Gene Appel has become a great partner with Stadia in starting new churches. In fact, Eastside has pioneered our work in Mexico, planting churches where Compassion International can care for hundreds of children through child development sponsorship programs.

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 8.34.37 AMReally glad that Gene has agreed to be our guest during a breakfast event Stadia will host during this month’s North American Christian Convention. Check out this video to hear about Eastside’s experience. Then if you’ll be in town for NACC or you’re in the Cincinnati area, make plans to join us for breakfast on Thursday June 25 at 7:30 a.m. You’ll hear more from Gene about the powerful Kingdom results that takes place when you combine church planting and caring for children. […]

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*Presenting the Wess Stafford “Too Small To Ignore” award to Ben and Shaina Thompson. I have watched this young church planting couple for several years and they truly model what it means to value children.

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*Meeting the up and coming Stadia church planters. What a bunch of rock stars! Love their diversity. Love their hearts. Love their vision.

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*Being part of the pre-conference on developing a generous church. Dusty Rubeck, Phil Ling, Julie Bullock and Steve Porter were incredible teachers.

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*Raising more than $120,000 at the Stadia celebration to plant 10 new multi-ethnic Latino churches in the U.S. Thanks to everyone who so generously invested. […]

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IMG_1420ALL children are at risk.

There are dangers and diseases that stem from poverty and there are dangers and diseases that stem from prosperity.

Throughout my travels to some of the darkest points of poverty on the planet I have witnessed firsthand the dangers and diseases that stem from poverty. And as a result of raising children in the United States I have also witnessed firsthand the dangers and diseases that stem from prosperity.

I have seen children eat dirt to fill their stomachs and children struggling with obesity from too many trips to the nearest fast food chain restaurant. I have paddled a canoe through sewage-strewn water to reach the home of a child living on an island in Ecuador and I have driven my SUV to relatively cavernous homes to visit children living in isolation in the suburbs of the U.S. […]

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Future Travelers_March 23 2015I recently had the opportunity to spend the day with a small group of high capacity business and church leaders.  (Thanks to Bob Buford for being such a gracious host!)  I took several pages of notes as I learned from these amazing guys.  Here are some of my takeaways:

*Being healthy means you are self-sustaining.  Thriving means you are self-sustaining and blessing others–you are multiplying.  This is true in your personal life and in the organization you are leading.

*There is no “right” structure.  In a growing organization structure is always shifting.

*Leaders must spend 80% of their time getting the right talent and nurturing the right talent on their team.   […]

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easter-peopleThis Easter weekend more than 60,000 people will gather in Stadia new church plants around the world. 60,000 people that God loves deeply. 60,000 people that desperately need to know the amazing, life-transforming hope that Jesus brings.

Would you please join me in praying for these young churches?

Our Mighty and Most Holy Heavenly Father,

We thank You that on this Easter weekend we remember and celebrate the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. We thank You for the incredible love that sent Jesus to the cross. We thank You for the unparalleled power that raised Jesus from the dead–the same power that is alive in Your church and at work in each of our lives. […]

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Great things happening…check out this video.

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There is a fascinating story about Jesus recounted in Luke chapter 8. Jesus had a crowd around him when a man named Jairus approached him. Jairus fell at Jesus’ feet and begged him to come to his home because his 12-year-old daughter—his only child—was dying. And so Jesus starts pushing his way through the throng of people in an attempt to make it to the man’s home.

People were clamoring for Jesus’ attention. They wanted their needs met. They were hungry for healing. They continually reached out to touch him. At one point Jesus stops and a woman who has been ill for years is healed. […]

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March 9th through the 12th, Stadia and Compassion International partnered together to take 26 leaders on a vision trip to experience child sponsorship and church planting firsthand. The location was Santa Elena, Ecuador.

I had the privilege of being on that trip. Here are my top five experiences of the week . . .

*Seeing my friend Kenton meet his newly sponsored little girl for the first time.

*Listening to Christian (yes, that’s his real name) play and sing a worship song at his home. Christian and his entire family recently became followers of Jesus at a newly planted Stadia/Compassion church.   […]

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Julie and I were traveling by bus along with 20 other leaders from the U.S.A. from Bogota to Cartagena. Just the previous day we had flown from our home in Northern Ohio to Colombia, South America.

As we settled in for the multi-hour bus-ride, our conversation turned toward the children of Colombia. Specifically the children who would be part of Compassion International’s ministry at two of the new churches Stadia was in the process of planting.

Our friend Erik, who works for Compassion, handed us six child-sponsorship packets representing six of the children that could be sponsored at the churches we would be visiting. […]

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I recently spoke with Vince Antonucci about the important work that he is doing planting churches in some of the darkest places.  If you are a church planter with Christ-like compassion for those furthest from God, check out this video and visit


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