A Progress Report on the Area Director Initiative: The First 30 Months

We would like to update you about the heretofore unimaginable work God has done over the last two and one-half years.

As you know, our nation is in the grip of a devastating "men problem." The collateral damage in marriages and families has been staggering. 48% of women now prefer cohabitation, directly reflecting their opinion about men. Our once dependable consensus of Judeo-Christian values is melting away. If the next 25 years are like the last 25, life as we have known it will be no more.

However we got into the current situation, the only solution is to disciple our way out. Imagine a day ten years from now when you realize, because tens of thousands of churches are discipling millions of men (who would otherwise still be floundering), that our nation and the world is experiencing a wholesale spiritual revival with all its attending impact on culture. Impossible?

The first step to every great outcome is to imagine its possibility. So in November 2011, we imagined an initiative to make it possible for every church in America that wants to disciple men to have a local expert, with the goal that within 10 years those churches would be making disciples of 500,000 new men each year using our proven men's discipleship strategies.

Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood. --Daniel Burnham

God has blessed our first 30 months. Here are 10 highlights...

  1. By the end of 2013, we had recruited 74 Area Directors, exceeding our projected goal of 71. This number has grown steadily to 85 today. Three years ago, there were only five or six men across the country focused on helping churches disciple men. Now there are 85 more.
  2. 34 of these men (17 FTEs) are now trained and working with churches. The others are still in the process of raising their area budgets.
  3. While we are obviously early in the project, these 34 Area Directors are already engaged with 283 churches representing 65,000 men. 308 more churches are actively under cultivation.
  4. Churches active with an Area Director are discipling 15 new men per year, on average. With 283 churches, that's over 4,000 new disciples in the first year. Given that Area Directors must raise budgets before they can work with churches, we are off to a quick start.
  5. 87% of active churches say having access to an Area Director is extremely or quite useful.
  6. 92% said they will be extremely or quite likely to recommend their Area Director to other churches.
  7. Weekly donations to Area Directors now average over $25,000. Total monthly donations to ADs have increased 253% over the same month a year ago.
  8. The biggest obstacle for some Area Directors in the winter was losing momentum in their fundraising efforts. These issues have been addressed and are resolving. We've started equipping men to work with a few churches immediately to establish a track record. We now are emphasizing volunteer and part-time roles. Men are also setting a specific projected start date as a goal to finish raising the budget for the ministry.
  9. We now have very effective working models going in six regions: NW Chicago, Dayton, Indianapolis, East Central Florida, NW Arkansas, and Montana. Other regions are on schedule.
  10. Frugality: These results were accomplished with 20% less spending than we projected in 2013. 

In summary, the Area Director Initiative is hugely successful. We will continue to make adjustments as issues arise. But the good news is that we only need to tweak a successful program that has exceeded our 2013 goals. And, this is in addition to our other programs that have already impacted 12,000,000 men in 35,000 churches.

We are looking for big thinkers who want to do something great for God--men and women who don't believe, "There's nothing we can do," who still have faith that God is sovereignly in control, and who are ready to put their fortunes and their lives on the line to build the kingdom of Christ.

The team at Man in the Mirror is the foremost leader in discipling men in our nation. Their integrity and helpful coaching in the church has guided me personally and countless other pastors. I urge you to invite them to consult with your church too. 

Dr. Joel C. Hunter 

Senior Pastor, Northland - A Church Distributed; Co-Chair of our Advisory Council

A Sample Report from the Trenches, by Ronn Read, Area Director in NW Chicagoland

"Eighteen months ago leaders from the Chain of Lakes Community Church attended my kick-off breakfast. I followed up to meet with the leadership team and the church adopted The Journey to Biblical Manhood. The 'Men of the Chain' implemented their first event, the Success That Matters seminar, complete with the 'capture momentum' follow-up study, last fall. 48 men attended, with 40 of those joining a six-week follow-up group. Most of those men continue in small groups today. They are now working with several other local churches in the planning of a Spring Retreat. I will be working with Chain of Lakes, as well as the other churches involved, to capture the momentum of this retreat and take their men to the next level.

"In the 18 months since I began doing ministry, I am now working with over 60 churches. I am also working with the United Methodist Men of Northern Illinois to begin working with their nearly 600 churches--starting in June with an introduction to No Man Left Behind (which will hopefully lead to a Fall NMLB Essentials training).

"I have also 'built' three coalitions of churches (my area is broken down into 8 'zones' and my goal is to have a coalition in each zone). The zone in the NE quadrant, Gurnee, has 14 churches that I am meeting with and will be leading a NMLB 'mini-camp' the end of this month. This is in view of having a 'stadium event' in August with a follow-up STM, Life Plan, and study--with all 14 churches participating! This all came out of our NMLB Essentials this past March, as well as the No Regrets conference simulcast from Milwaukee this past February."

Let us know how we can work together with you to disciple more men. You can email me at patrickmorley@maninthemirror.org to connect.