When we gather as a staff each week, we start by looking back to be reminded of what God has done and count our blessings before we look forward and focus on where He is taking us next. We thought that would be an appropriate perspective to take with this Winter newsletter.
God has blessed Need Him Global in many ways over the course of 2018. We experienced His grace in every aspect of the ministry. When we look at sharing the Gospel, the ministry continued to leverage different forms of communication while adopting new campaigns and testing new media. We saw several new ministry partnerships and met people from around the world through our own social media as well as the movie, I Can Only Imagine. And we actually had conversations with people from over 190 countries last year.
We were blessed with dozens of new volunteers every month and saw our Resident Leadership Program with seminarians continue to grow and mature. We have now had over 90 Residents from ten different countries manage over 160,000 conversations. This program is truly preparing the next generation of church leaders in a relevant and unique way.
The numbers also tell an amazing story. The number of visitors to our various web sites was up 55% in 2018. The number of people seeking conversation also continued to go up and this was especially true for text message conversations that increased by 57%. We continue to leverage the abbreviated number 53787 which spells JESUS to drive more overall conversations.
Culture has changed and we now see more people preferring to “talk” with their thumbs. This trend is not slowing and continues to affect our mix of conversations. We are incredibly grateful God prepared the ministry for this. Our systems and technology have allowed us to not only weather this transformation but capitalize on it. We are blessed to continue to receive more conversations each year despite this change.
It is easy to be enthusiastic about big numbers and new partnerships, but often the most exciting part of ministry is to simply be able to witness the faithfulness that volunteers and staff have in serving the Lord. I have no hesitation in saying that the ministry team has never been stronger and I am blessed to serve alongside them. We also recognize that we only are able to accomplish what we do through our volunteers and supporters. We give thanks through prayer regularly but probably don’t say it often enough – Thank You! We could not do it without each of you and hope you know what a difference you are making in changing lives for Christ.