My name is Augie Ristow.  My home is Las Vegas, NV.  My vocation is as an intentional interim pastor for a Lutheran Church body that believes the Bible is God’s verbally inspired word.

My avocation comes as a result of what I usually found as I entered an interim church. Frankly, sometimes it was not very Christian, certainly not very loving and they weren’t very united in what they wanted to do. My training as an intentional interim pastor helped me see these problems. I knew there had to be a better solution.

My observations told me that there had to be a fundamental change in the hearts of the people and the church. It had to be more than a temporary patch. The change had to be permanent.

It took a while to find an answer to the three problems most interim churches seem to face: not being very Christian, not being very loving and not very united on what they wanted to do. I have been around long enough to know that every pastor, leader and church have the same basic problems – not very Christian, loving, or untied on what they wanted to do.

The answer that I found (amazingly) is God’s Love. It was such a simple answer to solving those three problems! I couldn’t believe it!

Teaching Christian pastors, leaders and members of God’s Agape Love became my avocation. Some like to poke at me and call me Pastor Agape instead of Pastor Augie!

You might say, “Well I tell people to love all the time!”  So did I, but it never worked!  Because it did not work I began a decades long journey to find out if the love of the Bible is the same as the love I was talking about.  What I discovered was truly a spiritual revelation!

I wrote about what I discovered in my first book, “Agape, the Forgotten Teaching of Jesus.” God’s Love is called Agape. And Agape is used every time the New Testament speaks of God’s Love, the reason why He Loves us, what His Love does in our lives and the greatest revelation – God pours His Agape Love into our heart. It is right there in Romans 5:5.

As I studied more, I found out that Agape was used over 260 times in the New Testament, roughly a hundred times less than the other important word in the New Testament – faith. I discovered that in our Savior’s last will and testament of John 13-17, Agape is used over thirty times. The same is true in 1 John. So Agape must be important. I share the importance of this in my second book, “Agape – A New Theology.”

Here is what I came across in my study of Agape. God is Agape Love. When He created man, He placed this very same Love into man. We have agape, but by virtue of sin, it is corrupted. Our agape changed into a very selfish and self-centered love. I believe that our corrupted love is the cause for many of the problems we have in our lives and in our church.




Romans 5:5 says that the Holy Spirit poured God’s Agape Love into our hearts. When I recognized this and began to seek more of God’s Love (1 Corinthians 14:1), the Holy Spirit began a mighty change in me. God’s Love changed my love, my heart, my will and my mind. As a Christian, I became A Person of God’s Agape Love. I began to wonder how I could bring this to my interim congregations so that they could become A Church – A Place of God’s Agape Love.

It took a while, but I put together The Agape Plan for Churches. And it worked! Within a few weeks Christians became more Christian, Agape love guided them and more importantly, Agape love helped to mend the tears, knit them together into one tapestry and join them together in such a way that they became One in Heart and Mind. What could be better for a church or its leaders? And further, years after I left, Agape was still there!

I talk to many pastors who are still suffering from the three problems that are in their churches. They desperately try to change their churches with programs such as a good stewardship or discipleship program. They figure that if they give them enough of God’s word the problems would go away. That, I see, is more a patch than a fix.

It is in my heart to not keep The Agape Plan to myself, nor its sister plan for Christians – Agape For You. The Agape Plan comprises of three parts which is familiar and depends totally on the power of God’s Word acting in Christians by the Holy Spirit.

There are twelve sermons based on a progressive revelation from the truth that God is Love, to challenging the church to show the full extent of God’s Love. There are Bible Classes (2). One is on 1 John, the other is a booklet that gives an overview of Agape. Finally, there is the Agape Team that gathers information through a survey of the church to answer five spiritual questions – what are our spiritual gifts, what is our spiritual identity, what is the Lord leading us to do, what is in the way of doing what the Lord is leading us to do and finally what does our church look like when Agape is recognized and sought?

I have used The Agape Plan at almost every interim church. The results are nothing short of amazing. The power of God’s Agape love makes Christians more Christian, makes Agape Love the guide in everything they do and mends, knits, binds so that the church is of One Mind and One Heart – ready to do the kind of ministry that Jesus really wants us to do!

The Agape Plan. The complete roadmap for a church and its leaders. Click on the “Shop” button in the menu for more information or to purchase your copy today.
Agape for You is a roadmap of the amazing power of God’s Agape love, making Christians more Christian and guiding them in everything they do. For more information or to purchase your copy, please click on the “Shop” button in the main menu. We are so excited to share this message with you.

If you would like to order your copy of The Agape Plan for your church or the personalized Agape For You Plan, just CLICK HERE. Your church will have Christians – A People of God’s Love and become A Church – A Place of God’s Love!