Wednesday, June 18 is a call to prayer for Awaken Church. Whether you attend Awaken, have attended, have been blessed by the ministry, or just have our backs in prayer from afar, I’m asking you to join us in prayer.
For months now, we’ve been working with our landlord and a local bank toward the purchase of Riverside Center, the shopping center that Awaken currently inhabits 1/3 of (read some of the details about the purchase in this blog post).
After announcing the news to the church that we were under contract to purchase, we got an unexpected word from the bank that our loan had been rejected. The original terms of the loan would only have left us with $50,000 for closing costs (amazingly cheap!). Thankfully, we already have more than that in savings, so covering that cost was no concern. However, now the bank will require about 4X that amount for the loan to be approved.
In other words, for this deal to go through, the church will need $200,000 in cash.
That currently exceeds the balance in our accounts…which would make sense within the context of what we’ve been learning as a church! On the Sunday that I announced the purchase, we studied through the story in Mark 6 of Jesus feeding the 5,000 from a little boy’s lunch. It’s an incredible story of abundant needs, limited resources, and over-the-top miraculous provision. The point of the message was that if we will be faithful with the little that God has given us, He will put it to use.
When the disciples told Jesus that they didn’t have enough food to feed the large crowd, Jesus replied, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” The principle is powerful: God knows that our resources are limited, but He likes to draw our attention to that fact as well! And it seems that’s exactly what He’s doing with us!
On one hand, we’ve been praying that if Riverside Center is not where God wants us, that He’d shut the whole thing down. This could be what He’s doing…but I’m not convinced that’s the case.
I wonder if He is purposely stacking the deck against us as a setup for Him to receive the greatest amount of glory.
If God provides $200,000 for us to move forward with this purchase, there’s no way we can ever take any credit for great leadership, wise stewardship, or anything else. If this deal goes through, we will be left lifting our hands thanking God for providing in ways that were beyond our ability. We always want to keep the ministry on a miracle basis, and it seems that’s exactly what God is setting us up to do!
When I found out the news about the loan not being approved, I knew I needed to call the church to prayer. I picked a date that would give us enough time to spread the word, and opened my calendar to make it official. Interestingly, the date I chose (June 18) happens to be the exact date that marks 5 years of our arrival in Clarksville, TN!
On June 18, we’ll be praying and fasting wherever we are around the U.S. and world (if you have questions about fasting, read this post).
> God’s direction. Is He trying to close a door, or should we keep moving forward?
> God’s provision. If Riverside Center is where God wants us, we need Him to change some bankers’ minds or provide A LOT of money for us!
> How each of us will be involved. Some of you may feel called just to pray, and for that I am SO thankful! Many of you, however, will felt led to give. Ask God how much you should give, then give generously and sacrificially!
If Jesus could feed thousands of people from a little boy’s sack lunch, He can use the little we have to offer too. No amount is too small. He’s not asking for giant gifts, just generosity and faithfulness. If $25 is all you can give, give $25!
Especially if Awaken is your church home, I’d ask you to prayerfully give generously and sacrificially. For most of us, $25 is barely (if any) a sacrifice. As your pastor, I’d ask you to prayerfully give until it hurts. God’s Word promises that when we are faithful with our finances, God will be to faithful to our finances. Gracious, New Testament giving is generous and sacrificial, so give accordingly, and let’s see what God does.
> fill out a giving envelope or drop some cash or a check made out to Awaken Church
Anywhere around the world:
> send a check: Awaken Church / 585-G S. Riverside Dr. / Clarksville, TN 37040
> give online: awakenchurch.org/giving
> give via text message: text any amount to (931)-444-5143 with the keyword: sacklunch (“$100 sacklunch”)
> give via the Awaken Church app by selecting “give” and texting any amount with the keyword: sacklunch (“$100 sacklunch”)
Visit awakenchurch.org/sacklunch and spread the word on your own social media with these graphics and by using #SackLunch and #PrayForAwaken: