Evangelists preparing for major mission push across the UK in 2020

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Evangelists are laying the ground for a major evangelistic push in 2020 that is aimed at raising up a new generation of Christians across the UK who are equipped to share the Gospel. 

Advance 2020 is a major conference being held two years from now to commission hundreds of evangelists for the work of sharing the Gospel around the country. 

A conference held this week at Lambeth Palace, the official residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, brought together a hundred evangelists and ministry leaders to pray and plan for the effort. 

One of the key figures in the initiative is Andy Hawthorne, founder of The Message Trust, who said the inspiration was the words in Isaiah 60, 'Arise, shine, for your light has come.' 

'God was saying "step out in faith and do some big reaping events again",' said Hawthorne.

While Hawthorne has been at the forefront of evangelism in the UK for the last 25 years, he said he felt that God was calling him to release younger evangelists. 

He said the goal for him and the 11 other mentors serving as part of Advance 2020 is to produce disciples who have a high level of accountability. 

Mentoring and accountability groups have already been established in anticipation of Advance 2020, in which young Christians are being supported in the calling of evangelism. 

There are now 45 groups of men and women being mentored, numbering around 400 evangelists in total.  They are meeting and praying together regularly ahead of the conference to support one another as they grow in their calling to preach and bring people to the faith. 

The mentoring initiative includes 11- to 18-year-olds, who will get their first taste of evangelism at the Youth Evangelism Weekender taking place from 30 November to 2 December 2018.

Speaking at the Lambeth Palace meeting, Hawthorne challenged the next generation of evangelists to 'think big'. 

'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 said. 

Hawthorne is challenging evangelists to work together and start their own Advance 2020 groups to bring to the conference taking place in October 2019.  

He expects around 2,000 evangelists to be re-commissioned at the summit for a 'reaping year' in 2020.

Supporting Advance 2020 are 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 Dave Plowman and Wendy Palau from the Luis Palau Association.

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