One of the questions I’ve received over the years from supporters, especially in recent times, goes something like this, “What is AiG doing for leadership for the future? Who are you training up to take the place of the founders?”
A number of years ago, our board of directors started asking, “What happens when the bus hits Ken?” In fact, that has been mentioned so many times in recent years, I’m paranoid of going anywhere near a bus! I keep well away from the shuttle buses at the Ark Encounter.
But it’s not just me. The three founders of this ministry are certainly getting up there in years. I was reminded of this in May when our first great-grandchild was born! I looked at Mally and said, “Does this mean I’m getting old?” She replied, “Yes, but remember—I will always be two years younger than you.”
It has been on my mind for some time to do all we can to stop mission drift and ensure the ministry doesn’t compromise like so many churches and Christians have regarding the woke culture. In previous letters, I’ve explained what we have done internally with special groups of people and our young dedicated visionary leadership to protect the mission of the ministry.
The ministry is certainly in good hands for the future.
At the same time, we have always been on the lookout for young, dynamic, and visionary leaders who can take this ministry into the future as the initial generation of leaders reach those aging years. And we have a number of phenomenally talented, gifted, and highly dedicated younger generation leaders who are visionaries in their own right. The ministry is certainly in good hands for the future.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I will stay in this ministry overseeing vision and protecting the mission for as long as the Lord allows me to. Although I said to Mally, “Make sure you tell me if you think I’ve reached that time that I should really be stepping out. The problem is I might not believe you, and you might not believe me, so what do we do?” She said, “Don’t worry, you have very strong children who will tell you!” That’s true, they are all strong Christians who love this ministry.
It’s also been amazing in this ministry that the three founders are still working together with more fervor and dedication for the mission than ever! This in itself has had an impact on our future leaders.
Introducing Martyn Iles
This month, I want to introduce you to a young man whom God has led to this ministry to be an integral part of that leadership for the future. Some of you might have already seen my video announcement, but if not, you can watch it below.
Martyn Iles led a Christian organization in Australia for some time and was thrust into prominence there as a Christian leader. Through circumstances similar to when Mike, Mark, and I left the Institute for Creation Research in California and moved to Kentucky to found AiG and build the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter, so God led Martyn through various circumstances to join AiG. He is now a resident here in the US.
Martyn is a unique individual. He’s an eloquent spokesperson for the issues of our day, is a great teacher and preacher with an emphasis on biblical authority, and has a heart to see souls won to the Lord.
Martyn will begin work in the executive office alongside me as our Chief Ministry Officer. I asked Martyn to detail in his own words something about himself, his ministry, and what led him to AiG–US. Here is what he wrote:
I want to tell you a story of hope for America from a thoroughly post-Christian country. In fact, it’s one of the most secular, liberal countries on earth.
I’m talking about Australia.
Believe me when I describe it this way. When I first visited America in 2015, I was absolutely amazed at how visible Christianity is here.
To the Australian eye, it was just everywhere.
Even something as simple as a pro-life billboard shocked me. I’d never seen one before!
Or the time I attended a friend’s court hearing. They were adopting a little baby. When they disclosed that they were Christians—he was a pastor, no less—and that they volunteered at a pregnancy center, I thought for sure they would never be allowed to adopt.
I was wrong. The judge thanked them for all these things! My jaw nearly hit the floor.
Even in downtown Los Angeles, I looked out my hotel window into a very grim part of the city. But above it all was a massive neon sign fixed to the side of an abandoned building: “JESUS SAVES.”
I know that many Americans are deeply concerned about their nation’s future.
Companies are going woke—one at a time, then five at a time.
The Democrats are radicalizing. The Republicans are compromising.
The institutional churches seem to be losing young people at an alarming rate, but they refuse to boldly answer the lying ideologies that are deceiving them.
Many high-profile Christians seem to believe the lie that if they just keep a low profile on matters of conviction, they will save their own skins—and in doing so, they lose their testimonies, and they enable the cultural slide rather than resisting it.
Yes, the culture is changing.
But all this is so familiar to me. It has an uncanny resemblance to what was happening in Australia 10 years ago.
In Australia, it was never stopped, despite a lot of efforts from a lot of people. We just woke up one day, and the cultural air we were breathing was different.
We were post-Christian. It seemed like everybody was post-Christian.
Both sides of politics are socially liberal and woke. An alarming number of people who once called themselves Christians have faded into the world and left the church.
Most Christian institutions have compromised and thus have no relevance or effectiveness anymore—they have all but died.
All the corporations are woke (and I do mean all of them). All the universities are secular (there are no Christian ones). And Christians are spread thin in a world of people who regard their faith with utmost suspicion, if not contempt.
You may now be wondering where the hope that I promised is going to come into the story.
Well, in the last five years, a remnant has risen from the ashes.
Remember when God told Elijah (to his surprise) that 7,000 had not bowed the knee to Baal? It’s a bit like that.
We have seen people of all denominations (or none) gather to hear the Word of God preached in auditoriums and convention centers in numbers barely seen in the post-Billy Graham era.
We have seen a revitalized movement of Generation Z youths who have counted the cost of their faith and decided to stand with Christ in a hostile world. God is at work in this generation in Australia.
Many thousands of people have coordinated themselves in every state and every neighborhood of the nation to distribute millions of Gospels in their communities.
