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Annual Report

You stilled the roaring of the waves

Psalm 65:7

God’s Call for This Chapter A Season of Expansion EXPANSION 2015 Coach 1

8 Coaches

14 Churches coached

29 Churches coached

9% Denominational diversity in churches coached 50-900 Attendance of the churches coached




66% Denominational diversity in churches coached 70-7,000 Attendance of the churches coached

from our president In 2017, God stopped Harvey’s rising waters and other rising challenges. He raised us above the waters to continue helping churches with discipleship.

God expanded our mission significantly. In this report, you you will see evidence of this expansion. l New

board members

l New

free podcast

l New

staff and adjuncts

l New

book release

l Coaching l Working

more churches

with more denominations

l Increasing l And

Rev. Dr. Michael Johnson

reports of impact


The summer hurricane harassed us but did not stop us. The winter freezes closed our roads but not our outreach.

God expanded our mission significantly.

In God’s strength, we are building off our gains from 2017 for an even better year ahead of helping churches, disciples and leaders flourish. In Him, For Him, and Through Him,


Harvey Could Not Stop God

Mike’s kid’s home “mucked and gutted” after flooding

Home rebuilt as an AirBnB First guests are 2 AL coaches.

50 + inches of rain in 3 days 8 Weeks AL work was set back 6 Churches that AL coaches were

Disaster response groups AL 10

significantly affected

connected to Houston’s needs

6 UMC Subject Experts still trained after a 3 month wait

6 Houston Area Churches AL continues to serve



our board

Annual Meeting at Houston Baptist University one day before Harvey landed Left to Right: Jamie Boersma, Bob Terpstra, Ted Zystra, Dr. Robert Sloan, Rev. Ryan Faber, Jim Zwiers, Rev. Dr. Mike Johnson. Not pictured: Mindy Caliguire

New Members Rev. David Hsu Lead pastor of Houston Chinese Church

Ted Zystra

I really appreciated the spirit of discernment that was present. -Board member, Bob Terpstra

Part Owner/VP Tulip City Agency, Ltd in Pella, IA


“... how Scripture was used to explain the stages.”

“... the atmosphere of sharing ideas and encouragement.” - Teresa Rossy

“... going home with a list of specific ideas - thank-you!” - Bob Johnson

- Cheryl Swint

At the DiscipleForward church leaders’ workshop, people loved...

“The path to making disciples has been defined in such a way that helps take the fear away.” - Jim Flagg

From DisciplePathways church coaching

“It is encouraging to hear that it takes a while for churches to work through the process of developing a Discipleship Pathway. Sharing this with our churches could help them stay with it over the long haul.” l


- Lance Richards



“... ideas and challenges about The Wall.” - Mary Tumulty

“I enjoyed the further depth that we went into with regard to discipleship maturity and moving people to that maturity.” - Peter Cammarano





“... seeing the fulfillment of these years of planning.” - Daniel DeJager

ourish Coaching

Teaching Resourcing

“... hearing creative ideas from the various church ministries.”

“... the collaboration and excitement of the groups.”

- Jim Williams

- Sue Van Dyke

At the Charting Your Church Course workshop, people loved...

“I really appreciated the honest sharing and feedback.”


- Kathy Lee

“I found myself reflecting on my own journey and was moved and inspired to keep listening, learning and sharing.” - Annette Trask

“... how after a busy day I became more energized as the meeting went on.” - Thelma Vander Pol

“This is exciting and so, so helpful. Thanks, AL Coaches!” - Jennifer Cummins

“Learning about the four stages of discipleship gave me a whole new way to live out discipleship in my life.” - Paul Pronze


fINISHING WELL In 2017, we completed our projects with these ministries:

Faith Formation Ministries

A Congregational Leadership Learning Network Sponsored by the Christian Reformed Church and Reformed Church of America through a grant from the De Vos Family Foundation

2014-2017 8 Churches Mike coached with FFM Workshops Mike presented with FFM 11

2016-2017 2 Co-presenters from 2 denominations: Mike Johnson & Dave Bartlett

8 Four-hour gatherings of training for church leaders 9 Iowa churches coached toward better leadership through discipleship



20 1 6- 2 017

Marking God’s Goodness

Culmination of Our Ebenezer of Service 1 Direction for 2017-2020:

“We, the people of Zuni CRC, are The Church Ministering”

2 Objectives for 2017

1. More Mature Disciples 2. Christ-like Relationships

8 Action Steps completed in 2017

Mike with Pastor Mike Meekhof and Tim Eisenga

Mike Johnson’s wise coaching . . . gave us hope for becoming a more ‘beautiful bride’ which Christ will make blameless of the final day. We are grateful for this gift. -Rev. Mike Meekhof, Pastor of Zuni CR Church

Read more on our blog at


New Partnership With Purpose: To give United Methodist Church coaches the skills and resources to help churches build an effective discipleship pathway.

