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Josh and Katie Burnett have a vision to reach people who don’t have a church and aren’t yet followers of Jesus. But they know they can’t see this vision become reality on their own. Last Spring, they connected with Stadia and started on a journey that is laying a solid foundation for planting a new church within the next few years.

The Burnetts are currently serving in a Church Planting Residency with Connect Church (Washington, IL), under the leadership of Dave Jane. Launching in 2013, Connect averages 400 in weekend worship attendance and has baptized over 50 people.

Josh remembers meeting Dave and his wife, Kasey, at the 2014 Exponential Conference. “We talked about our vision of starting a new church that would reach young, unchurched families with engaging worship, relevant teaching, top-notch children’s programs and community involvement. After sharing our dream, they told us how they were already doing everything we envisioned. By the end of the week, they asked us to consider becoming church planting residents.”

Fast forward to this year’s Exponential Conference. Having moved to Illinois in January and being affirmed as new planters during Church Planting Assessment Center (CPAC) in March, Josh and Katie participated in Stadia’s newly developed pre-launch training program. Church planters know that Exponential has become THE event for content and relationship development. So Stadia adds value to the event by bringing in pre-launch planters early for additional days of learning and networking.

Josh appreciated the opportunity to go through the training with other planters in the same season. “The pre-Exponential training experience gave me the opportunity to go farther faster in my leadership development. They answered my questions, encouraged me, and challenged me to keep following the calling God has given me.” He adds, “Because of this training, I know there are a group of people I can call at any time and get advice or encouragement from.”

I am looking forward to watching as this story unfolds…and, I’m looking forward to the day when Every Child Has a Church!

Follow the Burnett’s church planting journey on their blog at And learn more about Stadia’s outcome-driven, planter-centered Training HERE.