Are There More of You?
Tommy Welty introduces us to AT3 – a training scheme which is providing ministry workers and interns to FIEC and other British churches, answering the call to train leaders for gospel ministry.
Ken and Emmy Lippold knew the statistics about secularism when they moved to Europe from America. Emmy is European and Ken had spent the previous decade doing short-term missions in the Czech Republic.
But what surprised them was how little people knew about Christianity. For example, Ken once met someone in a pub and after telling her he was a pastor, she gave him a blank stare asking, “What’s a pastor? Do you clean the church or something?”
Because of their history in Europe, Ken and Emmy prayed that the Lord would send gospel workers to Europe. Little did the Lippolds realise, God was sending them.
In 2013, at a conference in Prague, some leaders from Christ Church Liverpool invited them to learn about church planting in a secular culture. Ken and Emmy answered the call, raising their own support to serve in Liverpool.
The seed for the Alliance for Transatlantic Theology Training (AT3) came in their first few months. When Ken and Emmy would meet with pastors around the United Kingdom they would be asked: “Are there more of you?” From these experiences, Ken, with the encouragement and support from Christ Church Liverpool, the North West Partnership, FIEC, and Redeemer City to City, founded AT3.
What is AT3?
AT3 brings apprentices and interns from America and the United Kingdom to be trained theologically for ministry in secular, post-Christian cultures by partnering them with local UK churches for two years while they study at Union School of Theology. Apprentices from the UK and America are paired together to build mutually beneficial relationships that support ministry on both sides of the Atlantic long-term.
In summer 2017, AT3 graduated and sent the first three apprentices to complete the training: Peter and Emily Mason, Americans who are now serving in Bradfield & Rougham Baptist, an FIEC church in the South East of England. Peter is the Assistant Pastor there. The other is Josh Probert, from the United Kingdom, who has joined the staff of the North West Partnership.
In 2016, AT3 brought on five apprentices. In 2017, three apprentices from America joined AT3 along with three from the United Kingdom. This year another ten new apprentices have joined the alliance. Over the next five years, Ken plans to see AT3 train and send out over 300 men and women as missionaries, evangelists, youth workers, women’s workers, worship leaders, and church planters.
AT3 is the resounding, “Yes!” to the question of whether there are more like Ken willing to serve the church in post-Christian Britain. AT3 is raising up the next generation of church leaders to proclaim the gospel boldly in their post-Christian cultures. Though secularism in both Europe and America seems daunting, Jesus has promised that not even the gates of hell would prevail against the church he is building.
If your church is interested in taking on an intern from AT3 then please visit the website to find out more.