7 Prayers for Awakening

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This weekend at Awakening Church we are celebrating our one year anniversary. We rejoice at what God has done over the past year and look forward to what he will do through us in the future. Throughout the Old Testament, God consistently told His children to stop and reflect on what He had done for them. We want to do just that, not so that we can pat ourselves on the back, but to remind ourselves that God isn’t done working in Bellevue, WA or around the world.

Even though there are so many reasons for us to celebrate the past year—I never want us stop dreaming big for what He wants for our future. As I think about the next year, I have seven specific prayers for Awakening Church.

  1. I pray that we will continue to become more dependent on the Holy Spirit and on each other. It sounds like Christianity 101 but we spend most days in a tug-of-war with God. Our growing dependence means more naturally acknowledging God’s power, promises, and provision in everyday life.
  1. I pray that we will continue to grow in diversity. We’ve have had a focus of being a multi-ethnic body since day one. We live in the first minority-majority city in Wtshighton. Over ½ of our population was born outside the United States and we have over 100 major languages spoken in our neighborhoods. We want to be intentional about building bridges to reach the various cultures in our city.
  1. I pray that we will make disciples who make disciples. Churches can be known for many things…but I pray that we will be characterized by the way we make disciples. A lot of that will have to happen at the one-on-one level in city groups and in personal relationships. I pray that we will grow in becoming a people that multiply disciples that change this city.
  1. I pray for wisdom to make the strategic moves. There will be many critical decisions over the next year. Even as a young church, we have a lot of needs and it’s going to take our focus on the Spirit’s leading to guide us toward the right decisions.
  1. I pray that we will grow in our generosity. We want to see a culture shift, from inward living to selfless giving. Our attitude at Awakening Church is that we’re always making adjustments to our personal lives so we can give generously in order to reach more people.
  1. I pray that we will be a people of prayer. Without prayer, nothing we do will make a dent; If we become a people of prayer, there’s no limit to what God will accomplish.
  1. Lastly, I pray that we continue boldly declaring the Gospel to the world around us. What good is a group of fisherman who don’t catch fish? We live in a community that is 96% unreached…they are lost without the hope of the gospel. So I never want us to be so content with our “99” that we neglect not only the “1” but the millions in the Seattle area who don’t know Christ. 

This all starts with us as individuals…making this personal. In Scripture, when God blessed his people, it was never for them to store up that blessing and prop their feet up. God blessed them to be a blessing to others. And he is calling us to do the same. Pray with me that God would pour out his blessing for his glory!

Download your printable prayer guide here.

Happy Birthday!

Thank you for making Awakening Church a reality. Your prayers, generosity, and mission teams have shown how God is working all around us. May the labor of these foundational years give us the platform for many more years of ministry. To God be the Glory.

Pastor Jonah

Awakening Church August Update

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This past month our mission team poured into a God-appointed group of underground house church leaders, ministry leaders, and other persecuted Christians in SE Asia. Our theme for this years Awakening Conference was “Walking with Jesus in Hard Places.” Here is a brief testimony of a family we had the privilege to serve…

During the Awakening Conference 2019, I was strengthened as a leader, restored as a wife, blessed as a mother, challenged as a kingdom builder, and encouraged as a member of a loving family.  I was FILLED BACK UP again as a Warrior in His army!! Thank you SO MUCH for remembering us!! Even though we are so far from home base! And thank you for RENEWING us with your support, teaching and mentoring while also blessing SO MANY in our community and partner ministries as well! Words could not possibly express the DEPTH of eternal investment made in us during your time serving us! We are truly forever grateful!” -Smith family

display weekend!

This week, the Seattle area families are in in full-blown back-to-school mode. This time of year offers incredible opportunities to reach out to our community. For the second year, Awakening Church was a part of serving the teachers at Eastgate Elementary as they prepare for the new school year. For us, these opportunities are all about establishing partnerships with a vital part of our city. Partnerships allow us to go beyond meeting a single need. But as we develop deeper relationships with the staff and kids, the outreach can go far beyond buying pencil sharpeners. We pray that these relationships will continue to develop as we engage Bellevue with the gospel. Please pray for the development of these school relationships as we partner with our city for the advancement of the gospel.

