November 11, 2015
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
Grace to you and Peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Perhaps you have heard about the 2014 book, The Rise of the Nones by James Emory White. Sub-titled “Understanding and Reaching the Religiously Unaffiliated,” the word “Nones” is gaining currency in reference to the rising count in the millennial generation who do not self-identify with any religion. They check off the block “None” when filling out religious preference surveys. Visit www.pewforum.org for the historic trends.
Knox Fellowship, a PC (USA) related 501(c)3, has been working on this issue for years. Knox has developed a Student Cohort Proof of Concept under validation trials at Asbury Theological Seminary this 2015-2016 academic season as well as a partnership with the Academy of Evangelism in Theological Education (AETE), which meets annually with the American Society of Missiologists.
Closer to home, Knox helped draft the General Assembly (GA) 2016 Overture 011, on amending G-2.0607c to add training in practical evangelism to requirements for ordination of Teaching Elders. We are hopeful for a concurrence from Peace River Presbytery and San Diego Presbytery so we might engage the GA through a constitutional discussion about the importance of practical evangelism grounded in solid preparation in Christian Apologetics, neither of which are required nor offered in any PC (USA) seminary.
We request you add Knox Fellowship to your congregational prayer list. As the Spirit leads, please partner with us in your mission giving. Knox has no payroll, overhead costs are under 5%, and we adhere to all Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability guidelines. In 2016 we are inviting PC (USA) seminary students to enter an Essay Contest with cash prizes and trips to the AETE annual meeting. We seek original student scholarship in answering the question: “Why should course work in Practical Evangelism and Christian Apologetics be required for ordination to the office of a PC (USA) Teaching Elder?”
We would appreciate your support. We all have our work cut out for us with nearly 30% of American society self-identifying as non-Christian. However, we always experience joy in exalting Jesus in every time and place.
Carl R. Lammers, TE
Henry R. Elam, RE
To discover, develop, and deliver innovative evangelism tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) for congregations in order to grow churches numerically and faithfully.
The Rev Dr. Bob Pitman founded Knox Fellowship, a 501c3 corporation dedicated to advancing evangelism, in Burlingame, CA in 1991. Since then task organized Knox teams have conducted or financed over 600 evangelism events stateside and overseas. Presbyterian Church (USA) churches and presbyteries were hosts for most of these events while a variety of Reformed Churches hosted some 50 events in Africa, South America, Eastern Europe, and Asia.
Knox Fellowship has launched four immigrant church planting ministries in the United States: two Spanish; one Portuguese; one Nepalese. Knox Fellowship divided into two ministries in 2010: Knox conducts stateside evangelistic ministries while Global Fellowship Network (GFN), Lake Havasu City, AZ conducts strategic evangelistic ministries in Central and South America, East Africa and Nepal, and in Eastern Europe. GFN serves to enact on God’s requirement of the Church’s participation in missions, through the crossing of geographical and cultural borders, for the purpose of making Christ known amongst all nations (Acts 1:8). This work is done through the participation of regular Christians to assist with the diverse ministry needs of indigenous church leaders.
Meanwhile, Knox has experimented with various evangelistic strategies for the last five years. The Student Cohort concept is the latest in these efforts. Rev. Carl R. Lammers, Tampa, is Moderator. Reverends Paul Doriani (NY), J. Perry Wootten (NY), Tom Priest (CA), and Elder Art Greathead (CA) are current leaders on the board.