. It did, for a few months. Then we added 1,200 sq ft of kids’ space. That helped for about 3 weeks, then it was full also!
We’ve been working with a real estate broker for a while now, and the market for what we need is almost non-existent in Clarksville. It’s all too small, too big, to far away, or too expensive (to lease or buy).
However, as God always does, He has provided for us at exactly the right time. That picture of us praying is now a monument for us, because although the answer to prayer came much later than we expected, God provided more room for us right where we are!
We will be doubling our square footage from 6,000 to 12,000 sq ft by taking the remaining space left in our current building and our old church building, across the parking lot! Due to lease restrictions, we don’t have the option to build. When you can’t renovate, you innovate. Instead of building one big sanctuary and one big kids’ space, we’ll be adding another of each. Our current sanctuary will be known as our “North Venue” and our new sanctuary will be our “South Venue.” Our current Kids’ space will become “Awaken Kids Central,” and across the parking lot will be “Awaken Kids Corner.” Through the wonders of technology (thanks to our tech guru, Isaac), our worship experiences will happen simultaneously in both venues, as will Awaken Kids.
Our launch date is the weekend of December 7 & 8. Since our seating capacity will double, we’ll be scaling back to 3 weekend services: Sat 6pm and Sun 9 & 11am. That will give our teams an opportunity to expand into the extra spaces and gear up for the inevitable re-launch of 4 weekend services when we fill up 3!
God gave us favor – we ended up with more square footage for less than the original offer and only a 1-year lease! God has provided, and we’re excited to move forward in this.
In addition, not only does this give us more room to expand right where we are, without incurring all the additional moving costs, it gives us a stepping stone toward the future. The goal in the future is to send out church plants as well as expand through video venues…but that’s another blog at another time.
In the meantime, we stay focused on what God has called us to do: awaken people far from Christ to new life in Christ!
If you’d like to help with the expansion, there are 3 main ways to do so:
PRAY: Pray for all of the moving pieces, favor in making purchases, and unity on teams as we expand.
SERVE: If you’re an Awakener and you’re not already serving in a ministry, sign up NOW here. We need more hands in more place than ever before! Whether you’re in a ministry or not, there will soon be opportunities to help us clean, move stuff in, and prepare to expand, so stay tuned.
GIVE: Although we’re saving a lot of money by going this route, the expansion will still cost a lot. Our rent will increase, as will utilities, operating costs, and technology needed for the new venues. You can partner with us financially by giving here. Over the next year, we’ll be working hard to save for a new building as well!