We believe God is the author of this story, it’s all for His glory.
We’re starting to see a move of God among young adults, we know this is down to a wave of prayer.
The worship nights were envisioned by Sam Burton in 2015 while visiting a city’s student worship night. After years of praying, the doors opened in the Spring of 2018 as a group of young adults from 6 different churches were stirred by God in the Taunton Deane area to do a similar thing. They started to pray for Young Adults.
Taunton has no university and the surrounding areas are rural. In a city it’s a different story, but in Taunton and the South West generally there are many lonely young adults scattered among the churches. Once they reach 18 they are generally too old for their church’s youth group and this is a make or break age. More than ever, they need a community, especially in the loneliest generation ever to be on the planet (not helped by social media)! It’s of note that there has been a decade shift in the UK culture with young adults. Moving out of home, getting a job, marriage etc is happening now around the age of 30, and that’s a huge change we need to think about culturally. It also has some awesome potential; what would happen if the young adults of this generation were mobilised to serve before they have too many commitments?
It’s not really healthy if one church in your town or city has young adults and the others have none, but what happens if these Awaken gatherings encouraged, released, commissioned them back to the church full of faith?
Now is the time to awaken and strengthen. Young adults need to know they are not alone and be encouraged to pursue an eternal calling.
Awaken’s first worship night was in September 2018 with over 15 churches represented. A year on, God has provided a central town venue, external support, visiting speakers and pastoral care for new young adult believers. Perhaps most importantly, we have seen people come to salvation. To see this continued growth please pray for a greater harvest than we can ever imagine or think.
We provide everything free of charge wherever possible, we believe this is important, but with a growing community and work we believe there will be greater financial needs as we support the church in the region.
In 2020 we’ve been approached by worship teams asking Awaken to host them (these include folks from Europe and the USA!), we’re excited, but don’t have any resource. So please pray that God will provide, as He has up to this point. If you feel prompted to give, please get in touch or donate below.
The team who organise the nights dream & pray for so much more. Our leader is King Jesus, and the team who help run the Awaken Worship nights are: Sam Burton (Wellsprings), Chris Sampson (Living Light) , Ben Solanki (Trull), Laura Darley (Vineyard), Rachael Higgson (Vineyard), Rachel Knowlman (Life Central), Abi Broom (Life Central), Bruno Branco (Riverside).
Do contact us or anyone from the team if you’d like to hear more and financially support Awaken’s events and missions.
More recently we’ve been gifted a building to host a 24/7 prayer room for the region and are hosting the PURSUIT nights, both are for all ages. May all this be for the glory of God.
Over 99% of Young Adults/Students are not connected to a Christian Community.FusionMovement
More of Sam’s story:
Sam Burton, Awaken.
Sam came from a small rural church which had an extensive UK network, unknown to many locally. Finding young adults locally who loved Jesus was something he had always longed for. It was hard to find an opportunity for this to happen without moving church or continually hopping from church to church! He dreamed of a moment when young adults could meet over coffee, be encouraged, and get to know more of what God was doing in the lives of each other. Being involved for a number of years with a young adult ministry across the UK he’d experienced the power of accountability and encouragement in gathering a generation through the church network. Surely it must be possible on the doorstep of Taunton?
Following the launch of the Worship Nights in September 2018 Sam felt God speak clearly about stepping out from his job and resigned from full time employment as a Marketing Manager to serve a young adult generation. Along with other projects, Sam meets young adults for prayer, bible study and serves across denominations to encourage a great Awakening among Young Adults. Sam is being mentored by Steve & Larisa Jenkins, Pastors at Life Central Church. The vision to bless Young Adults across the West Country and further afield is growing, there’s a number of new things launching in 2020 and some of the dreams are BIG!
Sam is also a School Pastor and Trustee at Taunton Youth for Christ, pioneering a new Youth Festival Night called Living Out Loud. If you feel led to partner prayerfully and financially with Sam, you can donate to his page (if you can gift aid it too that would be epic), or email him here, he’d love to hear from you.