They have also door-knocked, phone-canvassed, letterboxed, and engaged in a host of other activities under the banner “Truth Made Public” to be salt and light in the world, as Jesus commanded us.Announcement
And those high-profile Christians that remain are the sort to stand firm on their faith and declare it unflinchingly, even as they get canceled—and they have done so.
One example was a famous footballer, Israel Folau. He was fired and faced a lifetime ban for posting a paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 6:9–11 on his Instagram, accompanied by a gospel appeal.
His case and his courageous stand in the face of impossible pressure literally sent the gospel around the nation to every mainstream media outlet, and we were able to assist him and get the case settled.
This was what I saw in my previous role in Australia as CEO of a Christian movement that grew to quadruple the size of the governing political party in terms of membership.
I traveled the country, applying the truth of Scripture to the post-Christian culture and preaching the gospel. I explained the gospel on radical leftist national television programs full of “gotcha” attempts. We ran youth worldview programs with amazing success. We coordinated a movement of many thousands of ordinary Christians who put feet to their faith to reach the nation.
It has been a truly extraordinary period. A wave of God’s enabling just swept over the whole thing.
It has been a period where the cultural juggernaut is suddenly unable to take many more victims from the churches—those Christians who remain are mostly just too strong.
See, it turns out that while we were all overwhelmed and depressed by the political implosion, cultural decay, and immorality around us, we lost sight of this fact: God is always at work.
And while the nation has been politically judged and institutionally corrupted, God has been moving all the while—quietly, at a grassroots level, in the hearts and minds of individuals—to reach them with the gospel and equip them to stand like Daniels in a pagan place.
There is now a veritable army of Christians who are being refined by the fire of cultural rejection.
There is now a veritable army of Christians who are being refined by the fire of cultural rejection. They have counted the cost of their faith and embraced it. They have decided to be found standing with Christ, not the world.
This is the church the nation of Australia needs. This is the church America needs.
And this is my message of hope: It’s coming. It’s here now, and it will still stand firm and tall on the other side of all this disappointment.
It is not a church of a particular denomination or demographic. It is individuals, scattered here and there, in all denominations and all demographics, whom God has saved and equipped.
And he is still doing it. Through my ministry, though it was not explicitly evangelistic, I met scores of people who had recently been saved, especially young people. Amid culture wars and political disappointment, God is still at work.
The strength of this remnant depends first on God, of course. He is the One who saves and sanctifies.
But it also hinges on something else. It hinges on whether we are equipping people, whether we are declaring the truth which both answers this culture and points people to the gospel, and whether we are doing this work which God can use.
Let me explain with a personal example.
When I was in primary school, I came across a big box set of VHS tapes. It was a series of talks by a man named Ken Ham. Between Garfield, Inspector Gadget, and The Flintstones, for some reason I decided to put the first tape in the VHS player.
As they would say today, I “binge-watched” the whole series. I think it was 12 tapes.
The stuff I learned from those tapes, I still remember and rely on today.
For example, I would do seven days of talks at Australian youth worldview programs called “Genesis Blueprints.” They were not about dinosaurs, science, or the age of the earth. They were about sexuality, gender, race, sin, God, masculinity, femininity, climate, empire, life, family, identity, and the gospel.
But see, I taught all that from Genesis because I know Genesis is reliable. I know it really happened. I know it really is God’s blueprint, answering the lies of today. I know this because of Ken.
I was equipped to stand in post-Christian Australia by the efforts and resources of many people, all made available through multimedia, the internet, and digital technologies.
And today it’s the same. Whenever I met a young person in one of our youth programs who was recently saved, I’d ask them how. In 90% of cases, they found some video or resource on the internet which led them onto their Christian pathway.
This is why Answers in Genesis is so important.
This is why your support of this ministry is vital. You are building a “remnant’’ of equipped and bold Christians who will survive whatever lies ahead for America and will spread truth and the gospel for generations to come.
Surely, nothing is more important than this.
Certainly, it will be my single-minded focus as I enter a new role with this ministry. I will create content, push hard into online and digital technologies, and continue to carry a burden for the next generation.
I told you this was about hope for America. There you have it.
Thanks, Martyn. What an incredible addition to leadership that Martyn will be at AiG. He is a very accomplished speaker and knows how to handle secular and Christian media. I encourage you to watch his “Living in Babylon” presentation he did recently at our Homeschool Experience.
And here is a video featuring Martyn responding to questions about LGBTQ ideologies that was featured in the mainstream media and has had millions of views.
I have been praying for a long time for someone like Martyn to ensure AiG has dynamic visionary leadership for the future—someone who is committed to biblical authority and the gospel and has an unwavering commitment to never compromise God’s Word and to continue the mission for which God raised AiG up.
This month I urge you to pray for AiG and Martyn in this important step, and I ask that you show your support by making a generous gift of any size today that will enable this vital ministry to continue to grow its impact in a world that desperately needs it.
With the prayers and generosity of partners like you, we anxiously await what the Lord is going to do through Answers in Genesis!
You have seen our unwavering stand on God’s Word. You have witnessed our call to God’s people to stand boldly and be equipped to contend for the faith. You have experienced our burden to raise up younger generations committed to God’s Word. You have seen our commitment to reach non-Christians with the saving gospel. You have watched our desire to proclaim the truth of God’s Word and the gospel to the world.
With the prayers and generosity of partners like you, we eagerly await what the Lord is going to do through Answers in Genesis! Thank you for your support.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.