The Plan for 2013 and Beyond: Creating Ambassadors of Christ for an Evangelistic Movement
Ratio Christi is more than a movement to address the skepticism at university campuses. We believe we can contribute to creating one of the greatest evangelistic movements in this century. Our plan is to simply turn ordinary students into incredible evangelists, and to encourage them to teach other believers what they have learned. Students that commit to this effort may be awarded a Legatus Christi certificate by a Ratio Christi apologist. Legatus Christi is Latin for Ambassador of Christ. Try to imagine the exponential effect as students graduate and go on to teach what they have learned to other believers who can teach others also.
How many people will trust in Christ over the next 10 years due to our efforts? We have no idea. This plan does not focus on the number of people that make a commitment to trust in Christ. That is a hard number to count, and may not accurately reflect the impact of an organization. Instead our plan focuses on the number of people that become capable of having culturally relevant one-on-one conversations with people about the reasons to trust in Christ.
We also have no idea if this plan we are putting it place will succeed. That is up to God. But what we do know is that we have a plan to do all we can help as many people as possible to become apologetics evangelists who can undergird the gospel by defending truth and Christianity with logic and evidence. We hope you get as excited about this plan as we are, and that you will join us with your prayers, your ideas, your resources, and your talents.
Recently we engaged a math professor to evaluate our plan to see what kind of impact we would have over the next 10 years. The numbers are mind blowing, but we need to be careful in making projections because they are based on a spontaneous exponential growth at the grassroots level which is out of our control. We can only set up a systematic approach to try to make it happen.
First, let’s define a few terms as they are used by Ratio Christi:
- Movement—a spontaneous exponential growth at the grassroots for the Kingdom of God
- Apologetics Evangelist—a person that capable of undergirding their gospel witness with a defense of truth and Christianity using logic and evidence, and who uses that knowledge to equip other believers to do the same.
- Legatus Christi—Latin for an Ambassador of Christ involved in evangelism and teaching other believers.
- Legatus Christi Certificate—a certificate conferred on students by a Ratio Christi apologist for those that have achieve standards set by Ratio Christi.
Therefore, Ratio Christi defines an Ambassador of Christ (Legatus Christi) as someone that has become a conversational evangelist using classical apologetics to undergird the gospel by defending truth and Christianity with logic and evidence. They must be willing and able to regularly teach others the skills they have learned. Thus, a Legatus Christi certificate may be conferred on any student that has demonstrated the use of classical apologetics in evangelistic conversations, and is willing to teach other believers what they have learned. The Legatus Christi certificate is a central part of our plan.
What are the standards set by Ratio Christi to be awarded Legatus Christi?
Each student will have been lead through a challenging course of study in areas of Christian apologetics, worldview, evangelism, and Christian thinking that will better equipped them to be leaders in the Christian community, disciple makers, and evangelists for Jesus Christ. In the end…Students will:
- Be equipped to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and defend its truth claims against objections.
- Develop a better understanding of current culture and religious alternatives.
- Defend the concept of truth and its nature.
- More accurately interpret the Scriptures
- Articulate the arguments for God’s existence, the validity of miracles, the reliability of the Bible, and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
- Apply scriptural principles of love, gentleness, humility, and respect in engagement with non-Christians.
- Be able to teach the things learned to other faithful men and women who will be able to teach other also.
- Understand and apply the principles of servant leadership.
- Engage in conversation concerning humanity’s fallen nature and the provision of grace via Jesus’ atonement on humanity’s behalf to all that trust in Christ.
Why is it important to confer Legatus Christi Certificates?
We are building a movement of evangelists that can not only win people to Christ, but who are able and willing to train other believers. The certificate gives the student access to an alumni society that will facilitate ongoing communications between the students and Ratio Christi’s leadership. This will help us to encourage them to stay true to the charge bestowed on them when they were awarded the Legatus Christi certificate. We hope to communicate opportunities for training as well as feature stories of Legatus Christi alumni that are training others believers. These young professionals are also Ratio Christi future supporters as they move on to their professional careers.
What is the exponential factor?
Remember that a movement is based on a spontaneous exponential growth at the grassroots level. That makes it impossible to quantify the actual growth because the exponential factor is entirely out of our control. When a student graduates with a Legatus Christi certificate, they are charged with teaching other believers what they have learned. These young Ambassadors will be heading off to careers as nurses, lawyers, teachers, news reports etc. They will hopefully be attending churches where they can offer training in Sunday Schools, youth groups, cell groups, at Christian schools or Bible clubs at public schools, or even at a Ratio Christi chapter. Their job is to train other believers and charge them to train others also.
Since training others is voluntary, we realize that not all Legatus Christi (Ambassadors) will be faithful to the charge of training other believers. We also understand that not all the people that they train will be willing to take up the charge of training others. Therefore, we realize that this systematic approach will likely breakdown the further it gets from the original student trained by a Ratio Christi apologist. Yet, assuming the growth in the number of Ratio Christi chapters continues at a moderate pace, and the average number of people trained will decrease after each successive generation beyond our Legatus Christi (Ambassadors), the numbers are still staggering.
How many evangelists could be created by this movement?
Just for the sake of trying to put some numbers on this plan, we will assume that Ratio Christi will continue to grow by about 50 new chapters every year (added to our already existing chapters). We will also assume that each chapter will only awarded an average of 5 to 6 new Legatus Christi certificates per year.
If, on average, those Ambassadors only trained 3 people every year, and each successive generation only trained 2 people every year, there would be over 2 million new apologetics oriented evangelist in the marketplace over the next 10 years. But what if the plan only succeeded in creating half that many evangelists? That is still over a million new evangelists in the next ten years. Or what if the plan only succeeded in creating a half million new evangelists in 10 years? What kind of impact could that have for Christianity?
Most average Christians go for years without witnessing to others. But we find the students we train actually look for opportunities to engage others in conversations about truth and Christianity.
The Bottom Line
Ratio Christi understands the relationship between apologetics and evangelism. We really don’t know exactly the impact we will make in world evangelism, but we believe God has given us the charge to do all we can. We will continue to open chapters of Ratio Christi at universities in the U.S. and internationally, and we will work to develop Ratio Christi College Prep to reach high school students. The results belong to God.
So why tell you about the plan and the potential impact?
We tell you about this because this plan seems to be something that is working itself out as we “follow him.” It is a plan we can get excited about, and we hope that you are excited too. But we need you to help make it work. I am not just talking about finances. Would you like to be directly involved?
We can certainly use your prayers, but how about your brains? As you pray about this, would you be willing to share your ideas with us?
We need money to make this happen, but what about your time? Would you like to be involved?
We want nothing more than to be involved in helping to create one of the greatest evangelistic movements in this century. Will you join us?
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To share your idea or get involved email us here.
And to join the "President's Team" to help finance and steer this vision go here.
Content in blogs does not necessarily represent Ratio Christi’s views. Details