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Monday, July 4, 2011

Africa's Hope

This came from the AG intercessor's report.  Missionaries to Africa since 1984, Bill and Judy Kirsch have served with the ministry of Africa’s Hope (formerly Africa Theological Training Service) since 2000. Bill and Judy felt that if Africa was going to experience the greatest harvest it had ever seen, a foundation of training needed to be built under those evangelistic efforts. "Africa has indeed seen a great harvest and since our founding we have tirelessly walked arm in arm with our sister churches in Africa to facilitate their growing educational needs." We invite you to visit our friends at to familiarize yourself with all of the ways Africa's Hope is working to build a foundation under the massive church growth in Africa.

AFRICA: The Africa Assemblies of God has grown exponentially during the past decade. In 2000, more than 8.5 million people worshipped in nearly 29,400 churches. Today, the number of believers has swelled to nearly 16.6 million and the number of congregations is more than 67,800.

“Rapid church growth would, on the surface, seem like a great thing,” says missionary Jerry Ireland. “In reality, it can be potentially dangerous as pastors minister without the benefit of sound theological training.”

A recent study on Africa’s church growth further highlights the need for trained pastors. It found that if all students currently enrolled in theological education in Africa were to begin pastoring churches of 500 people, each new pastor would need to be responsible for 10 congregations to serve the needs of all believers. “This sounds daunting, but we can do something about it,” says Ireland.

Training and discipleship are top priorities, and AGWM Africa is addressing this need directly through the ministry of Africa’s Hope. “Currently the most vital resource we can offer is training,” says regional director Mike McClaflin. Africa’s Hope is helping facilitate the training of Pentecostal leaders by providing scholarships, textbooks, library books, Bible school campus development, computers and other resources.

Even in remote places, AGWM missionaries are teaching young pastors who are unable to attend resident Bible schools. “We are resourcing and partnering with national church fellowships to train pastors to lead effectively,” says McClaflin. “Spirit-empowered, biblically trained leaders are the hope of Africa.”

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