Evangelists ‘believing for the nation to be changed’ in 2020
Evangelists from across the UK gathered at Lambeth Palace on Monday and committed to work together to release a new generation to multiply the evangelist’s gifting and bring fresh hope to the country in the next two years.
The unique gathering of 100 evangelists and ministry leaders agreed to lead a major evangelistic thrust in 2020, and to multiply the gift of evangelist through mentoring and accountability groups.
‘Arise, shine, for your light has come…’ the words of Isaiah 60 had inspired Andy Hawthorne with the vision to start Advance 2020, he said. ‘God was saying “step out in faith and do some big reaping events again”. But I also felt the Lord say “And you aren’t going to be the main evangelist”. For 25 years I’ve been the front guy for The Message, but I strongly felt the Lord say “You need to release younger evangelists”. I’ve gathered 12 younger guys around me and invested in them, believed in them, and we have wrestled together on what Gospel we preach to produce disciples, with a high level of accountability to each other.’
The group meets regularly and uses a WhatsApp group to share stories, pray for each other and keep in touch. As he has road-tested the mentoring vision with his Advance group, Andy says the 12 have seen thousands respond to Christ at events across Europe on a regular basis. ‘It feels like the most significant thing I’ve ever done in my lifetime … I’ve seen thousands more people come to Christ.’
There are now 45 groups – men and women’s groups – with 300-400 evangelists. The Advance 2020 vision is to multiply the groups, mentoring younger evangelists, sharpening each other’s message, whether they preach from a stage or share Christ in one-to-one conversations.
Challenging the evangelists in the room to ‘think big’ in 2020, he said, ‘What would it look like for us to step up for a year; if we were to multiply the gift of evangelist to proclaim Christ to 500,000 young people in that year; if we do this together, praying for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit through word and deed mission; if we are spurring one another on; recommissioning the gift of the evangelist; believing for the nation to be changed in a year?’
He invited the evangelists to work together, starting their own Advance groups and bringing them to the Advance 2020 Summit in October 2019, where 2,000 evangelists are to be recommissioned for a ‘reaping year’ in 2020. In the run-up to the event, 100 11-18 year olds will also be mentored, starting on The Youth Evangelism Weekender, 30 November to 2 December 2018.
Andy Hawthorne was joined by Roy Crowne from HOPE, Gavin Calver from the Evangelical Alliance, Dr Rachel Jordan-Wolf from the Church of England; Rev Canon Yemi Adedeji, from HOPE and the One People Commission, plus Dave Plowman and Wendy Palau, from the Luis Palau Association, who each committed their ministries to the Advance 2020 vision, inviting the 100 in the room to do the same.
Notes for editors
Advance 2020 partnership
Advance 2020 is a partnership between:
Church of England, Evangelical Alliance, HOPE, Luis Palau Association, The Message Trust, the Redeemed Christian Church of God UK, Church Army, CVM, Light, Pais GB, Fusion. For more information visit advance2020.org
ADVANCE 2020 Summit
12th October 2019
Bethel Convention Centre, Birmingham
Watch the promotional video
The Youth Evangelism Weekender
100 hand-picked young people, aged 11-18, with a heart and a gifting in evangelism. Friday 30th Nov to Sunday 2nd Dec 2018 at the Poplars Retreat Centre in Ledbury. Find out more at www.theyew.org