Canada is a needy mission field where God’s people need to reclaim apostolic confidence in the gospel. Evangelistic zeal is rare and evangelists are hard to find in Canada’s gospel ecosystem. It’s God’s dream and desire that the whole Church takes the whole gospel to the whole world. The call to follow Jesus involves a summons and invitation to join him in his Luke 19:10 mission. God wants all the saints showing and sharing good news. I am convinced that to accelerate evangelism we need to encourage, identify, and deploy evangelists. We need evangelists, as per God’s design: to equip God’s people to share Christ’s love and gospel; to stir the church towards Jesus’ Luke 19:10 mission; and to pioneer fresh gospel initiatives. Evangelists are heralds and harvesters who have a uniquely catalytic role under the anointing of the Holy Spirit to elevate evangelism in the local church. Evangelists are gospel agitators and outliers who can interpret the gospel to the culture and the culture to the Church.
Advance is helping to elevate and support a new wave of evangelists for the advancement of the gospel across Canada. We need the evangelist to enthuse and equip the Church, to announce God’s amazing news, and to lead the way into the harvest fields.
Advance Canada Summits
Advance Canada has adopted a twin tracks approach. We have hosted Advance Summits and we have launched Advance Groups. It seems like our first Advance Summit was a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away! We crammed evangelists, from across Canada, into a Calgary hotel for three days of worship, prayer, teaching, inspiration, and impartation. We planned to hit “repeat” and anticipated a larger national gathering and the birth of regional Summits. Canada is the second largest country in the world by land mass and the wisdom on eating an elephant (in small pieces) applies to serving and reaching Canada: Province by Province and region by region. COVID19 threw us a curve ball, so we livestreamed Summits and offered evangelism equipping and mentoring online.
Nicky Gumble has commented that “the Holy Spirit is not confused by Zoom.” God used our Livestream to light the fires of evangelism. Coaching, training, and Summits were offered online in response to tight social restrictions.
I was delighted that veteran evangelist and award-winning author, Becky Pippert was our keynote speaker for a two-day Livestream hosted under the theme, “Do the work of an evangelist.” I had Becky Pippert speak twice and then had the joy of interviewing her live as part of our Summit. She wrote:
“Bill- I have watched almost everything today and it is FANTASTIC! It is amazing what you have done to gather all these gifted people together and to hear their passion and skill in evangelism! It has been so motivational- if there had been a call down the aisle I would have gone! ”
A leader from Manitoba, engaged in church planting and university evangelism, shared how she was encouraged by participating in the two-day Advance Summit Livestream.
“Bill, Thank you for the Advance Conference. I don’t think I’ve attended a better online conference to be honest and in the last year especially there have been quite a few!! I am so thankful for this conference Bill and for your investment in leaders. Be blessed. You are a blessing.”
Advance Groups in Canada
God is using Advance not only to stir the hearts of emerging evangelists and wider Christians in the gift of evangelism, but also to strengthen and encourage seasoned evangelists in their lives and ministries. One such leader has exercised an itinerant preaching and equipping ministry. He found the opportunity to meet with others called to do the work of an evangelist life-giving. His group was disrupted by COVID19, but he has gained enduring benefit from the sharpening an Advance Group offers.
“I was invited to join an Advance Group of evangelists that was truly a blessing! I’ve been doing the work of an evangelist for years in Canada and over 25 other nations, but I never had a chance to come together with other evangelists like this in North America. In my Advance Group I found out how much I had in common with other Evangelists. And this gave us the opportunity to learn, encourage, pray, and learn from one another. This was affirming and inspiring to find more evangelists, work together for God’s kingdom and see that many more would be released into ministry in Canada and around the world.
Advance has this potential to further us in God’s calling as Evangelists as we work together to reach the lost and equip the saints. I pray many more Advance groups would help find, equip, and empower evangelists in Canada and elsewhere.”
One veteran church planter who joined an Advance Group stated, “There is much confusion in our day as to what evangelism is and how to engage in it. The Advance material in the context of a group dynamic slices through the clutter to give valuable clarity on the gospel coupled with practical application and accountability.”
Another Advance Group participant, who recently stepped into local church ministry wrote:
“I had such a rich time with amazing men of God that had a burning desire to see people come to know Jesus. I have never had such a connection like this before. We were accountable to each other, sharing our struggles, sharing our successes, sharing our hearts.
The Advance Group Mentoring Guide was well written with solid biblical content on what it meant to evangelize/preach the gospel and do life with people who are far from God.
I read a quote that said, “A faith forged in mission is a humble faith”. Being a part of the Advance Group taught me and showed me what it means to be on mission for Jesus. The Advance Group journey helped me to see people through the heart of Jesus. I am looking forward to spending more time with these amazing men of God even after our journey through the advance curriculum.”
We’re particularly excited by the appointing of Advance Ambassadors across the Provinces to act as regional catalysts and activators for Advance in those regions. They will identify and encourage evangelists already at work and help start, supervise, and sustain Advance Groups for all Christians. As mentioned above, Canada is the second largest country in the world by land mass, and if we can get the right Ambassadors in the right places, it could have amazing Kingdom consequences as we seek to see the church across Canada equipped and encouraged in their evangelism.
Please do keep Advance Canada in your prayers. We want to see the emerging Advancenetwork strengthened as a multi-agency, multidenominational partnership to elevate the evangelist for the advancement of the gospel. Message Canada, Global Network of Evangelists, Power To Change have all collaborated in hosting Summits and promoting Advance Groups which has been fantastic. Advance also has the support from the Christian and Missionary Alliance, Apostolic Church of Pentecost, and it has been so encouraging to have Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, ALPHA and Arrow Leadership Ministries standing with us.
We are so excited by the growth of Advance cross Canada, and are eager to see it continue to develop and see the whole church encourage, equipped and empowered for evangelism.
Written by Dr Bill Hogg
Bill’s passion is proclaiming the beauty, power, and truth of the good news of Jesus, and equipping others to share the gospel. Bill dreams of seeing a new generation of Canadian evangelists raised up by God and released into the harvest fields. Bill is a former radio host and has served as a pastor, professor, evangelist, and a movie extra! He was involved in pioneer evangelism in his native Scotland where he launched Youth for Christ and is part of the Arrow Leadership Ministries faculty, offering congregational and para-church leaders training in evangelism. He currently works as the national director of Message Trust Canada.