One of the challenges of presenting annual reports is their very nature—using numbers and metrics to quantify productivity and growth. We know things like spiritual growth, discipleship, worship, and sanctification are not easily quantifiable. So as you read the information below and see a lot of numbers, please trust that we hold this information loosely. Our publishing and events are not driven primarily by numbers, but by a desire to see the wonderful things that come when people know and love Jesus more.
Our aim is simple: to serve the local church by providing resources centered in the ancient gospel of Jesus Christ. During these turbulent times, we want to be known as a ministry that boldly defends God’s Word and faithfully proclaims his gospel for the sake of the next generation. We are just one small part of a global renewal movement seeking to restore the gospel to the center of the church’s preaching and teaching. Please join us in thanking God for the work he has done, in which he allowed us to play a small role (see this illustrated snapshot of what he enabled us to accomplish in 2016 and this full report).
Influencing a generation with top-notch, theologically rich, free material.
Traffic at TGC.org increased at least 43 percent between 2015 and 2016, topping 74.8 million pageviews. As one of the largest Christian websites in the world, we hosted more than 16.4 million unique visitors in 2016. Popular articles include a report on the explosive growth of the church in Iran, misconceptions about the pastor’s wife, and a testimony about the loss of a child. Our roster of bloggers now includes Ryan Reeves (Historical Theology for Everyone) as well as Thomas Kidd and Justin Taylor (Evangelical History). New staff editors and writers include:
- Melissa Kruger
- Jason Cook
- Sarah Zylstra
- Timoteo Sazo
Written articles are just one part of our broader web strategy. Podcasts have exploded in popularity, and we have adjusted our attention accordingly. With an average of 15,000 downloads per episode, our main TGC Podcast is one of the most popular podcasts according to iTunes in the religion and spirituality category. Every two weeks we release Nancy Guthrie’s Help Me Teach the Bible interviews with insightful pastors and scholars, and every Word of the Week features a sermon to encourage, exhort, and equip.
Video will become an increasingly important priority in future months and years. We have improved and expanded on interviews and roundtable discussions on events affecting today’s church. We’ve also begun producing short documentary films.
In 2016 our imprint with Crossway began to bear fruit with books written by women and books addressing faith and work. But you’ll also see our first foray into equipping youth ministers with a book that’s topped the charts on Amazon.com since its spring publication.
- Seasons of Waiting: Walking by Faith When Dreams Are Delayed by Betsy Childs Howard
- God’s Word, Our Story: Learning from the Book of Nehemiah edited by Don Carson and Kathleen B. Nielson
- Gospel-Centered Youth Ministry: A Practical Guide edited by Cameron Cole and Jon Nielson
- Praying Together: The Priority and Privilege of Prayer—In Our Homes, Communities, and Churches by Megan Hill
- Pursuing Health in an Anxious Age by Dr. Robert Cutillo (foreword by Andy Crouch)
Study guides equip pastors and Bible study leaders with material they can trust, helping them to handle the Scriptures with care and keep the gospel of Jesus central from exegesis to application. This year with The Good Book Company we published Gospel Shaped Work by Tom Nelson; it’s the fourth installment in this profitable series that teaches and applies TGC’s Theological Vision for Ministry to local church life.
Our all-time bestselling resource on any paid platform is Jen Wilkin’s Sermon on the Mount study with LifeWay, but it may end up topped by her 2016 TGC release, 1 Peter: A Living Hope in Christ. Additionally, Gloria Furman’s study Missional Motherhood: The Everyday Ministry of Motherhood in the Grand Plan of God coincided with her new book of the same title with Crossway.
Gathering God’s people for expository preaching, corporate worship, and prayer.
The Gospel Coalition’s 2016 Women’s Conference was held in Indianapolis, Indiana, from June 16 to 18, 2016. More than 7,300 women from all 50 states and 40 countries came together to study 1 Peter. This was the largest TGC gathering to date.
The conference, “Resurrection Life in a World of Suffering,” sought to unfold who we are in Christ and how we are to live as redeemed exiles.
Along with seven main plenary sessions, we had more than 40 workshops and 30 focus gatherings led by speakers addressing topics such as discipleship, sexual identity, abortion, mentoring, sexual abuse, raising children, faith and work, and more.
2017 National Conference
With more than 3,000 attendees already reserving their places, we are on pace for between 8,000 and 10,000 registrants for our 2017 National Conference, April 3 to 5, in Indianapolis: “No Other Gospel: Reformation 500 and Beyond.”
