In this inaugural episode of The Church Planting Podcast, Todd Wilson and Justin Moxley talk to Greg Nettle about the question that comes to many minds when thinking about church planting – why?

Todd Wilson

Todd Wilson founded and currently serves as the CEO of Exponential (, a national non-profit ministry whose core focus is distributing thought leadership through conferences, books, podcasts, software, and small group learning communities.

Todd is passionate about the local church and the starting of healthy, high‐impact new churches. He enjoys starting new things focused on Kingdom impact and multiplication, as well as helping others create an image of future possibilities and the strategy to implement them.

Todd is co-founder of, Passion for Planting (, Made for More, and the Multipliers Project.

Todd received my B.S. in nuclear engineering from North Carolina State University and a master’s degree equivalent from the Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory. He spent 15 years serving in the Division of Naval Reactors on nuclear submarine design, operation, maintenance, and overhaul.

After a two-year wrestling match with God, Todd entered full‐time vocational ministry as the Executive Pastor at New Life Christian Church where he played a visionary and strategic role for several years as New Life grew and implemented key initiatives such as multisite, externally focused, and church planting. His passion for starting healthy new churches continues to increase, and he now spends most of his energy engaged in a wide range of leading-edge and pioneering initiatives aimed at helping catalyze movements of healthy, reproducing churches.

Tod is also passionate about seeing people discover and deploy their unique personal calling.

Todd is a certified Life Planner and strategically invests in the lives of several leaders and organizations each year. He has written/co-written multiple books, including Stories of Sifted (with Eric Reiss)(2012), Spark: Igniting a Culture of Multiplication (2014), Becoming a Level Five Multiplying Church (with Dave Ferguson)(2015), Dream Big, Plan Smart (with Will Mancini)(2016)More: Find Your Personal Calling and Live Life to the Fullest Measure (2016), Dream Big Workbook (with Will Mancini)(2016), Dream Big Questions (with Bill Couchenour)(2016), Multipliers: Leading Beyond Addition (2017), The Legacy of a Hero Maker (with Dave Ferguson – 2018), Made for More (with Rob Wegner in 2018), Mega-Multi-Multiply (with Ralph Moore in 2018) and The Mobilization Flywheel (with Larry Walkemeyer in 2019).

Todd lives in Manassas, Virginia, with his wife Anna.  They have two grown boys, Ben and Chris, and two beautiful daughter-in-laws, Therese and Mariah.

Todd’s passions?

  • His family
  • The local church
  • Kingdom opportunities with potential for impact and multiplication
  • Helping Kingdom-minded leaders find their sweet spot of calling
  • Starting new things, including healthy new churches
Justin Moxley

Growing up in a rural church, serving in a mega church and leading a new church, Justin has been involved in nearly all aspects of the church and church planting. Justin is on the teaching team of his local church, has served as an adjunct professor and currently serves on the board of a local nonprofit. He has been married to Tiffany for over 23 years, has a son Zane and a daughter Savannah. He loves the beach, Kansas City BBQ, and watching his kids play college soccer.

Part 1: Why Church Planting?

J:  New churches represent the greatest opportunity to connect people to the life-giving hope of Jesus. Statistics tell us that:
  •  3700 churches close each year, and closure rates are estimated to increase to 5,500 a year
  •  Only 4,000 churches are planted each year on average
  •  Population is expected to grow by 100 million people in the near future
In order to maintain the current percentage of people meaningfully engaged with church, we need to be planting at least 8,600 churches every year – because the people we love and the next generation need new churches
T:   Practically, we can trace our own faith back through a spiritual lineage that goes back to the disciples. Christianity has spread for generations through local churches, all around the world. So the real question we have to ask ourselves is, does Jesus intend that every man, woman, child have a healthy biblical, spiritual family (church)? The answer in Scripture is clearly YES! 
If we don’t do something, people are going to be separated from Jesus forever. The church has a role in connecting those people to Jesus, and that fact should compel us to start new churches

Part 2: Current State of Church Planting in the US

J:  We should be wildly optimistic about the possibility for the church in the US. We are at pivot point, and each of us play a role. Churches that put Hope on display are once again becoming distinctive and are a modern-day picture of what was said of the unschooled, simple disciples – “they’ve been with Jesus.”
T:  We have to ask ourselves important questions about the current state of church in the U.S.  
  • Are we just helping an industry of big churches simply get bigger? 
  • What is the scorecard of success?
  • What does it look like to see multiplication become a normative measure of success on the church scorecard, instead of looking only at accumulation, growth, and addition?

Part 3: A Message to Future Church Planters

J:  There is nothing greater to give your life to than being on the front lines of life-change through spreading the hope of Jesus. The question shouldn’t be if we should be a part of church planting, but rather, what our role is in the process! 
T:  Only 7% of churches are substantively reproducing, but 32% of churches claim to be reproducing. Stadia helps close the gap so those who believe they are planting churches can actually do so in a way that impacts the kingdom. Traditionally, assessment, coaching, and training are the pillars of starting successful churches. Stadia adds an important 4th pillar – a support infrastructure that holistically integrates with the “big 3.”
G:  Stadia is now giving its services away for free to develop partnerships with networks, denominations, and individual planters, because we need to all work together to start new churches.

Part 4: Church Planting’s ROI

J:  42% of people who call church plants home were formerly disconnected or unconnected to church. This is to say nothing of the unquantifiables – hope & healing in marriages, restoration in families, change in generational cycles. 
G:  New churches transform communities – where would each of us be if we hadn’t had a local church?
  1. Spiritual ROI
    • New churches have a higher transformation rate (coversions/commitments to Christ) than established churches
  2. Practical ROI
    •  A 100K investment is returned into a community within three years (when a church is self-sustaining), and as a church continues to grow, that investment is not just returned, but expanded through tithes, offerings, and investments into the local community 

 Part 5: What Would You Say to Churches Not Involved in Church Planting?

  1. It is so easy to get involved with a local church planting affiliation that will directly impact whatever metro area you live near – why wouldn’t you do so?
  2. Are we putting our actions and finances where our mouth is? Every church, on faith, could commit a percentage to support church planting nationally with an organization like Stadia.
  3. Experienced leaders have a role in coaching and training church planters.
G:  All healthy organisms reproduce. If your church is not reproducing, then something is not healthy.