tom jones 15 years of church planting reflections

Stadia Church Planting turns 15 this year. It’s been an adventure for sure. In 2017 we planted 109 churches, the most ever for one year in the history of Stadia. Early this year Stadia passed the 500 milestone for the total number of churches planted in our 15 year history.

I have a daily prayer list that I try to be diligent to pray over every day. Don’t be too impressed. I miss days. On that list I have family, friends, Stadia team members, partners, planters, our Compassion sponsored children, discipleship journey group members, and a number of other things. I also have the number 100. I prayed for years that by the time I retired from Stadia (not retiring any time soon ☺, this is way too much fun) we would be planting 100 churches per year.

Today I crossed out 100 and added a zero. I am now praying for 1,000 churches per year. 

We are celebrating on many levels the legacy of Stadia’s first 15 years, but I am most excited about what God is going to do in the next 15 years.

To be honest, deep down in my heart, I wasn’t sure we would ever reach 100. My doubt was lame, I know. However, my faith is now overwhelmingly telling me that 1,000 churches per year is going to happen. 1,000 is not just a number. It represents 1,000 Kingdom outposts, local churches, the body of Christ in 1,000 communities, the bride of Christ making sure that EVERY CHILD HAS A CHURCH.

How are we going to do it? Good question. It’s one that keeps me awake at night. If you know anything about Stadia, you know our church planters and staff team don’t ponder on things too long. We are Kingdom outcome driven. We have been methodically and strategically growing our infrastructure, adding high impact team members, and building relationships with strategic partners. Our systems and processes are being fine-tuned so we indeed will be ready for 1,000 new churches a year. More important, this year our President, Greg Nettle, is leading us to recruit 15,000 prayer partners to undergird all we do in prayer.

1,000 CHURCHES PER YEAR! That my friends is what I’m giving my life to. Jump on board. It’s going to be a great ride.

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 and pickleball player, 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.

Become a Stadia 15,000 Prayer Partners!

Throughout 2018 we’ll celebrate what God has done so far through 15 years of church planting, while anticipating even greater things ahead. “15 ” will catapult us to the next level of church planting so that we’re regularly planting over 150 new churches annually, every one of them intentionally caring for children. This is an aggressive goal, one we know can’t be accomplished out of our own efforts. So the first and truly most important step is to mobilize 15,000 partners who will pray regularly for God’s power to be unleashed in unprecedented ways through church planting. Please become a Stadia Prayer Partner by filling out the form below. Then watch for monthly e-mails with specific prayer needs. We believe your prayers are vital. Together, we won’t stop until Every Child Has a Church!