About a year ago, Amazing Facts witnessed wonderful miracles in India. More than 16,000 were baptized, and some 70 new churches were built.
But this explosion of good news also created a dilemma ... there is a tremendous famine for biblically trained pastors. The devil knows he can undermine evangelistic work if there isn’t good follow-up with spiritually committed leaders trained in the Word of God. Without this, people easily become discouraged or led astray into strange doctrines or induced to return to their pagan practices.
Indeed, I have been told that in some places, 70 percent of newly baptized converts become discouraged within the first year and no longer attend a church. This deeply troubles me.
And this is not just an India problem either … wherever people are coming to Christ, there is an urgent need for the next stage: the training of leaders to disciple new believers.
So God has placed a stirring plan on my heart about how together we can grow the kingdom of Christ … exponentially by reaching and “keeping” new converts.
New believers must be given a firm foundation of faith — but not all places can afford full-time ordained pastors. And in nations like India, the number of ordained Christian pastors is restricted. However, well-trained lay pastors can move with more freedom.
Unfortunately, some places have filled this vacuum with untrained leaders, whose teaching is often doctrinally scrambled, which leads new Christians to fall into confusion and quickly evaporate.
We cannot stand by and allow this. We must raise up new “schools of the prophets” to train strong, well-equipped leaders. Remember, in the Old Testament, there was the priesthood where only the ordained sons of Aaron could serve — but there was also the “schools of the prophets” where laymen were trained for ministry (2 Kings 6:1).
Now this is OUR mission as partners in ministry. And Amazing Facts has a way to do it. A proven, modern-day school of the prophets called AFCOE — the Amazing Facts Center of Evangelism.
AFCOE has already made a huge impact for seven years, raising up and training hundreds of men and women as Bible workers, pastors, missionaries, Christian leaders — all witnesses for Jesus Christ!
But today, calls are coming in asking that we consider reproducing an AFCOE school of the prophets in places like India … Eastern Europe ... South America ... the Philippines ... Australia ... and Scandinavia.
Hundreds of ministries have invested millions in baptizing new Christians in foreign lands. But much of this investment could be lost if we fail to follow up and disciple new believers. The good news is that with well-trained Bible workers and lay pastors, we can retain members and even double our baptisms!
So today, I am urgently calling on every friend of Amazing Facts to give a generous gift to help us with a crucial three-pronged strategy:
1. Train overseas leaders to establish satellite AFCOE programs in strategic global areas.
2. Build up our online capacity so we can deliver AFCOE training materials and programs worldwide. We want to build up faith and give believers sound doctrine for their evangelistic work.
3. Translate our AFCOE training and discipleship materials into a variety of other languages. This will open doors around the world for Amazing Facts to help the churches grow.
Which is better? To baptize 12 converts and leave town — or to train 12 AFCOE apostles that will reach new converts and turn them into full-time soul winners? “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).
My fervent prayer is that you will open your heart and stretch out in faith and give a generous gift of support today to help us plant these AFCOE schools of the prophets around the world!
We estimate that a gift of just $50 will train and prepare one lay pastor for service in India. A gift of $1,000 will train 20 of these shepherds. I don’t know what you can do this month. But I pray you will help send laborers into the field today. Jesus will bless whatever gift you give. God bless you!Pastor Doug Batchelor
Thank you for your gift today.