Welcome to the Plant Strong Podcast!

What’s it really like to start a church? Have you already planted a church? Are you thinking about church planting or just curious about what goes into a church plant? Join host Sarah Burnett as she talks with women in church planting from all over the country who are courageously maximizing their role in planting strong churches. No topic will be off limits. This podcast was created by Bloom, a ministry of Stadia Church Planting, an organization that plants churches all over the world that intentionally care for children. Sarah and her husband Josh planted Revolution Church in Annapolis, MD in 2010.

Episode #17 – Debbie Jones & Being a Woman in Church Planting

Released: December 20, 2018
GUEST: Debbie Jones, Sr. Director of Bloom 

It’s always helpful to have someone ahead of us in the journey who has been there. This episode features the founder of Bloom, Debbie Jones, as she shares how this ministry got started and how she has encouraged countless women to live into their own calling.

Related Links:

Power of Moments by Chip and Dan Heath


Episode #16 – Starting Something New

Released: December 6, 2018
GUEST: Jessica Bettencourt, Entrepreneur & RFx Circle Achiever
One of the hardest parts about church planting is actually getting started! From actually starting a church to even beginning new programs or relationships, being a “starter” is an incredibly valuable skill to have. Jessica Bettencourt, Entrepreneur & RFx Circle Achiever, shares all about getting started and doing hard things in this encouraging episode of the Plant Strong Podcast!

Episode #15 – Developing Your Voice as a Speaker

Released: December 3, 2018
GUEST Interviewed by Heidy Tandy: Laura Buffington, Rebel Pilgrim Creative in Cincinnati, OH
30 women have been part of the “Preaching, Teaching, and Storytelling” Learning Community in 2018! This shows us that women in church planting are continuing to find their own unique voice. This episode features Laura Buffington, Content Developer for Rebel Pilgrim Creative Agency, and is a fantastic resource as you hone in on your speaking skillset—whether you’ve been preaching for years or are just getting started.
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Episode #14 – Church in Harlem

Released: November 8, 2018
GUEST: Jessica Rice, Director of Communication for Renaissance Church, Harlem 
This episode covers several different areas in Church Planting: an initial call, the journey to plant, urban church planting, being on staff with your spouse, life with young kids, and even some resources for fashion tips! Listen as Sarah interviews Jessica Rice, Communications Director at Renaissance Church—a 4-year-old Church Plant in Harlem.
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Episode #13 – Intercultural Competence

Released: October 11, 2018
GUEST: Michelle Williams with Heidy Tandy 
This episode features Michelle Williams, Dean of Students at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Michelle defines intercultural competence as having adequate knowledge, skills, and attributes necessary to interact in meaningful ways with people whose lives have been shaped by cultures different than your own—an incredibly important topic for any woman in church planting.
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Episode #12 – Growing in Confidence

Released: September 27, 2018
GUEST: Julie Bullock Tulsa, OK 
Confidence. What does healthy confidence look like for women in church planting? Listen as Sarah interviews Julie Bullock, Senior Generosity Strategist at Generis, who had some unique insights into confidence, calling, and how to embrace your own uniqueness as you plant strong!
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Episode #11 – Positivity in Planting

Released: August 15, 2018
GUEST: Anne Milam with Heidy Tandy, Dallas,TX 
Anne Milam has played a lot of roles in her 25+ years in ministry and has obtained a lot of wisdom along the way. Heidy Tandy interviews Anne in this episode of the Plant Strong Podcast about how she has stayed positive and maintained an attitude of joy through several stages in her life!
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Episode #10 – Soul Care

Released: August 1, 2018
GUEST: Mindy Caliguire, Soul Care, Boulder, CO
How do you prioritize soul care in the busy world of church planting? According to this episode’s guest, Mindy Caliguire, founder of Soul Care, there is a way to live that doesn’t suck the living daylights out of you! This encouraging conversation will help nourish your soul on the journey.
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Episode #9 – Vulnerability

Released: July 18, 2018
GUEST: Mandy Smith, University Christian Church, Cincinnati, OH
Do you ever have trouble admitting that you’re actually an imperfect human? During this practical conversation, Mandy Smith, Pastor of University Christian Church in Cincinnati, tackles the topic of vulnerability and weakness in leadership and what it really looks like to lead strong.
Related Links:
The Vulnerable Pastor by Mandy Smith
The Prophetic Imagination by Walter Brueggmann

Episode #8 – What About Women?