1 6

Congregation workshop developed by Ascending Leaders for VCI Subject Expert UMC coaches trained by Ascending Leaders to teach this workshop and to coach churches

12 + Churches expect to be coached in 2018 People stayed focused and attentive the whole time. When I was listing the NOTs of why we make disciples, I could hear them groaning as if, “Yeah, that applies to us.� Several people mentioned feeling comforted by the idea that discipleship is a journey. That gives them hope of further growth! All in all, I was very pleased with the results. -Subject expert Robert J., after presenting the congregation workshop l


Resource additions book




“Come & See”


“Come & follow me”

The Wall

Click Here

This Ten Steps booklet is a concise, rich resource that gives a high-level overview for pastors and discipleship practitioners who want to build a discipleship pathway. -Peter Cammarano, Senior Pastor of Chapelwood UMC, Lake Jackson


“Come & be with me”


“Remain in me” 10 l

Financials Sources of Funding

Costs of this Mission

Coaching and Teaching Contracts 28%

Administrative Expenses: Fundraising 11%

Percentage of Funding from Coaching & Teaching 30 25 20

Administrative Expenses: Management and General 21% Donations from Individuals, Churches, Foundations and Corporations 72%


15 10 Program Services: Coaching, Teaching, Speaking, Promotions 68%

5 0

2 2012 2017

2017 Financial Compilation completed by Bennoch & Tipton, LLC, Certified Public Accountants. The full compilation can be found at transparency l


201 7 Coaching Types of Coaching We Gave Churches l Charting Your CHURCH Course l REVEAL for Church l DisciplePath for a Congregation Churches Coached Per Year

l DiscipleOn Virtual Group Coaching 35

100% of DiscipleOn participants last season agreed or strongly agreed that they would recommend it to others

100% said that because of DiscipleOn they are better equipped to move discipleship forward in their congregations

95% of churches coached in 2016 returned in 2017



25 20


15 10




5 0

2 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017

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Ascending Leaders Staff I love, love, love that we labor together in joy and mutual appreciation. This is the kind of team I have always dreamed of—unified, together attacking the problem of “slacker discipleship.”

Dr. Mike Johnson

Katie Best

Executive Director

DiscipleOn Community Manager

I feel extremely blessed to be working with the Ascending Leaders and DiscipleOn! team to further the Kingdom of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! What an awesome responsibility to handle the details for the communities. I enjoy using my gifts and skills to encourage people to disciple others for Him!!

Natalie Mulvahill Marketing Associate

I love that I get to work with such an amazing team of people who love Jesus and desire to see His Kingdom grow! I am privileged to use my experience and education to help this amazing organization.

The best part of my role is knowing that I am contributing to the Kingdom via the mission statement of Ascending Leaders. If my work is done well, it enables the ministry to focus on the process of making disciples via coaching, teaching, and resourcing.

It may sound boring, but I enjoy working behind the scenes. I am thankful to be able to serve the Ascending Leaders community by helping to ensure we are good stewards of the resources entrusted to us.

Teri Watson

Ellie Tow

Victoria Hornsby

Accounts Assistant

Executive Assistant

Marketing Intern



At Ascending Leaders, I get to combine my passion for creating media with my passion for activating Christians toward discipleship. It is a privilege to partner with this organization and do my part to help impact churches.

Expanding Coaching / Teaching Team Left to Right: Ryan Poe, Indianapolis, IN Brad Munroe, Tuscon, AZ Bob Johnson, Houston, TX Mike Johnson, Sugar Land, TX Ken Shcripsema, Grand Rapids, MI Matt McClure, Prairie City, IA Marilyn Wadkins, Houston, TX Not Pictured: Peter Cammarano, Lake Jackson, TX

Coaches/Teachers Coaching and teaching churches, disciples and leaders the Ascending Leaders way, alongside their full-time ministry positions.

Together they represent

years of ministry experience 200 6 theological schools 4 denominations

These are wise, like-minded practitioners with vast experience and credibility. -Ken Schripsema, Executive Director of Ministries Square Campus of Madison Church, Grand Rapids, MI

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Annual Report

3947 Field Crossing, Sugar Land, TX 77498 Š 2018 Senior Editor: Mike Johnson Managing Editor: Natalie Mulvahill Graphic Designer: Sunny Hyun Design Consultant: Victoria Hornsby

AL annual report 2017  
AL annual report 2017