By: Katherine Arch
On the campus of Indiana Wesleyan University, “revival” is a buzzword. Throughout Summit (the spiritual emphasis week which our campus held the second week of school) the speaker, Dr. Kevin Queen spoke on this subject. In all of his talks throughout the week, he discussed the need for personal revival as crucial for spiritual focus throughout the community as a whole. At the end of Dr. Queen’s last talk, students were offered chips with the slogan “All In” to remind them of the dedication required to commit to a lifestyle of revival.
Summit is now several weeks passed, and although there is a sensitivity to the topic of spiritual renewal, many
people do not know what to do with the stirring they felt during the time of spiritual emphasis.
“Moments of revival, like what happened on IWU’s campus during Summit are the beginning of awakening,” commented Garrett Howell, former student body chaplain and IWU alum (’13, Christian Ministries). Howell has recently started a ministry called Awaken Ministry, with the expressed purpose of helping students and young adults find applications for their desire to follow the Lord with deeper spiritual fervor.
“During my time at IWU I sensed a need to pray for revival,” Howell mentioned. “I was a student body chaplain and I knew this was a need on campus, and something for which I needed to pray.” During his final year at IWU, Howell was deeply involved in the spiritual formation of students as he worked as student body chaplain. Within this position, Howell was able to understand the spiritual climate of the school more fully. During his time at IWU, Howell sensed that the Lord was calling him to start a ministry to help equip and disciple students to exhibit spiritual passion.
“I talked with my mentors my senior year of college,” recalls Howell, “I sensed that the Lord was calling me to full-time service.” As a ministry student, such a vision was not unexpected. Howell talked with several trusted friends and explained his vision to them; much to his pleasure, they were as excited about his idea as he was.
“The idea of waking up from Spiritual complacency was what first inspired me to start Awaken Ministries,” Howell explained. With the help of his mentors, Howell began mobilizing support to start this outreach program. “We had a vision of equipping spiritually-sensitive students so that they could, in turn, initiate awakening in the church.”
Awakening launched as a student event at IWU in the fall of 2012. Howell helped initiate several worship experiences, similar to the Summit weeks. The goal of these Awakening events was to ignite a desire to draw closer to the Lord and pursue Spiritual revival. Since the first meeting in 2012, the ministry has grown exponentially.
“The focus of our ministry is to work to equip students through a two-semester leadership and discipleship program,” Howell explained. This ministry is currently working closely with IWU with monthly meetings and follow-up opportunities for fellowship, discipleship, and service.
“People can choose to engage at whatever level they feel called. For some, they might only choose to attend the monthly meeting. Others opt to join a discipleship group for personal mentoring and growth. Some become part of our outreach program and travel to churches where they are thrown into ministry,” Howell explained. The goal of the ministry is to equip students to be able to minister as well, so Awaken attempts to provide interested students with opportunities to serve.
In addition to the discipleship and ministry opportunities, Howell and the Awaken team travel to churches for seminars and revival meetings. It is Garrett’s vision that these discipleship opportunities will grow and become an important component of the ministry.
In the IWU community, Awaken Ministries offers the opportunity to take the next step toward personal revival. “For students who are seeking to go deeper with the Lord, this is a good place to start,” encouraged Howell. “We encourage everyone to attend a monthly meeting and see what God has for them after that.”
To find out more information about Garrett Howell and the ministry of Awaken, please visit their website at www.awakenministries.net.
Written by Katherine Arch, Story Teller for Alumni Relations. Katherine Arch is a Senior English major at Indiana Wesleyan, and a member of the Track and Cross Country teams. She is passionate about sharing people’s stories and celebrating their unique divine potential in written form. Katherine also operates a website called “Join the Ranch” at jointheranch.weebly.com. It is about pursuing God’s purpose for her life and vocation.