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Leadership Network is Giving Birth to Exponential NEXT

I am grateful that you are a part of our community with a cause. As an important member of our Exponential community, I have an exciting and important update to share! Ready? Leadership Network is giving birth to Exponential NEXT!

Let me share some backstory. For many, many years, Exponential and Leadership Network have collaborated together on ministry initiatives. Three years ago, Exponential acquired Leadership Network. The purpose of the acquisition was to continue the work of helping leaders engage with innovative ideas and collaboration to advance the impact of the Church. The opportunity for Exponential was to introduce the Leadership Network audience to the church multiplication conversation. Our hope is to accelerate more disciple making and church planting to see 16% of churches in the United States become reproducing and multiplying.

Over the last year, myself and the Exponential team have prayerfully explored how Leadership Network can support Exponential in fulfilling its 16% mission. While Leadership Network as a brand and separate ministry will no longer exist, its rich history and legacy will continue on through Exponential NEXT.

Leadership Network holds an important and special place in my heart and ministry. I have been personally impacted by the people and ministry of Leadership Network as a lead pastor, including serving previously on the Leadership Network Board of Directors.

Personally, the late Bob Buford, founder and visionary of Leadership Network, was an important mentor of mine as well as my Exponential co-founder, Todd Wilson. Bob’s vision, intentionality, results orientation, and “my fruit grows on other people’s trees” humility has deeply marked my own leadership and has shaped what Exponential is today. We know at Exponential we stand on the shoulders of Bob Buford and the previous staff at Leadership Network.

Before I continue I want you to hear from Carrie Williams who has served as CEO of Leadership Network for the last two years:

I am thrilled for how Leadership Network will shift to be Exponential NEXT and continue as an intricate part of Exponential. Moving forward Exponential NEXT will have a laser-focus on discovering what is coming NEXT for the future of the church that can lead to accelerating church multiplication.

We will continue to walk the path pioneered by Leadership Network as we explore innovative models, methods, and approaches to reaching, discipling, and mobilizing people with a strong focus on church planting. Sharing our learnings with you along the way to help equip leaders through fresh content, NEXT Ventures, research, and events.

This change is one that I personally believe will bring the greatest Kingdom impact while honoring the legacy of Leadership Network that I love so much. I will continue to stay on staff with Exponential as the Executive Director of Exponential NEXT. I am honored to work with such an amazing team of humble, God loving, talented, and mission driven people at Exponential.

As Carrie said, as Exponential NEXT, we will continue to research and curate innovative principles along with convening pioneering leaders to resource you and thousands upon thousands of church leaders. We are going after a movement of the Gospel in our generation. I could not be more excited for how Exponential NEXT will help us to continue to move the needle for the percentage of churches who are reproducing and multiplying from 4% to now 7% to a tipping point of 16% and beyond.

As we move forward into the future I would like you to consider supporting the birth of Exponential NEXT in the following ways:

PRAY — We are focusing on reaching our 16% Mission. Specifically, we see the need for 60,000 church leaders committed to be what we call a Multiplier (a healthy disciple making leader who champions reproduction). This number would ensure that the church in the U.S. would not only remain but continue to advance as a movement! Join us in praying for 60,000 Multipliers, and for our team, as we guide more leaders to be Multipliers.

SHARE — We continue to hear from many of you about the impact Exponential and Leadership Network has had on you, your leadership, your church, and your network or denomination. We want to remind you that we believe it will be you and your friends who fulfill The 16% Mission and we are just simply here to help! We invite you to spread the word and share the free resources at your fingertips. The more people we have engaged, the faster that we together will get to 60,000 Multipliers! Find free resources and more by exploring our updated website.

ENGAGE — We are a community with a cause and we invite you to engage even deeper with us around The 16% Mission. You are called to not just simply manage church growth, but to be a Multiplier! We want you to connect and be inspired with like-minded leaders so we can move this mission forward, together. Join us at an upcoming Exponential gathering, for more visit this page.

On behalf of the entire Leadership Network and Exponential team THANK YOU for your partnership in the Gospel. I hope you will join us in our excitement about Exponential NEXT and join us on mission as we seek to multiply the church!

Your friend on mission,

Dave Ferguson
Exponential Co-founder and President

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Everything's changing. The world is in flux.

Everything’s changing.
The world is in flux.

And in ministry, there are no guarantees.

The change won’t stop. It will only accelerate. And through it all, faithful leaders will keep asking: What does Jesus want? How can we follow him today? And what will make the biggest impact in the future?

Spoiler alert—we don’t have the answers. But we believe leaders like you do.

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Topics To Multiply Your Insights


Get Up To Speed On AI For Churches


Church NEXT

Creating a Culture of Healthy Church Growth and Multiplication


Generation NEXT

Unleash The Missional Power of the Next Generation


Innovation NEXT

Exploring New Ideas for the Future Church


Microchurch NEXT

The Return of the Microchurch: The Original Design for the Church


Women NEXT

Empowering Women To Fully Embrace Their Missional Calling


Innovative Projects and Leaders

NEXT Ventures identifies innovative projects that are helping shape the future of the church. These projects are PRACTICAL, ACTIONABLE APPROACHES that historians will one day conclude were critical to the success of the church in the U.S. We have found and continue to seek to find, equip, and platform INNOVATIVE, PRACTITIONER LEADERS who are in the trenches making a difference!

Step 1

Pursue Next

Sharpen your skills and prepare for the ministry road. Discover the trusted guides and leading churches that will shape the Learning Community journey.

Step 2

Register You and Your Team

With Learning Communities spanning multiple church leader roles, you have the opportunity to share this experience with your team and extend the experience to more facets of your church.

Step 3

Collaborate and Innovate

Increase your confidence as a leader alongside other forward-thinking leaders serving in the same roles for shared learning and expanding ideas as you collaborate on the future of the church.


Insights From Thought Leaders To Help You Shape the Future of the Church


“Leadership Network, more than any organization, has empowered us to maximize our potential and opportunities to make the greatest Kingdom impact.”

Steve Stroope

Lakepointe Church

Leadership Network is moving forward today to accomplish the mission of investing in church leaders and mentoring the coming generations.

Dave Ferguson

Community Christian Church

In the early stages of my ministry, it was Leadership Network that saw potential and believed in me. Without their partnership, I would never have gotten out of the starting blocks. I am ever grateful for their investment and love.

Wayne Cordeiro

New Hope Church & College