Nate Vander Stelt serves as the Executive Vice President for GACX.

GACX is bound together by a shared, measurable goal — what we summarize as the “one for 1000 vision.” That’s why one of our key focuses is helping members identify, establish, and evaluate effective partnerships that increase overall momentum. Another vital task is helping both members and the Church at large understand the progress being made in seeing multiplying churches established in every community.

I’m excited to announce that Steve Roa has joined the GACX team as GACX’s first Director of Research and Information. Steve brings to this role an extensive network and experience in gathering mission data, including time in the field working directly with church planting movements. He’s seen firsthand how data can be a catalyst for bringing together diverse mission groups and denominations to bring greater impact.

GACX asks members to provide an annual report of their work as a way to inform other members about their focus, capabilities, and needs. Implementer organizations (those directly making disciples and planting churches) also report the number of new churches they’ve planted in the past year. This is the foundation from which Steve will be working to increase the flow of information through our alliance, adding both new dynamics to what members share but also working on ways to make this information more accessible, timely, and actionable.

Steve notes that recently, many ministries with the funding and expertise for research have scaled back or discontinued their efforts. Yet good data is helpful for ministries to avoid duplicating efforts and maximize shared momentum. This creates a strategic opportunity for GACX to increase our capabilities to serve, especially with our focus of tracking new churches and sharing with our members where we see gaps still existing.

There are several challenges to increasing our alliance’s ability to collect and share data, including information provided by other groups or networks. Security is a key concern for many places. In other cases, it’s going to take some prayerful creativity to work around both technical and cultural barriers.

That’s why having a person with Steve’s background, expertise, and sensitivity is vital. I am excited to see how God will use Steve to help GACX members to turn information into opportunities that ultimately enable the good news can reach every person, churches can be planted, and the Bride of Christ can flourish.