Regional and International
- This year 13 of our regional chapters around the United States hosted events that welcomed more than 8,000 attendees from Hawaii to New England.
- In 2016 we partnered in 11 international events including: Switzerland, France, Germany, Brazil, Canada, Canada, Mexico, and Dominican Republic, and others.
Guiding our ministry efforts
Our 55 Council members serve in leadership to guide The Gospel Coalition. The Council, made up mostly of veteran pastors, meets annually for fellowship, accountability and gospel strategy. In May the Council met for three days in Chicago for fellowship, prayer, and planning.
This year we added Vermon Pierre, Darryl Williamson, and Afshin Ziafat to the Council; and also added four Council Associates: John Onwuchekwa, Jeremy Yong, Garrett Kell, and Anthony Moore.
Equipping women to love and teach God’s Word in all their callings
Word-filled women's ministry training workshops have equipped women to handle and share the Scriptures as they minister within their various callings, in Albuquerque, Augusta, Chicago, Indianapolis, Jakarta, Lansing, and Memphis, with more planned. We thank God for 106 local churches represented so far among the workshops.
Providing theological famine relief for the global church
This year partners have distributed more than 160,000 resources in 15 languages to thousands of church leaders in 86 different countries (including 30,000 copies of the ESV Global Study Bible).
TGC set new records for largest distribution totals in one month in August 2016 (32,000 resources). This record lasted only 30 days as we eclipsed that mark in September 2016 (36,122 resources).
So far in 2016 more than $222,000 has been given to help produce resources for theological famine relief—including 20 books in 13 different languages (including these books for leaders in the Middle East); as well as funds for digital resourcing in Farsi, Arabic and Portuguese.
The current goal of TGC’s global resourcing ministry is to equip global church leaders with 500,000 copies of solid theological resources over the next three years. This aggressive aim would match our total from the last 10 years combined.
In early 2016 we successfully launched our first global publishing endeavor—developing a new resource from start to finish that was aimed at a specific geographic location and a pressing topic of theological need. In the “Prosperity Project” we used our connections to acquire biblically faithful content combating the ills of the prosperity gospel, we used our website to raise $50,000, and we used our domestic and international printing connections to publish 65,000 copies of the newly authored book Prosperity. These books are now being distributed from storehouses in six major cities in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America: Cape Town, Hyderabad, Jos, London, Minneapolis, and Nairobi. There are hundreds of thousands of free downloads of the book taking place at TGC.org/Prosperity.
TGC developed several new global resourcing partnerships in 2016:
- The International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention was provided with 4,354 books in April 2016. These books have been distributed to IMB workers the world over.
- Operation Mobilization's Logos Hope ship ministry began a cruise in fall 2016 to ports of call in the Caribbean, Spain, and Latin America. Onboard the ship is over 7,000 copies of gospel-centered resources from TGC that will be freely distributed to church leaders and pastors in the countries hosting the ship.
- In the world's newest country, South Sudan, civil war and religious strife have resulted in more than 250,000 refugees clinging to their lives and the destruction of more than 500 churches. With the help of Samaritan's Purse, TGC provided more than 25,000 copies of resources and Bibles to brothers there in Arabic and English, with plans for an additional 20,000 Arabic language books from Don Carson, John Piper, and others in 2017.
- Alongside a north Indian ministry TGC partnered to send more than 30,000 books across the subcontinental region in Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Manipuri, Tamil, Urdu, English, and Oriya.
- In partnership with the regional directors from Children’s Hunger Fund, Mexico and South Texas region, TGC provided several thousand copies of Spanish language resources authored by the Coalición, Timothy Keller, Bob Kauflin and more, to pastors granting physical and spiritual care to under-privileged populations in their areas.
- Ligonier Ministries and Crossway both recognized TGC's International Outreach as a key global distributor of biblical resources by entrusting thousands of copies of Ligonier's Christology statement, Crucial Questions series, and the ESV Global Study Bible to TGC.
Promoting gospel-centered ministry through autonomously operated sister ministries around the world
Coalición is the name of the TGC equivalent for the Spanish language. Coalición hosted its second national event on April 11, 2016, as a pre-conference to Together for the Gospel in Louisville, Kentucky. “Awake: A Call to Latin American Pastors and Church Leaders” included speakers such as Miguel Núñez, Juan Sanchez, Sugel Michelén, Al Mohler, and John MacArthur, and hosted more than 500 in attendance.
