For any ministry concerned about its integrity, there is a constant tension between “going deep” and “going wide.” You may have heard ministries described as “a mile wide and an inch deep”—obviously not a good thing. Add to that the suspicion many of us feel when we hear numbers representing ministry results tossed around in a slick sales pitch, as if the effects of ministry could be bundled up and described like any other commodity.
Numbers clearly do not tell the whole story…I get that. However, there is something perspective-giving and God-honoring when we climb up a few thousand feet and get a bird's eye view of the results of our ministry. A few years ago we started an annual discipline of capturing data that would tell us about the breadth of our ministry impact. This helps us to keep ourselves accountable and to make sure we’re focusing on the right things.
So the 2011 figures are in. We worked to gather a report from every one of our teams about the number of leaders and churches they ministered to during the last ministry year. These numbers represent what we did from September 2010 through August 2011. We built these totals by gathering information one team at a time and thus should be quite trustworthy. They may not be bullet-proof to the nth decimal point, but if anything, they would be a tad low if we missed one or two people. We’re confident that these numbers are trustworthy.
In the 2010-2011 ministry year ChurchNext staff and teams:
Were deeply involved in coaching, mentoring, or working in a significant way with:
- 1,114 Ministry Leaders
- 203 Established Churches
- 96 Church Plants and/or Church Planters (churches less than 2 yrs old)
- 7,680 people who participated in various training events and/or retreats.
Sold or gave away 12,730 different resources created by our staff.
Ministered in or worked directly with leaders who serve in 41 different countries.
Combined, the churches and leaders represented in the numbers above represent:
- 45 Different Denominations
- 10 Seminaries
- 152 Additional ministry and mission organizations.
And, together we walked closely with 301 people who are not yet followers of Christ.
I love thinking about the combined implications represented by these numbers. Every leader and every church represents a network of others who are touched by what God does in their lives. Each of those 299 churches or church plants touches another city. Every person in our training events have gone back with something new for their personal sphere of influence.
The direct impact represented by each number and the indirect impact represented by the scores of people each of them touch are staggering. Together we have the opportunity to multiply leaders and churches who will bring the transforming life of Jesus to the world at their doorstep.