AIMS ministry vision has been shaped by the ministry philosophy of the founder Dr. Howard Foltz . While doing his Doctorate at Denver Seminary, he wrote his dissertation on how the local church was the key to completing the Great Commission. The major premise of the work was if every local church did their part to completing the Great Commission then every people group would receive the gospel. After graduating from Denver Seminary, Dr. Foltz spent the next 30-40 years focused on equipping church leaders to do missions. He taught emerging church leaders at Regent University’s seminary and traveled to over 90 different countries around the world teaching leaders.
AIMS staff and materials development
Howard and his staff at AIMS (most were Regent students or graduates) developed seminars to train church leaders to complete the Great Commission. The main purpose for developing these materials was shaped by the conclusions of Dr. Fotlz’ Dissertation. “The local church is the key to completing the Great Commission!” The local church must have a biblical missions vision and have a practical plan for their missions involvement. Too many churches were ignorant about missions or ill equipped to do it. So, for over the past 28 years, Dr. Foltz and AIMS’ staff have been developing materials to address these needs.
AIMS International Ministry Development
Excitingly, the AIMS’ staff consistently developed materials that were used all over the world. AIMS had a president who was traveling the world training church leaders to do missions. And, AIMS had staff members who were veteran missionaries coming off the field to get their Masters or Doctorate in Missiology at Regent. So, by the grace of our Lord, they were developing great materials. These materials were then translated into many different languages (now in over ten languages). Missionaries coming off the field would take the materials AIMS had developed, improve them, and then translate them into other languages. This allowed leaders attending AIMS seminars to take the materials they studied in English and go teach other pastors in different countries and languages. AIMS materials were giving tools to U.S. pastors and missionaries to use on short-term trips.
Impact on pastors
Pastor’s would come to AIMS’ Maximum Missions Impact training (in the old days it was called AIMS Associates Training) and then take the materials they studied and travel all over the world training people in different language groups. One pastor, who happens to be the author’s dad, attended an AIMS training and then traveled to many places in Northern India training pastors. He was equipping Indian pastors to have an unreached people group focus for their ministry in northern India. For the past twenty-eight years of AIMS service, hundreds to thousands of American pastors have been impacted this way.
AIMS goes global
As the materials AIMS developed matured and the staff of veteran missionaries began to grow. Some missionaries began to host trainings in 10/40 window countries. One time, in Burkina Faso, AIMS had over two thousand pastors attend a training. Out of these trainings many unreached people groups were impacted. Since the Lord was using us to training nationals in 10/40 window countries, AIMS began to develop strategic alliances in different parts of the world. Each strategic alliance had a coordinator, who worked with US churches, missionaries and indigenous churches to network, train, and assist the national churches of that region to do missions (i.e. reached the unreached peoples of that region). These strategic alliances would work together to equip the national church of that region to have a missions vision. The goal was to equip nationals to train and send out their own missionaries to the unreached peoples of that area. These alliances would translate materials, host trainings, and consult and advise national pastors on how to do missions.
Currently, AIMS calls these alliances “Epicenters”. An Epicenter is a place we believe God will shake the earth. The focus of ministry in every epicenter is to equip the national churches of that region to strategically do their part to complete the great commission. What does it mean to do their part to complete the great commission? It means that every church would be equipped to do six things:
1. Pray to complete the Great Commission
2. Give to complete the great commission
3. Send out cross-cultural missionaries to unreached people groups
4. Partner with other ministries to reach unreached people groups
5. Help other churches become mobilized church for missions
To accomplish this goal, first, we pray alot. Then, we put our materials into the language of the nationals that are serving in that region. Then, we coordinate trainings to equip the national pastors to pursue missions. Plus, we sometimes send full-time missionaries to that region to coordinate the development of these materials and train. Excitingly, the Lord has used us to train thousands of church leaders and plant thousands of churches.