Released: July 4, 2018
GUEST: Greg Nettle, Stadia Church Planting (Akron, OH)
What an interesting time in the world to be a woman in church planting! In this special episode of the Plant Strong Podcast, Stadia President Greg Nettle—and also a husband, dad, and former pastor—shares three important insights for women that will challenge and encourage you as you learn and lead in 2018.
Related Links:
Connect with Greg on Twitter @gregnettle or on Instagram @nettleg1

Episode #7 –  Faith & Justice

Released: June 19, 2018
GUEST: Chi Chi Okwu, World Vision (Chicago, IL)Chi Chi Okwu
What does it truly mean to love our neighbors? Chi Chi Okwu, Senior Community Relations Advisor at World Vision, discusses this question, as well as several other challenging questions for women in church planting as we consider the intersections between our faith and justice.
Related Links:
Connect with Chi Chi on Insta and Twitter @chichiokwu

Episode #6 – Intentional Summer

Released: June 5, 2018
GUEST: Karrie Thomas, Restore Christian Church (Silver Spring, MD)
In this episode Karrie shares a lot of what summer looks like with kids, but there’s also a lot of great ideas for whatever stage of life you’re at in church planting–especially in the area of connecting with God and resting. As the Associate Pastor at Restore Christian Church, she shares some practical examples of how to have fun with your church and family over the summer.
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Episode #5 – The Comparison Game

Released: May 22, 2018
GUEST: Dori Gorman, NewStory Church (Chicago, IL)Dori Gorman
As women in church planting, we can easily fall into playing the comparison game: constantly comparing ourselves to others in countless ways. In this episode, Dori Gorman shares her experiences with comparison in ministry and practical ways that she fights comparison in her co-pastoring role at NewStory Church. You will be challenged not only to escape the comparison game, but also to hold tightly to Jesus!

Episode #4 – Plant Strong: Legacy

Released: Apr 24, 2018
GUEST: Gail Hamilton, Vibrant A Christian Church (Mechanicsburg, PA)
When you think about leaving a legacy, what comes to mind? Gail Hamilton shares about empowering other women, both in her daily life and around the world. You may want to have a tissue ready for this one.

Episode #3 – Plant Strong: Boundaries

Released: Apr 24, 2018
GUEST: Suzi Lantz, RiverTree Christian Church (Canton, OH)
Sometimes in ministry we just get tired, overspent, and burnt out. Join Suzi Lantz as she shares how she says yes to the important things and no to the rest on her quest to still be rocking out healthy ministry throughout her entire life.
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Episode #2 – Plant Strong: Embracing the Unexpected

Released: Apr 24, 2018

GUEST: Lisa Bennett (Atlanta, GA)

Do you have expectations about what you believe your church planting story will look like? Lisa Bennett candidly shares about how God continues to show her how to deal with detours and ambiguity through the ups and downs of this journey.
Related Link:
Join Stadia’s “Bloom”

Episode #1 – Plant Strong: Accepting the Call

Released: Apr 9, 2018

GUEST: Vanessa Pugh, Velocity Church (Cleveland, OH)

How do you figure out if you are called to plant a church? At 19 years old Vanessa became a Christian and shortly thereafter a pastor’s wife. For Vanessa and her husband Scott church planting was not even on their radar. After attending church planter assessment center they knew they were called to plant a church, and that God had truly been preparing them.

Follow Bloom!