What is HOPE 2018?
A Year of Mission:In a nutshell, HOPE 2018 will be a year of mission with churches all over the country uniting with neighbouring churches to reach their friends and families - their communities with the love of Jesus.
Originally started in the early noughties by 3 friends: Roy Crowne,(pictured right) Mike Pilavachi and Andy Hawthorne who asked each other a simple question:
"Is it possible to mobilise the whole church for a whole year of mission in words and action?"
From that meeting ideas began to form and 'Hope08' was born under the newly created 'HOPE Together' team brand. As they began to talk about it as they spoke around the country, over 1500 areas committed to 2008 being a year of mission - in words and action!
The initial Hope08 was such a success that it was planned for repeat again in 2014 to a greater fanfare. However, Roy and the HOPE team have never wanted it to be about them but rather God winning the hearts of communities of people across the country. "It's never been about HOPE doing everything. We are a catalyst and we've been blessed with God's favour." says Roy.
Backed By All Major Denominations:
In fact HOPE has received the backing from the leadership structure of every major denomination and the Evangelical Alliance in the UK. The board of HOPE Directors is now made up of a small group of well known leaders including: Steve Clifford (General Director : Evangelical Alliance),(pictured left) Andy Hawthorne (Message Trust), Mike Pilavachi (Soul Survivor) and Roy Crowne. These people are highly respected for their vision, outlook and mission. You can find the members of the Leadership team listed on the link to left.
Building upon HOPE 2014
In 2014 churches across the UK started to work together for HOPE2014. At the time many churches nationwide hung the same HOPE banner outside their buildings declaring their unity and commitment to work together for the good of the local community. Locally, the New Forest was impacted by the LEAF roll-out of HOPE 2014. LEAF - the Local Evangelical Alliance in the New Forest, saw 50 churches commit to working together for the good of their local communities with many different events and outreaches taking place throughout the year. In close association with Moorlands College a summer week of mission was planned with hundreds of students working with local churches to bless the communities around the forest.
A free skate park popped up in Tiptoe, free gardening help for the aged and free shoe shining in the market place of Hythe. These were some of the activities that took place. In Ringwood HOPE2014 inspired around a dozen churches to come together and put on the first Ringwood Family Fun day with support from the local council. It was hoped that 500 or so people would attend but a over 4,000 people came through the gates to the FREE event! Both the churches and the council were amazed. On the Monday after the Fun Day the council contacted the church organiser and asked if the churches could make this an annual event! It is now run bi-annually by the Churches Together in Ringwood and has support from local people, businesses and the Council!
The HOPE 2018 Launch
On 12th October 2016 HOPE Together invited the Christian Press, HOPE Practitioners, National Church leaders and supporting organisations to the HOPE 2018 Launch at Lambeth Palace. In a number of stirring presentations from among others Roy Crowne; Justin Welby: the Archbishop of Canterbury; Associate Director of HOPE: Yemi Adedeji; HOPE Youth Director: Phil Timson and Dr Rachel Jordan-Wolf who is the National Mission and Evangelism Adviser for the Church of England; the history, hope and purpose of the 2018 HOPE Initiative was laid out.
The Archbishop of Canterbury: Justin Welby,(pictured left) praised HOPE Together for its clear mission to get churches working together for the good of all, for unity and for the communities in which the churches are built. Speaking in the Great Hall within the Palace to church leaders and HOPE Practitioners from around the UK, he said:
"We exist as God’s people to enable the world to meet Jesus Christ and then make up their minds. We can't force conversion but we can bring people face to face with Christ... and HOPE give us the tools for it; the stimulation, the resources. That's why I like HOPE, that's why churches like HOPE."
Towards 2018 Booklet
At the launch the new 'Towards HOPE 2018' booklet was released which explains what HOPE is and reasons behind it. The new 16-page booklet can either order online or read online at ISSUU Hope Together.
The colourful booklet speaks about the need for times of planning and dreaming, times of words and action, and times of growth and harvest. It reinforces the fact that every major denomination has given the mission for 2018 its backing. It also reveals a rhythm of worship based on the present church calendar - those high days and holidays that everyone takes for granted like Christmas, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, Harvest Festivals and Remembrance Sunday. Using these events to plan social or community events around the church ties in with people imaginations and realities. It also introduces us to 'HOPE Revolution' the youth arm to HOPE headed up by Phil Tinson, HOPE's Youth Director.
Roy Crowne encapsulates the dream of HOPE 2018 like this:
"HOPE 2018 is a time to dream; a time to grow; a time for action and then a time for harvest! 2017 is the year of prayer for mission opportunities."
Dr Rachel Jordan-Wolf (pictured left), the National Mission and Evangelism Advisor for the Church of England and HOPE Together Board Member says that: "HOPE 2018 is here to help you and your church reach your friends family and community with the great news of Jesus. Together let's step out in new ways and talk about Jesus"
"HOPE unities the church across denominations, race, culture and customs. Jesus prayed that we would be one! (John 17: 22-23) When we come together in unity, prayer and mission we show the world what God is like. Our unity has a POWERFUL impact!" says HOPE's Associate Director : Yemi Adedeji. (pictured right) Being part of HOPE 2018 means being intentional about inviting people to become followers of Jesus. Pray for 5 friends, colleagues or neighbours, whoever God has laid upon your heart. Ask for God given opportunities to share your faith with them and help them on their journey to Jesus.
10% ~ Faith to Grow
HOPE asks us one important question: "Do you believe that your church could grow by 10% next year?" Simple really. That means a church of 30 would grow by adding just 3 new Christians... a church of 100, 10 new Christian etc. Can you believe that YOUR fellowship can grow by this amount? Roy and the HOPE team are encouraging every church in the UK to ask God for the Faith - and the opportunities - to grow by just 10%. Plus, the great thing about this is that it is an achievable goal! If churches network together with other local churches around them especially those in their immediate vicinity, they can step out in faith together - hand in hand with other local leaders and with the support structure of HOPE and the EA behind you! Then see God grow the church AND the community good-will feeling.
2017 - the Year of Prayer for Mission:
So that this can become a reality HOPE have designated 2017 as the year of prayer for mission opportunities. Pray that the ground is ready to receive the seed and prayer for the seeding opportunities. Equally pray for a harvest and the boldness to speak out about our faith in Jesus to our family and friends.