OC Research LINK - SPRING 2018

What is God doing through the OC Global Alliance? Each year all teams that make up the OC Global Alliance report on their past year’s ministry. This issue of Research LINK shares seven highlights from 2017 and focuses on seven long-term trends. You will certainly be encouraged by reading this summary of how God is at work within the OC Global Alliance. Click here to view of this issue of Research Link.

Seven Highlights

In 2017, the 960 workers associated with the OC Global Alliance:

  1. Saw the most churches established than in any single year over the last 20 years: 10,516;
  2. Saw over 100,000 decisions for Christ for the second year in a row: 101,526;
  3. Connected with nearly 3.4 million people through media ministry;
  4. Ministered to nearly 182,000 Individuals;
  5. Served nearly 15,000 groups;
  6. Were active in 586 partnerships with 536 unique organizations; and
  7. Served in 111 nations through 44 resident teams and impact ministries in 67 countries.

The remainder of this update will focus on the trends related to geographical impact, personnel and ministry fruitfulness for the OC Global Alliance.

Geographical Impact

OC Global Alliance workers ministered in 111 countries in 2017. This is the highest number of countries ever impacted in a single year. 44 countries were served by resident teams - the most countries to date - and OCGA workers engaged in short term impact ministries in 67 countries.

OCGA Personnel

A longer-term perspective on the number of Global Alliance personnel shows positive trends. Over the last decade, the greatest personnel growth for the OC Global Alliance has come from the Mobilization Centers outside of the United States. A ten-year comparison shows 49% growth for personnel associated with the United States Mobilization Center compared to 149% for the other Mobilization Centers. Since 2010, the majority of OC Global Alliance personnel have reported to non-US mobilization centers. The following graph tracks the number of personnel reporting to the US Mobilization Center and the other Mobilization Centers.

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Notice that over the last two years the number of workers connected to the US Mobilization Center (USMC) has increased after a long plateau. Compared to 2016, 70 more workers reported to the USMC in 2017. This growth for the USMC was especially driven by new Ministry Associates and Ministry Assistants – a large number of whom are non-US workers serving with USMC Teams. We will want to watch these personnel trends in years to come. Note: The 2015 spike in Non US Personnel was due to one Mobilization Center reporting a large number of volunteers just for that particular year.

Ministry Fruitfulness

The most significant and exciting trend is for the number of new churches started. The number of churches established per year began a sharp upward trend beginning in 2011 as Disciple Making Movements (DMM) began to gain momentum and now are approaching exponential growth. This trend is clearly seen in the following graph. For the period 2010-2017 the Average Annual Growth Rate for new churches is 49% per year.

In 2017, about half of the decisions for Christ came through Disciple Making Movements. The total number of decisions for Christ was over 100,000 for the second year in a row, also showing a significant growth trend over the last decade.
In 2017 the second highest number of individuals participated in a short-term missionary experience with OCGA teams since this category was included in 2004.
Nearly 3.4 million people were engaged through media ministry represented by websites, digital and print publications, and new ministry tools in 2017. The number of all these continues to grow year to year. We have a group of very creative people within the OC Global Alliance!
The number of leaders and theological students trained are the only categories that show significant, long term downturns. The decline in the number of leaders trained per year is the most significant negative trend over the last decade with the last four years showing a sharp downturn. A quarter as many leaders were trained in 2017 compared to 2010. The number of students trained in theological institutions also shows a significant downward trend. Less than a quarter of students were trained in 2017 compared to the peak year of 2011. The available data does not answer why fewer leaders and theological students are being trained. Thus, these trends merit further investigation, reflection and prayer.

Seven OCGA Trends

  1. The number of Mobilization Centers continues to grow, as does the number of workers reporting to these Mobilization Centers. Part of the growth in personnel is driven by new Ministry Associates and Ministry Assistants.
  2. The geographical reach of OC Global Alliance workers continues to expand.
  3. The number of new churches started in 2017 is unprecedented and is approaching exponential growth as Disciple Making Movements gain momentum and multiply.
  4. The number of decisions for Christ shows a positive trend over the last decade, exceeding 100,000 for the second year in a row.
  5. The second highest number of individuals participated in a short-term missionary experience with OCGA teams in 2017 since this category was included in 2004.
  6. The number of leaders and theological students trained are the only categories that show significant, medium term downturns.
  7. OC Global Alliance workers continually evidence creativity in developing new ministry tools, and using digital and print publications, websites and social media as communication tools.

Most of these trends are motives to praise the Lord of the Harvest. The positive trends highlight strengths that the OC Global Alliance can build upon in years to come. The changing demographic of OCGA personnel – more workers from outside of the United States including more Ministry Associates and Assistants, merits further reflection as this all impacts recruiting, training, funding, team dynamics and providing member care for Global Alliance workers.

May we bear more and abiding fruit in 2018 as we continue to abide in Christ (John 15:16).

Comments or Questions?


Share your comments or questions with us at Research@oci.org. Research LINK is a quarterly bulletin produced by the Global Research Team of One Challenge and distributed among workers within the OC Global Alliance. Click here to receive each issue of Research LINK by email.