On Sunday morning, 19 churches in Bellevue closed their doors to worship together at Downtown Bellevue Park. It was a beautiful picture of unity as we elevate our oneness in Christ to show the world what the gospel is all about!

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This months marks the re-launch of our ESL Bible Study. This weekly class gives us and opportunity to show recent immigrants that we care about them. It also opens the door to introduce them to Biblical Christianity, Awakening Church, and a weekly community where they hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our study introduces the gospel in a way that people from non-Christian worldview cultures need. We began in Genesis 1:1 and unfolded the Bible’s BIG redemptive story all the way through the Old and New Testaments. We provide the overall Biblical context that makes the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ clear and meaningful, even for people who know nothing about the God, the Bible, and Jesus Christ. Please pray for our leaders and students as we kick-off our class this week.

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Over the summer we have been going through the book of Acts as a church. As we read the pages of scripture, we see that the growth of the early church was unstoppable and could not be explained. A small group of unqualified people with no money, no power, and no influence turned the world upside down and changed the course of history. This series through the book of Acts is helping us discover and refocus on who we are called to be as we lead the charge in Bellevue, WA. Click here to messages from the Unstoppable series. Please continue to pray for Awakening Church in the coming days as we intentionally create a DNA for a healthy and vibrant ministry in Bellevue, WA!

Thank you for your partnership and commitment to see the gospel of Jesus spread throughout the Pacific NW and beyond.

In His Service,

Pastor Jonah Easley

Joy in the Trenches

I’m here in a very beautiful part of SE Asia. In this land filled with such natural and cultural beauty, there is an evident covering of darkness and lostness.

For decades now, A massive crackdown on religious freedom has been underway, where churches are being demolished, Bibles confiscated and posters of Jesus replaced with portraits of government leaders. In this country, the government sees the spread of the Christian faith as a threat to their culture and way of life.

12 Years ago we were called to sacrifice much to the call of international missions. Since our return to America, The doors that God had opened to us have remained open in this closed country. Now through Awakening Church in Bellevue, WA…God has called us to faithfully do our part.

I often preach about the obligation of every believer to be involved in missions. It is not difficult to find a text to emphasize this biblical truth. There is much in the Bible that demands that the Gospel be preached to every person in every generation. I preach much on both of these subjects. But, my favorite subject is the joy of missions.

In order for the Gospel to be preached to all nations and tribes, three things are necessary as far as man’s part is concerned. Someone must go. Many must pray. Many must give. When someone commits himself to go and others promise to pray and give, it brings great joy. The faithful missionary William Carey said,

Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.

Because of the nature of our God…we should be willing to attempt anything and everything possible to get the hope of Jesus to the ends of the earth. Our main focus in this SE Asia country is to train and empower indigenous leaders. Our ministry is more about teaching others to fish, rather than bringing back my own prize-wining catch. What I’ve learned is that missionary service is…well, service. It’s others-centered. It’s not glamorous. It’s about finding joy in the trenches. To put the work of the Gospel first, essentially means that I must learn to place the ministry of others above my own ministry.

As we encourage a tired and discouraged group of church leaders, I urge you to pray. Pray for big faith, endurance, encouragement and joy as they give it all for the sake of the gospel. Missionaries are real people with real doubts, fears, challenges, and struggles. They face spiritual battles, cultural and language barriers, and physical exhaustion. They need our prayers to face each day with wisdom, grace, and strength from the all-powerful God. Thanks for partnering with us as we do all we can to impact the nations with the gospel of Jesus.

 

SMALL CHURCH, BIG MISSION

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In this early season of Awakening Church, we may be small…but our mission isn’t. Our resources and leaders are limited and often stretched thin, but that doesn’t mean our mission is different than the mega-churches across the world. Since the launch of Awakening Church our focus has been in “making disciples of all nations.” Missions is engrained in our DNA and we have learned that being on Mission is not a program of the Church, it is the purpose of the Church. It is not my mission… it is God’s mission. And He has commanded us to join in.

