Global Outreach Day kicked off GO 2020 on May 1st with a four-hour worldwide prayer meeting streamed over YouTube and Facebook attracting an estimated 40 million people. Although the coronavirus pandemic has shut down public events, GO 2020's effort to mobilize 100 million Christians to reach one billion people worldwide hasn't stopped. Instead, the team based in Berlin, Germany, has pivoted to hosting live streaming events to equip Christians to share their faith digitally.
"The coronavirus crisis presents the greatest opportunity for the global church," said Werner Nachtigal, founder of Global Outreach Day. "God has sent the church outside of the four walls into the digital world to share our faith. We are not restricted by location online, and we can share our faith with billions of people who are looking for hope beyond fear." Nachtigal hosted a three-day online school to equip Christians to share their faith.
Millions of Christians are being mobilized to evangelize in May although it will continue for the rest of the year. Every Christian is encouraged to reach five people with their faith for a my5 challenge as well as to record their testimony and share it online. The month long focus on evangelism will end on Pentecost weekend which will launch the GO Decade, or ten years of reaching every person on the planet with the Gospel. Plans are underway for a massive launch over Pentecost weekend to mobilize 100 million Christians to share the Gospel in 2020 and pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the next 10 years.
After the online school for sharing their faith, several leaders hosted a three day Online Healing Explosion that preceded a worldwide prayer service with over 100 nations participating. The four-hour prayer service that reached an estimated 40 million people worldwide focused on prayer for those in our own communities who don't know Christ as well as the unreached people groups in the far reaches of the earth that are still prevented by linguistic, cultural, and religious barriers from having a witness for Christ.
The gathering was co-hosted by John Robb, chairman of the International Prayer Council (IPC) and Jason Hubbard, executive coordinator of the IPC. Both are members of the Go 2020 Prayer Task Force, along with other leaders from many different prayer groups. The World Prayer Together meeting brought together a diverse group of leaders such as Mike Bickle, founder of the International House of Prayer; Dick Eastman, Every Home for Christ; Reverend David Mohan, General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God in India; Bishop Enoch Adeboye, General Overseer of the Redeemed Church of God in Nigeria; Bekele Shanko, Vice President of CRU and Global Church Movements Chairman, GACX; Austen Ukachi, director of MANI; Onassis Jeeveraj, Go2020 national director India; Ann Low, SE Asia Prayer Council; Rick Ridings, Succat Hallel in Jerusalem; Leslie Keegel, Global Chair of Foursquare; Brian Heasley, the International Prayer Director of 24-7; Lou Engle, the Send; Daniel Pandji, My Home Indonesia; Sarah Lee, All Nations Intercessors in South Korea; Yanira Gonzalez, leader of CLAMOR, the Latin American Prayer Council and many other leaders.
Leaders in the Catholic Charismatic movement also led in prayer - Dr. Johannes Hartl from Germany and Deacon Johannes Fichtenbauer from Austria. The Go2020 Children’s Network mobilized millions of children in prayer throughout the nations! This included on the call children from the Children's Equipping Center, an outreach of IHOPKC, Hadassah Lawson, a 13-year-old evangelist who led 2,000 people to Christ this last year, and a powerful young intercessor from the Royal Kids in India.
"This is an unprecedented hour for humanity. With the Covid-19 Pandemic, we face one of the greatest challenges of modern history," Robb said. "At such a time, Christians need to come together in prayer and reach out to others with Christ's life-transforming Good News to those still without hope!"
Proclaiming the Gospel online has led to a partnership with the Youth for Christ in Australia for the Hope Story Challenge. Rev. Andrew Scarborough is leading the Hope Story Challenge, a viral video movement encouraging Christians to share their testimony in 60 seconds with #hopestory #bestdayofmylife. "We want to flood the internet with testimonies of how Jesus has brought salvation," said Nachtigal. Over 150 people from one church in Italy shared their hope story.
As countries reopen, GO 2020 partners are distributing food, masks, and other essential items with the Gospel. For example, in Brazil, Pastor Rafael Mendes led an outreach to the streets distributing food with masks. In the Dominican Republic, a pastor distributed food and tracts with local police. Evangelism is taking place online aggressively with offline outreaches as countries reopen.