Connection, Camaraderie, & Challenge
Exponential is always a highlight of our year! Besides getting away and being inspired by all things church planting, this conference has been instrumental in refreshing our souls throughout our church planting journey. My husband and I have been very intentional about putting Exponential on the calendar each year. We decided early on that church planting was a team effort, which means we made every effort for me to be able to attend conferences alongside my husband. I’m so glad we started our church planting journey with Exponential!
Church planting can feel very lonely at times. Reconnecting with church planting friends we’ve met along the way and making new connections is one of my favorite things about Expo. One of the most meaningful moments in our church planting journey took place at Exponential! In 2013, we attended Expo for our first time and were commissioned by our new Stadia family. What a feeling it was to have so many people gathered around us who knew church planting so well. All of a sudden, what we were about to embark on didn’t feel as lonely. And so the connections began. From that day on, we have had a network of people to reach out to and resources for anything and everything that comes up in church planting. We continue to see our Stadia family year after year and have built priceless relationships.
All of these connections have led to an amazing feeling of camaraderie. There is sense that we’re all here for the same purpose and we just “get it”. There’s nothing like reuniting with like-minded women who are on a very similar path and know what you’re going through. There is a closeness and loyalty shared among us; a sense that we are all journeying together. The Bloom Breakfast is one of the best things about the Exponential conference. It is so exciting to see Bloom grow and have a room packed with all different types of women playing all different types of roles, but all there for the same purpose. It doesn’t matter if you’re working in a career, a stay at home mom, or have a staff position at your church plant, the Bloom Leadership Team creates a space for women in church planting to breathe, to feel special, and to be encouraged to fulfill what God has called them to do. I have said this before and I’ll say it again, I have never in all my years of ministry felt so supported like I do now since partnering with Stadia and Bloom seven years ago.
No matter what role you find yourself in during each season of church planting, Exponential offers a variety of teaching especially geared towards church planting. My kids were still fairly young when we began our planting journey. I remember feeling the need to protect them and make sure we put our family first. During the first session I attended, I can recall looking through the different tracks you could attend for the breakout sessions scheduled throughout the conference. I was very impressed to see a track geared towards women in church planting, raising children, and maintaining healthy marriages. Up until this point, these weren’t subjects I regularly saw offered at conferences we’d attended. I knew then that we weren’t just attending another conference. Exponential is designed to equip all roles for church planting. Since then, we’ve attended all types of workshops, main sessions, and worship sessions that have touched and challenged our hearts deeply.
It hasn’t always been easy to carve out time for me to attend Exponential. There have been times where I almost didn’t make it. We have more to on our to do list than hours in a day! We have to find childcare and make sure all the kids’ activities are covered. The demands of ministry can make it hard to get away. But we have found Exponential to be a crucial part of each year. This has made such a difference in our ministry and it is worth every effort to make Expo a priority. I hope to see YOU next year at Exponential 2020!
Kasey and her husband David have been working in churches together across Illinois for the past 25 years. They have three children, Benn, Will and Emma. In 2013 they felt like God was leading them to plant a church in their hometown of Washington. Their love for the community, and their desire to see their unchurched neighbors and friends discover Jesus was the inspiration behind this big step.