I awoke in the middle of the night. It was one of those times when, try as I might, sleep was not going to return. It was one of those times when I sensed that God wanted to speak into my life.

The burning question with which I had been wrestling? “Why plant new churches?” Since I had moved into my new role as President of Stadia I had been asked numerous times, “Why do we need more churches?”

What compels church planters to move away from family, friends, security . . . to begin a new church in a new community? What motivates investors to give thousands upon thousands of dollars to begin new works in God’s Kingdom? What drives followers of Jesus into the cities of America to share the Good News? What calls us to Ecuador to work with children at risk, work with indigenous church planters, to bring hope where there is none?

These are the questions that brought me wide awake at 3 A.M. And so I prayed. And I asked the questions of God. And I listened.

The answer was a simple reply: “I’ll give you 7 billion reasons.”

7 billion people that inhabit this glorious planet. 7 billion people that God loves with all of His heart. 7 billion people that need the hope that only Jesus can bring. 7 billion people that have been entrusted to you and to me.

Why plant new churches? I’ll give you 7 billion reasons.