Through our 4(D) vision (A multi-ethnic church Depending on Jesus, Displaying His love, Declaring the gospel, and Deploying for His Glory) we are living as a family on mission. We have a “culture of discipleship,” where every person is living out our vision every day. Awakening Church takes discipleship seriously, not just so we can grow, but so we can live out our mission as we deploy in our community and around the world.

On the surface, we may look like any other small church plant, but we have a big mission and serve a big God! We are seeing and celebrating this movement of the Holy Spirit. Personally, I celebrate the humility and boldness of these people called Awakening Church to follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Is this journey easy? Nope! Is the budget tight? Yes! Has God been faithful and has the journey been fruitful? 100% YES!

As we discover our church’s spiritual gifts, passions, and personalities, we have identified where those intersect with what God is doing in the world. This missional discernment has been critical for finding our missional niche. Here in Bellevue, WA, opportunities for displaying the love of Jesus and declaring the gospel are often more evident, but we actively participate in global mission as well.

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This July 31-Aug 10 our mission team will be headed to SE Asia to host our annual Awakening Conference. The focus of this conference will be to build up and pour into persecuted underground house church leaders. This 5-day conference will center on the theme “Walking with Jesus in Hard Places.” Our brothers and sisters are risking their lives everyday to carry the message of the gospel to the people of their country. We will also have over 20 ministry and missionary children that our team will lead in a Backyard Bible Club. We feel so honored that God allows us a continued partnership in a part of the world where it’s very difficult to follow Jesus. 

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God Reigns.’” Isaiah 52:7

I have found that short-term mission trips not only bless the missionaries we serve, but they also ignite a missional bonfire in the hearts of the people who go. Our focus on global missions doesn’t take away the difficulties of our young church, but it does give us a better Kingdom perspective and reason to exist beyond keeping our lights on.

Thank you for your partnership that affords us the opportunity to live out our 4(D) mission in Bellevue, WA and around the world. Please join us in praying for our local and global work to make disciples.


SE Asia Mission Prayer Guide

  • God would be glorified by EVERY aspect of our trip 
  • Each of us, as well as the nationals with whom we work and share
    with would have a personal and powerful encounter with God 
  • The unconditional love of God would radiate in and through each of our lives 
  • God would put a hedge of protection around the entire trip 
  • Satan would be bound from anything that distracts anyone from hearing the voice of God in the area where we’ll be sharing 
  • All participating on this trip would be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit 
  • God’s Word would be proclaimed with power and produce life change
  • God would give us strength and good health through the trip 
  • God would protect and provide for family members back home 
  • God would give wisdom to those speaking and teaching and listening ears to the people we come in contact with during the trip 
  • Divine appointments, both with those we share with as well as other
    we might encounter while traveling 
  • All team members and translators would be bold and creative in
    sharing our faith 
  • We would make quick adjustments to time and cultural changes 
  • That revival would break out with people to whom we minister

GOSPEL INTENTIONALITY

Awakening Church Update – May 20, 2019 from Jonah Easley on Vimeo.

When the Lord first called our family to the Seattle area to plant a church, we knew that the task set before us was going to require an amount of faithfulness and patience like we’d never experienced before. After being on the ground for almost 2 years, we can see why. We are constantly asking…How do we take the gospel to people that are far from God in a culture that seems opposed or apathetic?

Although we are swimming upstream, we are committed to reaching our multi-ethnic community with the gospel. Over the past 8 months, God has been transforming the hearts of people within our church and across our city. Each week we are engaging multiple people groups in Bible study, a childrens Bible club, city groups and Sunday worship. Just this past week, we saw 11 people give their lives to Jesus! We have committed to pray for, invest in, and intentionally help people discover how great the love of Jesus truly is.

We have found that Living on mission is not about doing MORE, it’s about doing ordinary things with gospel intentionality.

God’s plan for the church is not that we would invite people to a program at a building. It’s far more personal and relational than that. God’s plan is that we would enter into people’s everyday lives, show them what a life changed by the gospel looks like, invite them to come and see, and share the gospel of Jesus that has changed us.

Doing ordinary things with gospel intentionality is costly and risky. It costs time and comfort. It would be much easier to go about our day never engaging people with the gospel…never inviting them into our homes for meals…never listening to their stories and ideas…never being vulnerable about our own weaknesses as followers of Jesus.

