J.John: Why I want to fill the Emirates stadium with 40,000 people on July 8
J.John updates us on his upcoming evangelistic stadium event JustOne. With two weeks to go, approx 20,000 tickets have been sold. Now he needs Christians to bring their plus ones.
How did the vision for this event come about?
For a number of years I have conducted a series on the Ten Commandments across the UK called Just10. When I was speaking at Winchester Cathedral to a full house the Lord spoke me, saying, “Now is the time to step up and use the football stadiums for evangelism again.” It came unexpectedly and I pushed the call down, but it kept coming up. I then tested the call by approaching the Arsenal Emirates Stadium. At first they declined, but then agreed to let us use the stadium.
Why is it called ‘JustOne’?
Following on from the Just10 brand, JustOne is simply JustOne Day with JustOne Message and JustOne Invitation to respond at the Emirates Stadium. It is an opportunity for 21,000 Christians to bring along their ‘just one’, whether it be a relative, friend, neighbour or work colleague.
How would you sell this event to someone who doesn’t have a Christian background – what are they coming to?
If they are Arsenal fans, they may come to visit their stadium at such low cost! Primarily they are coming to an event that explores what it means to be a Christian. So there will be elements of worship and testimony building up to the moment I communicate to the crowd and invite a response to follow Jesus Christ.
What has the response from churches in London been like so far?
Positive and passionate overall. We have nearly 200 committed church and ministry partners from across the denominational spectrum. We seek their prayerful and financial investment. There are many hundreds more churches who are supportive and planning to attend.
What’s your message to sceptics who say filling a stadium for a Christian event like this just isn’t possible anymore?
The biggest objection seems to be that mass evangelism hasn’t been done in the UK for a very long time. That isn’t a valid objection: it could simply be that now is the right season to refocus on it simply because God has led us to.
There is biblical authority and historical precedent for mass evangelism. I find it significant that outside the increasingly secular West, mass evangelism has continued, particularly in the majority world, with some spectacular rallies in places like Africa.
Mass evangelism reminds the world that the Church is not dead. It’s easy to ignore a few little fellowships hidden away in anonymous buildings in a dozen suburbs. It’s much less easy if there are tens of thousands of people in your city’s main stadium. JustOne at the Emirates Stadium is the first of many anticipated stadium events. My hope and prayer is not just that the event is a success and gets a lot of people excited about Jesus, but that this is the spark that lights the fire of desperately needed revival in our land. And I believe it’s possible. Elvis may have left the stadium but Jesus hasn’t.
How many people are you believing will make a commitment to Christ on the day?
I would be delighted if 4,000 or more people responded on the day, but let us see what the Holy Spirit does!
JustOne Emirates will take place at the Emirates Stadium, London on Saturday 8th July. For more information and to buy tickets, visit justone.co.uk