What is an Awakening Event?
According to the Archippus Awakening website, an Awakening Event is explained as follows:
Archippus Awakening is not a ‘church’. That said, we do and will gather as a community of like-minded believers, fully convinced of our roles and assignments in the Kingdom of God. From time to time, there will be A.W.E. or Awakening Events where Archippuses assemble to celebrate what God is doing, to stay updated and sensitive to end-time events and to encourage one another to remain faithful in our assignments. A.W.E. can be organised in various forms. From regular celebratory assemblies, to encounter weekends, silent retreats, seminars and conferences, the objective remains the same: to awaken as many in the Body of Christ that these would identify themselves as Archippuses to know and fulfil their God-given Kingdom assignments.
By the Lord’s grace, we have declared the message of Archippus Awakening at various camps, retreats, seminars and conferences [God Opens Door. I Open Mouth.]. I am indeed thankful for the openness of host churches and leaders, allowing me the space to freely and boldly challenge the various congregations. [Category: Awakening Events]
That said, I also recognise the need for our own Awakening Event. When we organised AWE2015, our inaugural 3D2N Awakening Event in August 2015 , 66 Archippuses participated, representing 32 local churches. After that, AWE2016 in April 2016 drew 75 Archippuses from 44 local churches. And more recently in February 2017, AWE2017.
Let me share some observations and why I am convinced we will continue to offer Awakening Events of our own:
- Familiarity Breeds …
We know how this phrase goes. And unfortunately, this happens within the church community too. When familiarity gets too comfortable, it can also be dangerous. We get used to the same-old and over time, we stagnate. It’s the same message, the same challenge, the same routine. I love how John the Baptist was never recorded as preaching in the temple or in the city of Jerusalem. Instead, his pulpit was in the wilderness. People had to get out of what they were used to to hear this ‘voice’, and a stinging, non-compromising voice at that! When we get out of what is familiar, somehow, our hearts become sensitive to the prophetic voice of God through His messengers.
The church is supposed to be a place where one can be honest and open. Unfortunately, experience has shown me otherwise. Christians are mostly unwilling to share their deepest in their church communities, or with their own pastors. Instead, authenticity happens not within the church community but outside of it. Somehow, when believers from different churches come together, there is a willingness to be real because these hear the same struggles and challenges being aired, without fear of judgment or condemnation.
Many believers have become narrow-minded and extremely insular. They wrongly presume that the local church is the entire Body of Christ. This narrowness in thinking and perspective is not healthy and can result in suspicion, competition and complacency. Without the right exposure, believers miss the bigger picture of the kingdom of God and how much larger the Body of Christ is, in Singapore and around the world. With the right exposure, believers will begin to appreciate the variety and diversity of the Church of Jesus Christ. Exposure is also needed for believers will realise the times and the seasons we live in, and that there is work to be done!
If Christianity is only about my personal blessings and prosperity, then there is no need to bother about unity at all. Perhaps that is why there are so many problems within the Body of Christ. But when we come together for the sake of the kingdom of God, we are more willing to set aside our differences because there is a higher cause we are submitted to. It’s not about us anymore, but how we are to align with one another through our personal kingdom assignments.
Today, there are so many things vying for our attention in the world, and also in the church! Can we blame the average Christian for having little or no focus? For Archippus Awakening, we are focussed on knowing and fulfilling our kingdom assignments. As such, at our Awakening Events, everything points to that! No shopping, no swimming, no games, no family night, etc. We are fellow soldiers on mission and we are very serious about that.
If you have a desire to live for Jesus (and I mean really live for Him), chances are that you will stick out like a sore thumb in your church. In fact, some might even consider you weird; fanatical, even. Hence, the need for awakened Archippuses to come together! Put another way, when ‘weirdos’ for Jesus gather, we are all considered normal. Like Elijah, we need to know that there are 7,000 others who are willing to go the distance for Jesus. Archippuses need to gather for that encouragement and support too, and then be scattered again for our kingdom assignments.
Anyone on assignment will agree that we need to hear the Lord’s instruction over and over again. This does not mean that we have forgotten the commission but that we desperately require a refreshing of that commission to keep us going. In Pentecostal-Charismatic jargon, we need a fresh anointing or another impartation from the Holy Spirit. We long to hear the Lord’s voice again, even if it is exactly the same instruction we have come to know so well. We need to be re-commissioned!
Once again, let it be clearly emphasised that Archippus Awakening is not a ‘church’ (at least not in an institutional sense). We exist to serve the Body of Christ that more and more may know and fulfil their kingdom assignments. Whilst we stand ready to partner churches in their own events, we will continue to offer our own Awakening Events for the reasons stated above.