But… as we commit to helping others grow in their relationship with God, we are reminded of our calling to be good stewards of the gospel. Your prayers, support, and equipping have no doubt played an invaluable role in our desire to show and share the gospel of grace in our city… so that every man, woman, and child would have a daily encounter with Jesus. That’s no small vision, but we serve a great God!

Thank you for your passion to equip church planters and for being faithful to the Biblical mandate of planting churches! We’re excited to continue to serve alongside you as we join Christ in the renewal of all things.

  1. Please join us in praying for those that we are engaging each week. We are asking God to open their hearts to Him.
  2. Pray for those that we have led to Jesus as they begin to grow in Christ.
  3. Pray for our faithfulness as we lovingly fight against an apathetic culture.
  4. Pray for more partnering church to come along side us for sustainability in the years to come.

The Endless Love of God

CRAFTING a goodApril was an incredible month for Awakening Church. As we celebrated the resurrection, we’ve had countless conversations with people who have never heard the glorious good news of the death and resurrection of Jesus. This is a natural time of year for gospel conversations to occur. Easter Sunday was a beautiful day filled with many relationships that God has been building over the past couple years. You can listen to the message here. By God’s grace, we were able to lead several people to faith in Jesus this month. 

After one of our ESL classes, one of our regular students from Iran approached Kathy after the class. With a smile on his face, he wanted to thank her for teaching the class and shared that he had been in America for about 5 years. However, today he finally understood what Easter was all about. What an encouragement to see people grasping the truth of Jesus. For faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

A few months ago, God brought a young lady named Amanda Into our lives. The week that we met, I had just begun reading a new book by Paul Tripp entitled, Suffering. I had not been in a season of suffering personally, but still I felt compelled to read the book. Not three days after beginning this book, I received a phone call telling me that Amanda was just diagnosed with stage four cancer. Things didn’t look good. We knew that Amanda didn’t have a relationship with Jesus so we began to pray for her physical healing as well as her spiritual healing. I bought the book for Amanda and had one of her friends read it to her in her hospital room. At times, she was angry with God, and didn’t want to hear it…but she began to become more open to the conversations about Jesus. Through the countless prayers, fasting, conversations, late nights in the hospital, and the roller coaster that suffering brings she said YES to Jesus. Our hearts are rejoicing. That same week we saw two other young ladies that have faced tremendous hardship say yes to Jesus! Thank you for your support that allows us the opportunity to bring the gospel to people that need Jesus.

 

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This summer we will have an opportunity once again to serve our partners in China. Our partnership in China involves equipping and encouraging those on the ground that face increasing challenges of persecution. It’s my passion to help others that are not mobilized for the great commission. As we prayerfully build this team, YOU may feel led to partner with us or be able to connect other people that may be interested in partnering together for this amazing opportunity.

A quick contextual scope…Since 2013, The Chinese Communist Party reversed course and embarked on a 3-phase, 14-year plan to “suffocate” Three Self churches and “annihilate” underground churches. During the first 2-year phase, it further eased persecution of the underground church, enticing more of them to surface and be identified. During the second 2-year phase, it invited and then pressured the identified underground churches to register and become Three Self churches.

In the current third, 10-year phase, the gloves have come off as both the remaining underground churches and even Three Self churches are being persecuted using Mao-era brute-force, as well as mass surveillance, artificial intelligence, and big data.

The greatest need of the underground church in China today isn’t free Bibles or even protection from persecution, which tends to purify, spread and grow the church, but Biblical teachers, including missionaries, who can exegete the Bible and share the True Gospel.

The foundation of our partnership is just that…better equipping those that serve on the front lines every day. I hope that you will pray about joining us as we deploy across the world in the name of Jesus.

Click HERE for more information. This could be a great way for us to join hands and serve together. The applications need to be submitted by May 5. The application can be found at here.

How can we pray?

One of the questions I often get from partners is, “how can we be praying for Awakening Church?”  The response is typically three-fold.  One, pray for partnerships.  Without partnerships, this work is not possible. We are continually asking God to bless our partners so that we can continue to be blessed and empowered through them.

