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London Challenge: the2012 Ambassadors Initiative

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The aim of the initiative was to deliver the London Challenge commitment “to recruit and train 2,012 ambassadors for Jesus Christ under the age of 35 by 2012”.

The project was structured around the three stages of training, commissioning, and releasing the Ambassadors. Key scriptures for framing the initiative were 2 Cor 5:11-21, 1 Tim 4:12, and 1 Pet 3:15. We aimed to gather a collective of young people from across London, and help them take the next step of confidence in being mission-focussed disciples; being inspired and equipped to ‘know, live, and share’ the Gospel in this defining year for the capital city.

A total of 2,512 Ambassadors joined the initiative, drawn from 306 different churches.The age profile was 29% aged 13-17; the majority were in their twenties. Ten Church of England Secondary schools participated.

Training

We held seven evangelism & discipleship training conferences across the Diocese from October 2011 to March 2012.

  • Two Cities : All Souls Langham Place
  • Edmonton: Christ Church Cockfosters
  • Stepney: St Paul’s Shadwell
  • Willesden: St Joseph the Worker Northolt
  • Kensington: St Stephen’s East Twickenham, Dial House, & Holy Trinity Brompton

Commissioning

The Ambassadors were commissioned by the Bishop of London at a capacity service in St Paul’s Cathedral on 24th April 2012. The liturgy of commissioning read as follows:

Transformed by the knowledge of Christ, will you be faithful in prayer for His church and His world?
With the help of God, we will!

Inspired by the holiness of Christ, will you order your life after His example?
By the grace of God, we will!

Compelled by the love of Christ, will you bring the good news of God’s salvation to the people of London?

For the glory of God, we will!

Releasing

There followed a 90-day programme of prayer and discipleship challenges, engaging with the2012 Ambassadors each day through facebook and twitter. The mindset was of a ‘dispersed flash-mob’ being salt and light across London every day.

During the Olympics, there were over 300 Olympic-related outreach projects in approx 150 churches in the Diocese, with members of the2012 involved in a great range of community service and mission activity in many parishes. Members of the2012 ran and supported projects ranging from Opening Ceremony community festivals; giving out free water to spectators; and leading week-long children’s Holiday Clubs with Olympic themes.

A natural concluding point for the year was the Young Vocations Conference for the Diocese when 60 young people came to explore ordination.

Conversations have ensued with church leaders in Scotland, New York and the Netherlands as to replicating the initiative among their own young people.

“I was blessed beyond measure by being involved and I trust the seed planted in the young peoples’ hearts will grow and grow and they shall be a living testimony that God is very alive in London!” Anne Wafula Strike, paralympian

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