Awaken is a worship group that meets in Emma’s on Sunday nights at 8 p.m. This new group is focused on revival and being disciples here and now. Damascus First Friends and Jackson First Friends worked to put this group together at Dr. King’s request.“I had Malone on my heart. I had been praying for Malone. When the opportunity [to start Awaken] came it resonated with my spirit and I said yes, I want to see God do something cool and amazing at Malone,” said Brian Donahue, pastor of worship and young families at Jackson First Friends Church.Awaken is a combination of musical worship and a given message. The focus is on living out your faith and having an intimate relationship with Christ. Donahue believes that to start revival, there must first be personal revival in individuals.“We want God to be there and for it to be more than just here’s what the Bible says. We want to receive power and the worship is a big part of that,” said Donahue. Donahue said that he believes that God has got revival for Malone and that’s why Awaken is here. He wants this group to grow organically and students to come because they want to be there, which is why this is not an SFO. Damascus and Jackson First Friends are praying for Malone.“We are asking God to blow on the embers of revival. If God blows on those embers, students can be the spark to help start revival everywhere else,” said Donahue.Christian Sanko, freshman communication arts major with a concentration in film, theatre, and media, is a part of Awaken. Sanko plays the keyboard and helps put together the musical set up in Emma’s. According to Sanko, SFOs have become obligations and Awaken is about engagement.“What we really need to see is who comes and stays. It’s not about getting your credit and going home; it’s about coming for the experience and being changed,” said Sanko. “The big thing that I see is the opportunity for change because it’s not a spiritual formation opportunity. It’s for the people who really want to be Christ to other people and bring heaven down to earth.” Sanko is a big fan of the worship time, which is what Awaken is geared towards. He is most connected to God during praise and worship, and remembers a lot of the message that Donahue gives. “I remember almost every little point that Brian made because it’s different when you go there to get something or you’re there to be changed,” said Sanko.Alayna Watson, freshman music production major, plays the guitar and leads vocally. “The most exciting thing is the fact that God’s presence isn’t limited. [That’s] the environment Brian and I are really excited to have because we both really love an untamed Holy Spirit, an unlimited Holy Spirit environment where we can all just go and worship how we want and let the Holy Spirit lead however the Holy Spirit wants to and invite God there,” said Watson.
LXIII Issue No. 2