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My good friend Scott Pugh shares some advice on how to elevate the value
of children in church planting. Five years ago, Scott and Vanessa planted
Velocity Church in Cleveland, Ohio. Scott is the author of the recently
released book: Children Matter. Take a look at this short video.


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IMG_2397I just received a message from Wess Stafford that says, “Oh my goodness . . . my very last day as Compassion’s President!”

Which prompts me to pray . . .

Our most compassionate Heavenly Father, thank you for revealing your heart through your servant, Wess Stafford.

Thank you for the difference you have used him to make in the lives of millions of children around the world.

Thank you for the awareness of children at risk that you have used him to bring in the lives of thousands of churches throughout the United States and globally.

Thank you for his openness to planting new churches where no churches previously existed. […]

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I did not summit Mount Rainier and yet this was perhaps the most gratifying climb I have experienced.

We began our summit bid from high camp at 1 A.M.  Traversing a glacier by the light of my headlamp and a much brighter full moon I repeatedly sang the words to my favorite Matt Redman worship song:

The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes.

After ascending through boulders, volcanic scree and spectacular ice formations I finally arrived at the top of Disappointment Cleaver.   […]

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By the end of this year, Stadia’s vision to amp up the powerful combination between church planting and caring for children will result in 21 new churches in Latin America. Because Compassion runs their programs ONLY through the local church, each of these new churches will see at least 200 children gain access to sponsorship and all its life-transforming benefits.

That means Stadia needs to recruit sponsors for thousands of Compassion children this year!

You can help us take significant steps toward this goal and existing sponsorship needs by hosting a Compassion Sunday at your home church. A Compassion Sunday features: […]

Emphasis on Compassion sponsorships and the spiritual, physical, educational and emotional impact they have on children.

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A top economist has confirmed what I already knew about the pictures hanging on my refrigerator door … Child Sponsorship Works! Check out this article from Christianity Today.

“ … You could beat this data senseless, and it was incapable of showing anything other than extremely large and statistically significant impacts on educational outcomes for sponsored children.”


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The Exponential conference is the largest gathering of church planters on the planet.  And this year’s Exponential Conference certainly exceeded my expectations!  Here are a few of my favorite Exponential experiences.

1.  2 new church plants funded in Latin America.  Everything about the Stadia banquet at the Hard Rock Café was wonderful.  But, for me, the most wondrous moment came at the end when church planters, churches, individuals and organizations committed $160,000 to launch two new churches in South America.

2.  The first ever Wess Stafford Too Small To Ignore award.  Scott and Vanessa Pugh were honored with Stadia’s inaugural award that lifts up the value of children.  […]

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This past Saturday morning, Dr. Scott Todd (Sr. VP of Compassion International) and I sat at my kitchen table and reminisced about his visit six years before.  The weekend of his 2007 visit we had team taught during RiverTree’s weekend gatherings.  To dramatically illustrate the number of children that die every 24 hours as a result of poverty or poverty-related preventable diseases we poured 30,000 BBs from multiple pitchers into a galvanized metal tub.  With a microphone placed beneath the tub, the never-ending din of the BBs was deafening.

This past weekend, Scott once again taught at RiverTree.  As we closed the teaching time together we once again approached the galvanized metal tub with the microphone placed beneath. […]

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Top 5 reasons to plant churches with Stadia.
1.  Impact.

Stadia is committed to planting high impact churches.  Over the past 10 years we have launched more than 200 new churches in the U.S. alone.  In 2013 we are anticipating the launch of 46 new churches!  This is all accomplished with a success rate that exceeds 90%.

2.  Relationships.

Stadia is committed to maintaining healthy relationships with everyone involved in the church planting effort.  Our planter care for the church planter, spouse and family is absolutely exceptional.  We work in a collaborative fashion that partners local churches, Kingdom minded individuals and launch teams who synergistically plant new churches resulting in exponential impact for God’s Kingdom. […]

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With this week’s passing of the leadership baton from Wess Stafford (President of Compassion International) to Santiago “Jimmy” Mellado (congratulations Jim!), I have been reflecting on the myriad of life lessons I have learned from my mentor and friend–Wess.

Not included in my Top 5 list is the foundational principle that EVERY CHILD MATTERS.  Children matter because they are close to the heart of God, they are the future, and they simply cannot fend for themselves.  This truth has led my family to sponsor numerous children through Compassion, visit and care for children around the globe, become foster parents and ultimately to adopt our son.   […]

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In my last post I listed one of my indicators of success in life is to pass my faith on to my children.  Specifically, I wrote, “I want to see our children, Tabitha and Elijah, launched into the world fully equipped as Kingdom livers who are deeply in love with Jesus.”

I certainly know that ultimately the choice for who Tabitha and Elijah place their faith in relies completely with them.  However, I also believe that we as parents are charged with helping them determine who to place their faith in, processing life experiences that will help them understand their faith, and living in such a manner that allows them to imitate our faith. […]

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