As many as 10,000 Christians from every continent are expected to unite in faith in Israel in June 2020 to celebrate the Pentecost in the land where Christians believe the Pentecost occurred.
According to Christian belief, the Pentecost commemorates the descent of the holy spirit upon the apostles and other followers of Jesus while they were in Jerusalem celebrating Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks, as described in the Christian Scripture in Acts of the Apostles (Acts 2:1–31). The Pentecost is celebrated on the seventh Sunday (49 days) after Easter.
The event, Jerusalem 2020 Empowered21 Global Congress, is being organized by Empowered21, an organization that works to bring members of the Spirit-empowered movement together. Festivities are expected to take place from June 1 to 3, 2020 at the Pais Arena in Jerusalem.
“We will connect together in the Holy Land where our faith began,” Ossie Mills, executive director of Empowered21, told Breaking Israel News. “Jerusalem will be a once in a lifetime event.”
The celebration will be focused on the role that authentic worship plays in Christians’ relationship with God, according to Empowered21 Global Co-chair Billy Wilson. Three musical worship teams will lead events: Bethel Music, Gateway Worship and Planetshakers.
Bethel, based in Redding, Calif., has produced more than 15 albums that have influenced Christian worship across the global church. In the 2016, Bethel was nominated for 10 Gospel Music Association (GMA) Dove Awards, to recognize outstanding achievement in the Christian music industry.
Gateway emanates from the Dallas/Fort Worth-based Gateway Church and is comprised of more than 40 worship leaders, musicians, songwriters and singers. Together, they have sold hundreds of thousands of albums and individual tracks.
Planetshakers is based in Melbourne, Australia and run by Empowered21 member Russel Evans. They have published more than 30 albums.
“Our heart is to see people encounter God, be transformed by His presence, and empowered to make a difference in the world,” said Evans.
Mills said he has been informed by the Israel Ministry of Tourism that Jerusalem 2020 will be the largest event of this nature ever to take place in the Holy City. He said the goal of Jerusalem 2020 is for people not only to pray in Jerusalem, but to walk away with “something tangible that changes how they act at home…to feel the presence of God.”
Mills said Empowered21 chose Israel because “there is something magical or mystical or marvelous about Israel.”
“When you get off the plane, you go, ‘Wow! This is the land of the Bible,’” Mills explained. “Your eyes see what your ears have heard for years.
“During your time in Jerusalem, you will be inspired, encouraged, renewed, transformed and empowered. Your life will never be the same when you visit Israel.”
Mills said he believes there is a war on the way the hearts and minds of Christians relate to Israel. He noted a “conscious effort” being made by anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli leaders to break apart renewed friendships between Christians of faith and Jews.
“But our hope is that as we begin to market the event, the net result will be that people understand the importance of the people of Israel and the Land of Israel,” Mills said.
He noted that many Christians learn about ancient and modern Israel in their Sunday school classrooms but don’t really understand the Jewish state, in part because they do not visit. He said one must be on the ground to witness the prophecies unfolding.
“Israel is a complex place, but what is not complex is the relationship that Christians should have with Israel,” Mills told BIN. “We are to love the Land of Israel and to love the Jew…The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the God of both of us.”
Mills said the group is connecting the Jerusalem 2020 celebration with the year 2020 and the idea of having 2020 or perfect vision. Empowered21 leaders hope to take advantage of the large gathering to help solidify the future mission of their organization.
Jerusalem 2020 will be the sixth Empowered21 global congress. The first Jerusalem global congress was hosted by Empowered21 in May 2015 and attended by over 4,500 people from more than 70 nations. Since then, events have been held in France, Kiev and Jakarta. This year’s event will take place in South Africa. Next year’s congress is slated for Guatemala.
The role of Empowered21 is to empower a new generation of spirited Christian leaders and to connect spirited Christians from across the nations and generations.
“Our vision within the Empowered21 network is to unite the global spirit-empowered movement, connecting nations and generations in the 21st century,” said Wilson.
The Empowered21 Global Council is comprised of several esteemed international organizational, denominational, educational and ministry leaders. They establish the focus of the organization and give inspiration and insight. Among the council members are Jurgen Buhler, executive director of the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem; Scott Kelson, chair of the Charismatic Leaders Network; Gordon Robertson, CEO of the Christian Broadcasting Network; and Steve Strang, founder of Charisma Magazine.
According to Mills, there are about 620 million spirit empowered believers on the planet. He said, “You can do more if you unite.”