Christian youth charities The Message Trust and Ignite (formerly ‘Big Ideas’) are to unite this September, creating a new regional ministry of The Message, Message Wales. Ignite’s founder and CEO Gary Smith will lead Message Wales as director.
Message Wales will launch publicly at a special youth event on Friday 25 September at City Temple, Cardiff.
‘It’s all about reaching more young people for Jesus,’ says Message founder and chief executive Andy Hawthorne OBE. ‘We’ve been fans of Ignite since the beginning – we love their passion for the gospel and their heart for the lost. And God’s clearly had his hand on their work over the last two decades.
‘But in this season we believe we can accomplish more together than we ever could on our own. That’s the reason we’re bringing the two ministries together.’
The move will bring The Message’s three core mission areas to Wales – Creative Mission, sending bands and creative arts teams into schools and prisons; Community Transformation, through positioning Eden teams in tough neighbourhoods across the country; and Christ-centred Enterprise, focussing on providing jobs and training to ex-offenders and other vulnerable young people.
‘We set up Ignite back in 1995 with a passion to impact a generation of young people for Jesus,’ says Gary Smith. ‘Twenty years on, we have been amazed by how much God has done – young people reached through our work are leading churches and ministries all across Wales, and being salt and light wherever they are.
‘But the reality is, we’ve only just scratched the surface. Wales has some of the lowest rates of church attendance in the country – plus the highest rates of teenage pregnancy, youth unemployment and drug use.
‘The cry for the life-changing message of Jesus has never been louder here in Wales. And earlier this year, we felt God leading us into a new strategic partnership for such a time as this.’
The public launch event for Message Wales will take place on Friday 25 September at City Temple, Cardiff. Andy Hawthorne and Gary Smith will be joined by Message bands Twelve24 and BrightLine and other special guests. All are welcome to attend. Tickets, priced £5 are available from www.christiantickets.co.uk
The first new initiative poised for launch after September is the first Eden team in Wales, based in the deprived neighbourhood of Tremorfa, Cardiff. Applications for team members are already open – please get in touch with email@example.com.
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