Bloom is Stadia’s ministry to women in church planting. During Exponential West last month, Bloom hosted a breakfast to celebrate and talk about exciting things happening in the ministry. I was interviewed by my wife, Debbie, during the breakfast. I was asked the following questions.
Why do you and Stadia champion Bloom?
This is a great question and one I am very passionate about. I’ve spent most of my life championing women and here’s why.
First, God champions women. In His sovereignty God created women in His image with gifts, skills, personalities, and experiences that are tremendous assets to the body of Christ. Like all of humanity, he has redeemed their life experiences to be a gift to the church. Every woman is a gift from God to the church. From a theological perspective, I personally and Stadia corporately champions women. From a practical perspective, Stadia would be stupid not to affirm what women bring to church planting. When Debbie and I left both churches we planted together, they said, “You can leave, but we keep her!” They knew I was much easier to replace than her.
If married, God never calls half of a couple to church planting. Church planting is a game where everybody is all in. To not recognize what women bring to church planting is a practical nightmare. The void that would be left if women were not present would be huge. Finally, from a very deep personal level, I come from a family of very strong women. My mother, sisters (my sister Sue was ordained when she was 70 years old), aunts, my wife Debbie, my daughter and daughter in-law, and then there are Cora, Cece and Mila—my sweet, spunky granddaughters — were or are incredibly gifted women. My personal spiritual DNA came from the strength of women. Stadia will always champion women.
Why is the future of Bloom vital to the future of Stadia?
Nobody else does what Bloom does. There are no other church planting organizations that provide the comprehensive program for women like Bloom does. By the end of this year, Bloom will have more than doubled since the beginning of the year to serve 400 women. Bloom develops leaders better than any other ministry of Stadia. So goes Bloom, so goes Stadia!
What’s your hope for Bloom?
My prayer is that it won’t be long before we see 1000 empowered, gifted, and passionate women gathered for the Bloom Breakfast at Exponential. My vision is those women would be deployed by God to transform their communities via church planting. There are tons of examples throughout the world of organizations of women who have dramatically grown their companies and organizations. How can we expect less from the God of the universe? Women, you are the church, the Body of Christ, God’s chosen people, you are a royal priesthood! Go for it!
This is the fifth post in a multi-article series called “Church Planting: It’s All About Relationships” by Stadia’s Executive Director Tom Jones. Read related articles HERE.
Dr. Thomas F. Jones, Jr.
Executive Director, Stadia
Driven by his passion for the local church and people to know Christ, and decades of experience in the world of church planting, Tom has been a part of the Stadia team since 2003. Having planted churches with his wife Debbie Jones in Centerville, OH and Princeton, NJ, Tom is a visionary leader who understands the mission of Stadia in a unique way. His role as Executive Director involves direct oversight of the implementation of Stadia’s vision, strategic plan, and operations. Outside of his Stadia role, Tom also served as a tenured professor at Emmanuel School of Religion for 11 years and was the editor and primary author of Church Planting from the Ground Up. Although Tom is an avid tennis player and golfer, his greatest joy is found in spending time with his family … his wonderful wife Debbie (who also works for Stadia), their daughter, Melanie, along with her husband Jade and daughters, Cora and Celia, and their son, Tom, and his wife Stephanie, and their daughter, Emilia.
Are you a catalytic leader who is ready to start a great church? Stadia is ready to help!