Secondly, we are always asking for prayer for new believers. It is why we are here!  We are praying for death-to-life stories. Many days, the only thing that keeps us going is that Jesus told us His fields were white and ready for harvest. We believe there is a harvest in the Northwest.  We long to see more baptisms in 2019.

Thirdly, we pray for laborers.  We need people to come be a part of Awakening Church both locally and others to relocate to serve alongside us.  Whatever it takes for God to build His church and multiply disciple-making churches, we say yes!

Alongside that third prayer request, we always praying for the unity of our team and the endurance it takes to fight the spiritual attacks we so often experience.

Thank you again for your partnership and commitment to going the journey with us. That support is the wind in our sails!

The WHY

THE WHY

And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place.” Acts 17:26

It’s pretty amazing to think about life. We have no control over when or where we were born. There is so much we have no control over. However, somethings we do control are our passions, our friends, and many other daily choices. There are things in our life that only Jesus can fix. It’s been said that the two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you figure out WHY you were born. We didn’t have control over the circumstances surrounding the day we were physically born, but through our second birth, salvation in Jesus, we then discover why we were born!

God, in his sovereignty, has placed us right here, right now, with our abilities and gifts to bring glory to Him and show the joy of the gospel to those around us. In his book Start With Why, Simon Sinek shares how successful leaders don’t focus on HOW to do something… Instead they focus on WHY they are doing it. Sharing Christ with those around us begins with our understanding God’s grand story that centers on Christ. That is our WHY.

In Philippians chapter 3, we see Paul’s WHY was to know Christ and to make him known. His why was big enough to endure overwhelming persecution with glorious joy. If you are alive today (you are if you are reading this) and you have a relationship with Jesus… He has given us the responsibility of a missionary.

“Where you live doesn’t make you a missionary; the mission you are on does, regardless of your vocation or location.” Alvin Reid

As a church, we have been focusing on living out the gospel in our daily lives as missionaries. We are praying daily that God will give us opportunities to share the good news of Jesus, wisdom to know how to approach those around us, and boldness to speak up. We have to remember that we are not selling something people may or may not need. Instead, we are offering the gift of grace that is the most vital news a person could ever know.

We continually look for ways to serve our community and bring joy to those around us. We are beginning to see the fruit of displaying the love of Jesus to our community. Through our displaying and joy bringing, we are able to declare the gospel message of salvation in Jesus. I’m excited about two new opportunities that God has opened up for us this past month.

The first opportunity is a Bible Club for an after school kids program. This club is focused on learning the Word of God. We incorporate prayer, crafts, games as well as memorizing a weekly Bible Verse. We’ve added a prayer mailbox where kids can write a prayer request that we pray over (which can be entertaining). Each week children from many cultural backgrounds attend the Bible Club. They are hearing the truth of scripture and asking amazing questions as their worldviews are being challenged and enlightened. A muslim boy asked, “What does it mean to be a Christian?” We shared what it meant to be a follower of Jesus and studied Romans 10:9 that says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” The hearts of these children are being stirred! 

The second opportunity God has given us is a weekly ESL Bible study. Over the past several months, God has continually brought us new relationships with the multi-ethnic people groups of our city. While this class focuses primarily on the basics of the faith, we are able to incorporate the basics of English at the same time. We are teaching basic Bible studies in everyday English in an easy-to-understand discipleship course. This class is specifically designed for people who are exploring the fundamentals of the faith. Each week has been filled with incredible discussion and a stronger craving for God’s word. We’ve been able to give out many dual language Bibles and develop new relationships. On top of that, a couple of the students have begun attending our Sunday worship service. They are being enraptured by the truth of the gospel and their hearts are being transformed by God’s grace.

Thank you for continuing to partner with us. We pray that you are encouraged just as we are. We also pray that through our journey, you will be stirred and challenged in your faith. 

Please join us in praying for…

  • …these two new ministry opportunities that God has given us. Pray for the salvation of those without Christ and that they would realize their WHY.
  • … our calling as missionaries. This calling can be challenging with unexpected circumstances…but Jesus is worth it. God is continuing to bring families and individuals into our lives that need to experience the grace that Christ is offering them.
  • … a handful of mature believers to come alongside of us to partner in growing new disciples and developing leaders.