On June 20 their flights arrived in Oklahoma, and with students on site, The Awakening officially kicked off its first ever School of Ministry.
Summer is often one of the busiest times of year for The Awakening team around the world, especially at Headquarters in Oklahoma. This year, however, due to the initial outbreak of COVID-19 and the desire to place the safety and health of all participants at the utmost importance, the difficult decision was made to cancel the yearly, two-month long Summer Internship. Still yet, in the mist of changing plans, Director Max Barroso and the rest of the team knew the Lord had given them an assignment to provide young adults with an opportunity to receive intensive, practical training in multiple veins of ministry, including global missions and local church ministry.
As the thorough planning began for what would soon become The Awakening School of Ministry, the Lord was preparing the hearts of future participants such as Jordan Wallum from the North Carolina Conference.
“This summer I had planned to go to The Philippines with The Awakening, but God had other plans. During my interview call for the School of Ministry I knew it was exactly what I was supposed to do,” she said.
The School of Ministry, after careful preparation and prayer, took place from June 20 through 30 as a 10-day program with six students who came to Oklahoma City to spend their days learning from various influential voices about key topics, engage in conversation with leaders throughout the IPHC, and have the opportunity to step into their own ministry assignments.
The Awakening team anticipated it to be a time to inform and provide training for young adults called to ministry, to provide an atmosphere for them to discover more of their specific passions and dream about what God could do through lives, to grow in the knowledge of their individual strengths and weaknesses, and to provide the students with an opportunity to make connections and build friendships.
“It was our hope that every participant within our School of Ministry not only become well informed, but also be transformed by the Holy Spirit,” Madeline Nix, The Awakening’s Coordinator of Spiritual Formation and Development, said.
The School of Ministry did so by providing sessions focusing on topics such as ecclesiology, stewardship, spiritual gifts, missiology, preaching and pulpit ministry, and so much more.
“When I first signed up to attend the School of Ministry I was both excited and nervous,” Gabriela Cruz from the West Coast Hispanic Conference said. “I knew I would be able to learn under great leaders and obtain new resources and strategies on how to work in ministry. However, this experience was more than that. I loved how, yes, they wanted to provide us with information, but their focus was more on our hearts and on the “whys” behind ministry, not for ourselves, but for our love of God and love for His people.”
According to Nix, there was a strong camaraderie among the group throughout the 10 days and God’s voice seemed to be clearly heard.
“During the sessions, conversations, and times of prayer it was consistently mentioned that God was ‘speaking in echoes’ and bringing confirmation to the group on multiple occasions,” Nix said.
To The Awakening team, it was obvious that each participant left having not just grown in ministerial knowledge, but had experienced the Lord speak to them each in their own way. For some, like Samantha Midgett from the Redemption Ministries Conference, it was more than she ever expected.
"My time spent with The Awakening this summer was
everything that I expected and then some. It impacted my life in so many ways," Midgett said. "I was gifted with the opportunity to meet someone like Max who is so passionate
about teaching the word, people like Madeline and Seth who love to open their
home to show God’s love to people, and the entire team who walks in complete
obedience to the Lord and His desires for their lives. Just seeing the example
that these people lead impacted my life and sparked a fire in me to always walk
in obedience to the Lord and to always show His love to His people in every way
that I can."
The School of Ministry wouldn't have been all that it was without the team of individuals who took the time to sow the word, share their wisdom and knowledge, and obediently minister to every single participant. The Awakening extends a heartfelt thank you to Presiding Bishop Doug and Mrs. Susan Beacham, Bishop Talmadge and Mrs. Stephanie Gardner, Dr. Terry Tramel, Pastor Steve and Mrs. Julie Ely and the pastoral staff at Passion Church, Bob Ely, Sergio Castro, Linwood Berry, Jamie and Mrs. Jessica Dunning, Josh Hannah, Dr. Lou and Mrs. Rebecca Shirey, and Danny and Mrs. Esther Nix.
To get connected with one of The Awakening's programs, connect with us here.
by Whitney Browning, Coordinator of PR and Communication