One Gathering, One Purpose | Exponential

Church and ministry leaders share reflections from Exponential East 2017

Todd Wilson

Looking back on Exponential East, I’m still blown away by this gathering of men and women committed to seeing God’s Church multiply. Nothing really compares with being surrounded by leaders who are passionate about the same things that matter to you. Since East, I’ve heard from numerous leaders about the closing service and the week as a whole. I love what they say about the impact of seeing leaders bound together for one purpose:

This conference was a hope-builder for me! – Ralph Moore

“Apart from great teaching, I was most impressed by those attending Exponential East. The optimism toward multiplying churches coupled with the number of people I met who are actually doing it is thrilling. Some I met are in the process of launching their first church plant, while others have already reproduced large handfuls of congregations. I’ve never experienced a climate like this outside my own circles. For three wonderful days, I saw evidence that Exponential is changing the American paradigm of church. This conference was a hope-builder for me!”

–Ralph Moore, Level 5 multiplier, founder of the Hope Chapel movement


I saw spiritual lightbulbs of vision turning on – Larry Walkemeyer

Change “Exponential East ignited a bigger dream for my ministry by freshly calling me to the power of multiplying disciples, ministries, and churches. I was newly convicted and encouraged that the tension between “big” and “discipleship” is where the exponential power of multiplication resides. I saw spiritual lightbulbs of vision turning on in hundreds of leaders who are beginning to think outside their church building box.”

-Level 4 multiplier Larry Walkemeyer, leader of Light & Life Fellowship


“Why do I keep returning to Exponential? Because they believe that God’s Church is beautiful. There is a place for people who represent all kinds of tribes and ecclesial paradigms, and they are pulled together around the amazing mission of God. I keep returning to Exponential because it’s my family. It’s encouraging to hear stories about lessons they learned at previous gatherings, and how they have grown as a result. This fall, there is a local gathering in the San Francisco Bay Area where I live. It energizes me tremendously to know how many of my friends and ministry peers can be a part of Exponential, some for the first time!”

–Linda Bergquist, church planting catalyst for the North American Mission Board


“When my longtime collaborator, Warren Bird, insisted we should both participate in Exponential, I was willing. With Exponential.org on my radar, information began trickling in. Their website told part of their remarkable story, and phone interviews with the leadership filled in more. Exponential intends to move the current level (estimated at 4 percent) of congregations involved in new church planting to above 10 percent. And leaders Dave Ferguson and Todd Wilson are very effectively doing what must be done to make it so. Good seminar design, well executed, with highly motivated and capable teams made the experience a delight from pre-conference sessions to the main event.”

–Carl George, church leadership consultant and author of multiple watershed books for the Church 


Change “The content of the main session speakers really helped our team continuously keep our focus on the bigness of God and His glory, which freed us up to dream big, God-sized dreams. We continue to bring our staff each year because God is obviously using Exponential in incredible ways. Even though our church is four years old, we never want to lose the church-planting mindset. Exponential is great because our staff gets to learn from all kinds of churches, from all different places, using many different models–all with the same mission to make much of Jesus.” Our team was challenged and inspired, but most importantly, we were able to encounter the Lord in the worship experience.”

–Joby Martin, planter and leader of The Church of Eleven22


The Lord indeed hears the longing of our hearts. – Wade Burnett

“As both a multisite consultant and a church planter, I’m so encouraged by the desire and commitment of so many leaders to lean into the significant challenges we’re facing as the Church. I was reminded at Exponential 2017 that the Lord indeed hears the longing of our hearts. I left with a renewed sense of calling to patiently persevere and place my hope in the Lord and the Lord alone for the future of His Church.

–Wade Burnett, senior associate with Multisite Solutions and longtime planter and pastor


“This year’s Exponential was such a wonderful time of networking and training! I don’t know of any other event where I can make such valuable connections with other multiplication leaders. I’m already planning for next year!”
–Winfield Bevins, director of church planting at Asbury Seminary