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The AIM elevator speech

I wouldn’t make a good politician – I prefer to state things plainly, not dress them up. So, when Mac Schneider, AIM’s board chairman, challenged me to write up a short summary of AIM’s vision to share at a reception we’re having in Atlanta tonight, I put it off till the last minute. I just put t…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
I wouldn’t make a good politician – I prefer to state things plainly, not dress them up. So, when Mac Schneider, AIM’s board chairman, challenged me to write up a short summary of AIM’s vision to share at a reception we’re having in Atlanta tonight, I put it off till the last minute. I just put these four paragraphs together. Tell me what you think.
The AIM elevator speech
Our mission is to raise up a generation of radical disciples of Jesus Christ. Young people are leaving the church in droves. Researchers like George Barna have told us that we can expect the church in America to go the way of the European church within a few decades where just 5% of the general population follows Christ. But we believe there is great cause for hope. We’re seeing that a remnant of radical believers is waiting to be called and sent out. And as we challenge them to leave all and follow Jesus, they’re responding by the thousands.

Our method is not to give them more information, but to show them Jesus in the world’s slums and dumps. Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” We look for those who are willing to follow Christ’s call to the widow and the orphan and we send them to the world’s dark places. Countries like Moldova where 90% of the young people leave the country and a quarter of them are trafficked. Cities like Manila and Phnom Penh, where hundreds work in the garbage heaps. We send them to Swaziland where AIDS afflicts 44% of the adult population and the orphan population is skyrocketing.

And as they go, we disciple them relationally, helping them to discover what it means to walk out their faith in a complicated and harsh world. We help them to discover their identity in Christ and to risk all for the dream of establishing his kingdom.

It’s counter-cultural, but it’s not new. Our methods are Jesus’ own. They aren’t based on a curriculum or a program, but on listening to his voice and moving out in obedience. We dream of a generation that will live to see the glory of God cover the earth and we walk out that dream one relationship at a time.


Comments (19)

  • This sounds great and really sums up what I believe AIM to be!

    There’s an older gentleman I keep in contact with who is always asking me, “where is this going?” I think your third paragraph touches on it when you mention “as they go, we disciple them relationally,” but to go along with Maltby’s “What’s the IMPACT?” how does AIM effect participants lives long term?

    It’s good to have a leader that is constantly feeling out the Spirit in this and “moving out in obedience.” Thanks.

  • Well spoken; concise and passionate and compelling. Don’t change a thing! The summary is not the place to give supporting rational…that comes later.

  • Seth this is stellar…..

    The only thing I would do is have a short “data” summary for the people who have that as their love language.

    The three key questions are always:

    1. Why AIM?

    2. Why now?

    3. With what IMPACT?

    A quick set of impact bullet points would be good.


  • Seth – outstanding. I like plain talk. This makes me want to drop all my ordinary for the call to love the marginal with Jesus’ love. Or work for AIM. Or both. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this. Bless you in your ministry, brother. I really appreciate your heart. It’s transparent.

  • I wouldn’t make a good politician either. My plain talk and tell it like it is approach has cost me; other Christians have questioned my commitment and even salvation. I guess this is part of the persecuted package deal…

    But the Gospel is beautiful, challenging, to say the least, and to too many offensive.

    Radical belief and what you are offering is transformational. Way to go.

  • **mArC** The Schifano Tribe

    I think that’s well put and to the point.
    Is there anything you don’t do well?
    Man, The Holy Spirit loves to consume Seth.

  • Well for a last minute speech, this is amazing. Reading it makes me too want to drop all and head in whatever direction AIM is going to see what you’ve got going on! Great job.

  • I am moved by your speech and want to tell everyone what you are doing. What came to my thoughts were my praying Grandmother who never gave up on her Grandchildren that walked away from Christ. Ya, for some of us it was decades before we came back but…. prayer works.

  • that sounds like a good politician speech to me. “Raise up a Generation of Kingdom Leaders?! YES WE CAN!”

  • I LOVE this too! Just about ALL of it. But we are finding that the younger generation DOES indeed need to know the Word. It has failed to be foundational in finding the heart and mind of God on many practical issues. There is also a present attack on their minds that it is not to be trusted – that it has been corrupted by man.

    It’s true that there has been much teaching and no proactive obedience or example of it, but there is still the need for the ongoing soaking in the Word. I just don’t want us swinging to the other side of the pendulum and finding the next generation so far from our moorings. I’m often stunned at decisions made that are blatantly contrary to what He has clearly communicated.

    Thanks, Seth, for helping us to balance us out. And for putting words to much that is on our hearts.

  • Personally, I think if your goal was to give a short summary of AIM’s vision, then what you have written (with no additions) does adequately and appropriately hit the nail on the head….at least what I’ve always known of AIM.

    Praying God’s blessings, my friend!

  • Well what can I say ,but AMEN to what you wrote.You & AIM got me going w/ the young people & working w/them. I want to see that desire in young people walking w/full power & authority & not being ashamed of the GOSPEL OF JESUE CHRIST.
    mary lou

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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