The founding council of 11 pastors—including leaders from Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Guatemala, Argentina, and Mexico—gathered in April 2016 to formally adopt the foundation documents of el Coalición por el Evangelio.
Accordingly, the Coalición editorial team continues to grow. The website attracted more than 3 million visitors this year (an increase of 50 percent over 2015), and we now have editors in Mexico, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic.
In April we launched a line of 25 Spanish books; these are a mix of new and translated titles addressing some of the greatest needs in the Latin American church. This represented nearly a year’s worth of work in negotiating rights, producing translations, managing print production schedules, author contracts, and marketing. We are proud of this new line of books that we believe provide much needed theological depth in the Spanish language.
For the past three years there has been informal discussions between John Mahaffey, John Neufeld, and the Ontario TGC Chapter concerning the need to form a distinctly Canadian Gospel Coalition. This new TGC Canada establishes and strengthens fellowship links between pastors stretching east to west across Canada and speaks from TGC’s theological perspective into the Canadian cultural context.
From March 8 to 10, 2016, the leaders met in Ottawa, the Canadian capital, at the offices of the Church of the Messiah (Anglican Network in Canada), within walking distance of Parliament Hill. This meeting included significant time working through the TGC Confessional Statement and Vision for Ministry. A website will be launched in January 2017.
TGC Australia (TGCA) have appointed an editorial director for their website, which has already significantly strengthened output and is increasingly leading to a clear promotion of core values.
They are working to develop two kinds of networks across Australia: “regional networks” (networks that have already started to meet under the guidance of Council members in both Melbourne and Brisbane; gatherings focus on Bible teaching, prayer, and ministry issues) and “ministry networks” (virtual networks for those involved in training preachers has already emerged, and we have plans for a network for those involved in training and equipping women).
The French-speaking equivalent of TGC, led by Mike Evans, continues to grow their website and hosted a 2016 conference in France, May 25 to 28, with Henri Blocher, Don Carson, Kevin DeYoung, John Piper, and dozens of workshops. The theme of the event was “The Word and the Life of the Disciples in Light of the Cross (Mark 8–10).”
Providing theologically informed language translation services to the global church
We continue to lead a team of 170 translators who work in 9 languages. We manage complex and robust translation work for several ministries. This includes anything from live translation to seminary-level theological textbooks.
Global Resource Library
- We translate sermons and articles of trusted authors into several languages, with our highest output in Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese, Hindi, and Arabic. These digital resources have been accessed more than 50,000 times in 2016 from our Global Resource Library.
- In Portuguese, we are launching a social media strategy to expand the reach of our resources, now numbering over 1,000.
Innovating with new projects to spur the spread of the gospel and aid in discipleship
We are developing a free education platform TGC Learn (beta site), that will include courses on everything from traditional seminary subjects to historical figures to current social issues like sexual ethics. The purpose of this platform is to provide courses that do not require payment or signup or other barriers to entry that provide friction in the online Christian education process. This platform is designed to be used primarily on mobile devices. One of the core differences between TGC Learn and other online courses is that it does not have “instructors” but rather “curators.”
TGC has hundreds of writers who are experts in one area or another (such as professors, book writers, or PhDs in particular subjects), and their job will be to outline a course that walks people through the content in an easy-to-follow manner. These courses will never be finished or closed but rather always being tweaked as new content is created or discovered. This platform will also allow individual content pieces to be shared socially.
In short, this platform makes online education easier by removing barriers to entry, making it mobile friendly, including built-in marketing abilities, and offering it for free.
New City Catechism 2.0
We are undergoing a refresh of the New City Catechism, available online since 2012. In partnership with Crossway, next year we will publish The New City Catechism, with 52 questions four our hearts and minds, and The New City Catechism Devotional, featuring historical and contemporary commentary from Timothy Keller, John Piper, D. A. Carson, and many others. The John Templeton Foundation’s Character and Virtue Development department is providing a grant of $217,000 to help with producing these products, including original music with lyrics drawn from the catechism.
Note: Giving to TGC is being matched through end of 2016. Learn more here.
Give using your credit card through our secure online form.
Call us at 612-460-5402.
The Gospel Coalition Office of Advancement P.O. Box 583542 Minneapolis, MN 55458-3542
If you have questions, or would like to make a stock gift or see TGC’s financials, contact Dan Olson, director of advancement, at [email protected].