the gathering

Your Story Isn’t Odd

Nov 11, 2022

It’s the standard question to ask when you meet someone.

Them: “What do you do?”
You: “I’m a church planter.”
Them: “Oh that’s cool.  So, you’re in construction.  Do you travel a lot?”

Or perhaps the conversation goes something like this.

Them: “What do you do?”
You: “I’m a pastor and I’m starting a church here.”
Them: “Oh, that’s nice.”

But by the tone and body language, you know that it’s not nice but instead there’s a story of hurt or judgement there.

As a church planter, we’re all a little different in our normal everyday contexts. Maybe even misunderstood. That’s why being a part of a community that gets it is so important. That’s the Stadia village at Exponential.  It’s like a family reunion. Your story isn’t odd. Everyone understands the burden you carry.  It’s what I imagine a comic-con would be like.  Everyone is maybe a little odd wearing their costume to the office but when you’re all together, it’s just normal.

Every year I go to Exponential Conference, and it’s not the amazing speakers I remember the most. It’s the conversation around the pool with another church planter. Someone who understands.  Maybe it’s a celebration moment over someone coming to faith. Maybe it’s a time of prayer together over something hard.  Or maybe it’s just talking about last weekend’s football game. When I’m at the Stadia village, I’m with my people.

Maybe it’s your first time attending and the thought of walking into someone else’s family reunion, isn’t appealing.  Just invest the time.  This will be your family too. You’ll leave with new friendships: people to call who understand.

Maybe you don’t see yourself as a church planter. You’re thinking about it or considering getting your church into multiplication.  You’re in good company.  When we started, we all felt the same way. But beware! Church planting is addicting. You’re going to leave with an excitement to start churches.

If you need to be with your people (you do), if you need a break from the grind (you do), if sunny Florida in February sounds amazing, come join the Stadia family at Exponential!  We’ll see you there.

Join Stadia @ Exponential Conference 2023

Stay with us at Exponential 2023 in Orlando, Florida and experience exclusive Stadia events. Plus, comfortably access our entire network of church planters, partners, and friends―Not to mention you’ll score discounted rates for conference tickets and hotel reservations.

Doug Foltz

Doug Foltz


Doug is a self proclaimed church planting junkie and has been involved with church planting most of his adult life. He helped plant LifePointe Christian Church in Charlotte, NC in 2004 and has served as a project manager since 2008. His passion is to help church planters accelerate their vision to reach the lost. In his spare time, Doug enjoys gardening, traveling, Illinois basketball and coaching his kids’ sports teams. His greatest supporter is his wife, Amanda. Together they live in Illinois, where they have two kids, Will and Kate.