Ministry Essentials International

The information on this page was last updated 9/21/2023. If you see errors or omissions, please email: [email protected]


Ministry Essentials, International (MEI) is a non-profit mission agency that establishes and cultivates spiritual community among Christian leaders and their families serving internationally. As a soul care and spiritual formation mission, we purpose to spiritually nourish Christian leaders by:
-Joining their journey of faith
-Challenging their assumptions about life and God
-Igniting a deeper hope in Him

Contact information

Mailing address:
Ministry Essentials International
PO Box 4947
Wheaton, IL 60189-4947


Phone: 630-580-5750

Email: [email protected]

Organization details

EIN: 752661374

CEO/President: Dr. David Shepherd

Chairman: Annette Haskins

Board size: 7


Ruling year: 1996

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 12/31

Member of ECFA: Yes

Member of ECFA since: 2020


We are passionate about two things: Growing in intimacy with the Trinity and inviting others to the same. We long for an extravagant devotion that embraces intimacy with God as the foundation for all things vibrant, joyful, and enduring.

Workers can be so focused on working FOR God that they lose sight of their lives IN God, becoming disconnected from Him and the people they serve. This obscures the Gospel message and limits their capacity to love people well.

Therefore, our vision is to cultivate spiritual communities which REVITALIZE the global worker and VALIDATE the Gospel message around the world.

Mission statement

Our mission is to join Christian leaders in their journey of faith, challenge their assumptions about God and life and ignite a deeper hope in him.

Statement of faith

We believe that there is one God eternally existing in three persons - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is the Creator of all things. The doctrine of the Trinity forms the foundation in our understanding of what it means to be relational and that we are not fully ourselves apart from community. (Gen 1:1; Jn 1:1; Mt 3:16-17; 2 Cor 13:14)

We believe in Jesus Christ, God in human flesh, who came to this world to die for our sins and who was bodily raised from the dead. (1 Cor 15:1-8)

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Living God, who draws people to Christ and who lives in every person who has received Christ. (Jn 16:8-9; Acts 2:38; Eph 1:13-14)

We believe the Bible is the only infallible, inspired, and authoritative Word of God. As such it is our final authority for all matters of faith and Christian practice. (2 Tim 3:14-16)

We believe that man, created by God, willfully sinned and as a result, is lost and without hope apart from Jesus Christ. (Rms 3:23, 6:23; Acts 4:12)

We believe that salvation-the forgiveness of sins-is available only by the grace of God through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. This free gift of salvation is offered to all who receive Christ as Lord and Saviour. (Jn. 3:16; Eph 2:8-9; Col 2:6)

We believe the Bible clearly teaches the pattern to receive Christ is to believe in Jesus as God's Son and Saviour of the world, repent of personal sin, and confess Christ publicly. (Rms 10:9; Acts 2:36-38, Mk 16:16)

We believe in one holy, universal, and apostolic Church. Its calling is to worship and witness concerning its Head, Jesus Christ, preaching the Gospel among all nations and demonstrating its commitment by compassionate service to the needs of human beings and by promoting righteousness and justice. Its central purpose is to become a spiritual community where people profoundly connect with God and each other. (Mt 16:13-18; Acts 2:14-47)

We believe in the necessity of the work of the Holy Spirit for the individual's new birth and growth to maturity, and for the Church's constant renewal in truth, wisdom, faith, holiness, love, power, and mission. The resources of the New Covenant provide salvation and empower personal growth. (Jn 14:25-26; Gal 5:16-25; Eph 2:11-22)

We believe that death seals the eternal destiny of each person (Heb 9:27). Those who are forgiven will spend eternity with God in heaven; those not forgiven will be eternally separated from God in hell. (Jn 5:28-29; Dan 12:2; 2 Cor 4:14; Acts 17:31)

We believe in the personal return and victorious reign of Jesus Christ, who will judge in equity and justice all people who have ever lived, giving over those who were unrepentant to eternal condemnation but receiving the redeemed into eternal life. (Acts 1:11; 2 Pe 3:9-10; Rev 19:11-16)

Donor confidence score

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Transparency grade


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Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Foreign Missions

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating591 of 111275 of 146
Fund acquisition rating661 of 111391 of 146
Resource allocation rating694 of 111393 of 146
Asset utilization rating368 of 111242 of 146

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$2,350$2,955$0$760$0
Short-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$686,411$685,117$607,273$444,624$310,811
Long-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Fixed assets$143,045$131,648$144,815$157,980$115,257
Other long-term assets$6,379$217$1,984$4,333$0
Total long-term assets$149,424$131,865$146,799$162,313$115,257
Total assets$835,835$816,982$754,072$606,937$426,068
Payables and accrued expenses$6,358$4,169$8,506$13,272$0
Other current liabilities$0$0$0$0$0
Total current liabilities$6,358$4,169$8,506$13,272$0
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$0$0$0$0$3,316
Total long-term liabilities$0$0$0$0$3,316
Total liabilities$6,358$4,169$8,506$13,272$3,316
Net assets20222021202020192018
Without donor restrictions$344,245$352,515$340,396$327,812$0
With donor restrictions$485,232$460,298$405,170$265,853$0
Net assets$829,477$812,813$745,566$593,665$422,752
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$1,625,386$1,525,023$1,369,323$1,245,984$953,989
Program service revenue$0$0$0$0$0
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$459$137$406$410$477
Other revenue$0$0$0$0$0
Total other revenue$459$137$406$410$477
Total revenue$1,625,845$1,525,160$1,369,729$1,246,394$954,466
Program services$1,320,359$1,194,342$1,010,910$929,825$830,307
Management and general$180,709$171,940$144,980$89,580$49,863
Total expenses$1,609,181$1,457,913$1,217,828$1,071,822$887,720
Change in net assets20222021202020192018
Surplus (deficit)$16,664$67,247$151,901$174,572$66,746
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets$16,664$67,247$151,901$174,572$66,746


James WartianManaging Director$52,000
Jeanni ShepherdDirector$45,977
David ShepherdGuiding Director (president)$43,161

Compensation data as of: 12/31/2022

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.

The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 9/21/2023. To update the information below, please email: [email protected]


Ministry Essentials, Int'l (MEI) began in 1996, as a means of getting David and Jeanni Shepherd overseas.

As children of parents in full-time ministry, David and Jeanni learned early that people in ministry have few people to talk to and few places to go when they hit hard times. The Shepherds longed to provide nourishment for people's souls, so that when a crisis did come, internal resources and a thriving walk with God were in place to help them weather the storm. After "pitching" this idea to several agencies, most everyone agreed that such a ministry would be more effective as a separate entity. The Shepherds could assist agencies in caring for their people. This "outsider" position made trust and confidentiality issues much easier for everyone. So, in 1996 in Dallas, Texas, Ministry Essentials was incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

From there, God took the Shepherds to Hungary to develop a model of proactive care. After five years, David and Jeanni left for Hong Kong to explore China, and finally on to Chiang Mai, Thailand, to start a work in Southeast Asia. In 2008, the Lord brought like-hearted families to serve alongside them, strengthening, deepening and expanding His work. As the MEI Staff has grown to now 19 families in 2021, our energy, ideas, passion, and reach have grown, too. We're excited to see what He will bring to us next!

Program accomplishments

In 2020, even during COVID-19 lockdowns, Ministry Essentials Staff were able to JOIN an average of 234 Global Workers a month in 63 countries serving with more than 180 Churches & Agencies.