May 12, 2016
The Billy Graham Center for Evangelism at Wheaton College (BGCE) will host its inaugural national gathering on evangelism June 28-30, 2016, on the campus of Wheaton College.
Amplify 2016 will bring together hundreds of church leaders to reimagine evangelism in local church settings and turn the tide toward greater gospel outreach.
During Amplify 2016, the BGCE will be sharing research, platforming speakers, and conducting breakouts to move the conversation about evangelism and the local church forward. Amplify is for anyone in a church leadership position or in a position outside the local church setting who is seeking to weave an evangelism ethos into his or her life or the lives of others.
The three-day event will include 5 main plenary sessions and 32 breakout sessions featuring speakers including evangelist Luis Palau; visionary Alan Hirsch; network directors Kim Reisman and Beth Seversen; pastors James Meeks, Derwin Gray, David Choi, and Lon Allison; authors Lee Strobel and Rice Broocks; and Wheaton College professors Dr. Rick Richardson and Dr. Jerry Root.
"We are living in a critical time when people love the idea of evangelism but many aren't actually engaged in it," says BGCE Senior Fellow Dr. Ed Stetzer. "With research pointing to the decline of Christianity in our nation, we are convening Amplify as a strategic first step in mobilizing hundreds of leaders to develop a passion and strategy to reach the unchurched in their areas."
“Every Christ-centered church believes in evangelism,” adds Kevin Harney, lead pastor of Shoreline Community Church and founder of Organic Outreach International Ministries. “The problem is, few churches are actually acting on this belief. The Amplify Conference will help leaders of churches and Christian organizations do the very thing they hunger for: impact their community with the gospel of Jesus.”
The event includes an Organic Outreach Intensive (OOI) track designed to encourage and equip senior pastors, outreach influencers, and church leadership teams to organically become more evangelistic and missional.
BGCE leadership will also release the results of the largest-of-its-kind research study on unchurched people and how churches are reaching them. The study was done in partnership with Lifeway Research.
“We surveyed 3,000 Protestant churches nationally, and have taken the top 10 percent to discover what the best are doing that the rest are not,” says Wheaton College Professor of Evangelism and Leadership Dr. Rick Richardson, who led the research team. “The results have been surprising. For instance, some of our most outstanding examples of reaching people far from God come from smaller churches. We will unveil our most significant findings at Amplify and will publish a book the following year.”
The Billy Graham Center for Evangelism at Wheaton College exists to lead the conversation on evangelism by training, resourcing, and mobilizing followers of Jesus to share their faith; networking leaders; researching best practices; engaging thought leaders; and launching strategic ministry initiatives. More information about the BGCE is available at wheaton.edu/bgc.
Wheaton College (Wheaton, Ill.) is a coeducational Christian liberal arts college noted for its rigorous academics, integration of faith and learning, and consistent ranking among the top liberal arts colleges in the country.