History of The Great Banquet:

 

To become familiar with the Great Banquet, let's look first at the history of its counterparts, the Cursillo and the Walk to Emmaus.  The Cursillo (3-day course in Christianity) began in Spain in the 1940s in the Catholic Church.  It spread to the United States and evolved for Protestants into the Walk to Emmaus under the auspices of the Upper Room and the United Methodist Church.  An Emmaus Movement was started by the First Presbyterian Church in Madisonville, Kentucky in 1982.  After a 10-year history of the Walk to Emmaus in Madisonville, Rev. John E. Pitzer and lay people from First Presbyterian Church formed the Great Banquet.  Governed by an ecumenical board of directors and using the "Cursillo model", but with a different image, the Great Banquet continues to emphasize personal Christian discipleship.  The Great Banquet Movement is institutionally sponsored by local church groups in a growing number of American communities.   Lampstand Ministries was formed as a covering corporation to move the Great Banquet Movement to other areas.

 

Purpose of the Great Banquet:

 

The focus of the Great Banquet is to know Jesus as Lord and Savior and to make Him known. The objective of the Great Banquet is to continue the 3-day weekend by serving Christ in local churches, homes and work places. To live a life of grace and to respond to higher levels of Christian discipleship becomes the purpose of the Great Banquet.

 

Image of the Great Banquet:

 

The Gospel of Luke presents the parable of the Great Banquet. Jesus tells of a master who prepared a great banquet and invited many guests, saying "Come, for everything is now ready." After so many excuses for not attending by his invited guests, the master became angry and ordered his servants, "Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame."

After this had been done and still room remained, the master told his servant, "Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full." Then, as additional invitations were given, the banquet was presented to his guests. The result of the master's invitation was to feast and fellowship at a banquet given by God. (Luke 14: 15-24)

 

What happens at the Great Banquet?

 

The Great Banquet is a 72-hour experience, beginning on Thursday evening and ending Sunday evening. For three days, guests live and study together in a worshipful time of singing, prayer and discussion. During each of the fifteen talks given by laity and clergy, the theme of God's grace is presented. Guests participate in the daily celebration of Holy Communion and examine more fully the presence of Christ in His body of believers. They personally experience His grace through the prayers and acts of a loving, Christian support community.

 

What happens after the Great Banquet?

 

One of the most important parts of the Great Banquet is the follow-up. Although the weekend lasts only three days, guests are invited to use its lessons for the rest of their lives. After attending the Great Banquet, alumni are challenged to:

  • strengthen their own spiritual life through study and active congregational participation; and

  • strive to become active disciples of Jesus Christ in the world through their church.

To assist them in their discipleship, the Great Banquet offers specific opportunities. First, reunion groups of three to five people meet weekly to examine their goal of spiritual growth and to encourage one another to a life of discipleship. Second, there will be opportunities to assist in future Great Banquet weekends through prayer, support and team involvement. Third, guests are made aware of community needs via communications with other Great Banquet communities, both locally and regionally.

Image of The Awakening:

 

The image of the "Awakening" comes from I Samuel 3: 1-10. Samuel is a boy who ministers to the Lord under Eli, the priest. One night as Samuel is lying down within the temple of the Lord. the Lord calls, "Samuel! Samuel!" Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him, so he did not recognize who was calling him. After the Lord calls Samuel three times, Eli perceives that it's the Lord calling. He instructs Samuel to respond with, "Speak, Lord, for thy servant hears." When the Lord calls again, Samuel does as Eli instructs and hears from the Lord

 

What is The Awakening:

 

The Awakening is an orderly, structured weekend designed for teens who have completed their freshman year of high school through those who are in their senior year of high school.  The Awakening is designed to bring participants to an awareness of each one's need to accept Jesus as their Savior, and then begin to make Him Lord in all areas of life. The focus of the Awakening is commitment to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. During the event, one will be inspired, challenged, and equipped for a close, personal relationship with Jesus, and for Christian action in the home, school, work places, and community.

 

What heppens at The Awakening:

 

The Awakening is three days in which "sleepers" live and study together in a worshipful time of singing, prayer and discussion. During each of the fifteen talks heard on the weekend, the theme of awakening to God's call on one's life is presented. Sleepers will examine more fully the reality and presence of Christ in His body of believers. Each one will personally experience the grace of the Lord through the prayers and acts of a loving, Christian support community.

 

What happens after The Awakening?

 

One of the most important parts of the Awakening is the follow-up. Although the weekend lasts only three days, everyone is invited to use its lessons and principles throughout life. While attending the Awakening, each sleeper is challenged to:

  • choose Jesus as his or her personal Savior, and begin making Him Lord; and

  • strengthen one's spiritual life through study, prayer, worship and Christian fellowship.

Following the three days, sleepers are invited to become intentional about personal faith through local church participation, small group studies, and reunion groups. Reunion groups are three to five people who meet weekly to examine individual goals of spiritual growth and to encourage one another to a life of discipleship.

 

Who should attend The Awakening?

 

This weekend experience is for anyone who:

  • wishes to establish and/or strengthen their spiritual life;

  • wants to have a better understanding of a relationship with Jesus, the Christian life and action for Jesus in the world;

  • strives to live a Christian life that bears fruit for God;

  • seeks to know Jesus as Savior and Lord and to make Him known

  • strive to become active disciples of Jesus Christ in the world through their church.

 

You are invited!

 

We invite you to this exciting three day experience. Our hope is that you will take this opportunity to arise as you hear God's voice in your life.  "Awaken, O sleeper... and Christ shall give you light." (Eph. 5:14).

All unique content on this website is the property of Indy West Great Banquet and Awakening - copyright 2018- all rights reserved.  Any logos, trademarks, or other items used on this site are the property of their respective owners.  -  Other 3-day communities - feel free to use graphic and textual content you find on this website to enhance your own community websites.  We ask that you contact us to let us know what you used, and the purpose.  Thanks, and DeColores!