Awakening 2010, an interview with Stovall Weems

Awakening Button Start the year off strong by participating in a global initiative that is engaging churches and leaders in fasting, praying and seeking God.

Awakening is a 21-day season of prayer and fasting happening this January. It is a major collaboration of 1,000 churches across the US and around the world who are fasting and praying together as we start 2010 and a brand new decade.

Had the chance to catch a few minutes with my good friend Stovall Weems, the senior pastor of Celebration Church, and the visionary leader behind the Awakening Initiative.

1. Talk about the Awakening initiative and why you feel it was important to launch? As a church and within our staff and key leadership, we've experienced such tremendous momentum from doing this each year. We just know the results first hand from praying, fasting and seeking God like this at the onset of the year. From this has come our passion to inspire other pastors, churches and ministries to experience this for themselves and establish a culture of prayer and fasting in their own churches and ministries.

2. This is the 2nd year of Awakening. What are some stories you've heard of impact over the last year? Probably the most consistent feedback we've received from several churches has been that they've experienced a tremendous increase in salvations and baptisms as well as increased level of participation in small groups, serving and giving. The spiritual level of the church just goes to the next level. Some have shared that their plans and goals for the upcoming year became so clear and sharp. Many new churches attributed prayer and fasting to a successful launch of their church and because they were so in tune with God, things took off quickly and their ministries thrived. Others have talked about the alignment that resulted in their staff and leadership teams. Shifts were needing to take place, and they got clear direction to make this happen. I could go on and on. Once you experience this as a staff, leadership and within your church- there's just no going back.

3. There are over 1000 churches participating alongside you and Celebration Church. There seems to be a continual sense of collaboration with a number of initiatives over the past couple of years, including One Prayer, Hillsong United's i-heart campaign, Healing Place Church's Servolution Project, etc. Why is that? There's a great sense of unity coming to the body of Christ as a whole, and instead of looking at each other's differences, we're seeing a great passion to build up the local church. Many churches are pioneering new initiatives, and with today's technology, it's just smart to share those resources with each other. It's an efficient and effective way to advance the Kingdom.

4. How can churches and leaders still get involved in Awakening this year? Awakening is a season of prayer and fasting and it's intentionally designed to be flexible. While we establish some specific dates, the goal is that we come together at the beginning of the year and set aside some time to pray, fast and seek God. Many churches are still joining in and will be fasting with us once a week, or twice a week and then ending with us in a 3 day fast. Some will be fasting the entire last week. The website has several tools, tips and resources for pastors and leaders available for free, so it's really easy to put this into place or simply add it to what you're already doing. There's still time to be a part of this incredible experience and if you're reading this right now, we invite you to register online. We'd love for you to join us and the thousand other pastors, churches and ministries as we start this year off praying and fasting together.

Thanks Stovall!