John L. Amstutz
John L. Amstutz

Pastor, missionary worker and professor John L. Amstutz, 85, whose Four-Stage Development Model articulated a strategic framework for the Foursquare mission field, went to be with the Lord yesterday.

Fully explained in his 2010 book, Disciples of All Nations, and presented in his video training series with Foursquare Missions International (FMI), the model helps guide missions works through four stages: evangelizing to make new disciples; nurturing them to develop leaders; expanding these new works; and then sending out missionaries to develop other churches. A protégé of Pastor Jack Hayford, John also wrote the 2013 book Making and Multiplying Disciples, the first of four books further developing each of the stages.

John Amstutz was one of my favorite Professors as a student at Life Pacific University,” says Randy Remington, president of The Foursquare Church. “Dr. Amstutz had a brilliant and strategic mind and oozed biblical wisdom, which flowed from a deeply rooted life in Jesus. His humility was disarming, and his teaching was profoundly practical and equipping.

“Dr. Amstutz has tremendously blessed our Foursquare family as a missiologist of his caliber,” continues Randy. “The fruit of his life work is foundational to all we are currently building upon.”

Born in Berne, Ind.—about 30 miles south of Fort Wayne—John received Jesus as his Savior at age 9. After earning his Bachelor of Arts degree from Pasadena College in 1959, he enrolled at nearby Fuller Seminary. There he earned three advanced degrees: his Master of Divinity in 1962, Master of Theology in 1964, and his Doctor of Ministry in 1977.

He earned the latter degree after serving for five years as a missionary worker to Jamaica and five years as pastor of Corona Missionary Church. Licensed in 1962 and ordained by The Missionary Church in 1965, John came into Foursquare under the ministry of Pastor Jack after John and his wife, Dorene, started attending The Church on the Way (Van Nuys Foursquare Church) in Van Nuys, Calif. Already teaching at School of the Way, John obtained Foursquare credentials so he could teach at LIFE Bible College (now Life Pacific University).

From 1973 to 1990, John was an adjunct professor at Southern California College (now Vanguard University) and traveled internationally for FMI. He served FMI as an assistant to the director, in-service leadership training coordinator and leadership trainer. Later, John worked as a missions consultant and was a member of Foursquare’s Missions Committee.

“Dr John Amstutz was my friend and he was an inspirational living legend among us,” says Ted Vail, D.I.S., vice president of global operations for The Foursquare Church. “John always gave us ideas on how to share God’s love with more people. These could be global—like his authorship of our missiology in the Disciples of All Nations series—or he might call me about reaching his next-door neighbor, or how we could mobilize more workers. In person, he’d put his arm around me, smile and encourage me. This was John Amstutz: a man who loved Jesus and everyone else. He will be missed.”

In fall 2005, John founded the Central Valley School of Ministry (CVSOM), a local church-based ministry training school to serve Central California’s San Joaquin Valley. Classes meet one night a week at Valley Christian Center (Fresno First Foursquare Church) in Fresno, Calif., with homework also required.

John launched CVSOM to meet the need for accessible and practical ministry training for leaders in local churches and those ministering for Christ in the marketplace. In its first 15 years, more than 400 enrolled and 280 completed its one-year ministry training program. John served as an instructor and a member of the administrative committee.

In addition, in 2014 John became a member of the Foursquare Church Education Commission. Organized as part of the movement’s Reimagine process, the commission helped place more emphasis on education and training as part of Foursquare’s purpose of fulfilling the Great Commission.

A resident of Fresno, John was a pastor, elder and mentor at Valley Christian Center. He and Dorene (also an elder and mentor at Valley Christian Center) had four married children, 10 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.

Memorial service information

A memorial service will be held on April 1 at 10 a.m. at:
Valley Christian Center
4649 E. Shields Avenue
Fresno, CA 93726

Bookmark this link to watch the service online on April 1 at 10 a.m. (PST)

Instead of flowers, the family has requested donations for Foursquare Missions International. Give now.

is a freelance writer and book editor in Huntington, W.Va.