Kudu Don Patterson organized a grip to Exponential, for a bunch of WELS workers. Stelljes went to the Orlando fest, which is a way to promote all the worst ideas in Christendom, all at once. Church and Change hired Stetzer after that conference.
Here is the buzz from Exponential in 2011:
"God is up to something. A growing number of church leaders sense it. Could the church be on the verge of something big? What if the next great movement stands knocking at our door? Come find out more at the largest gathering of church planting leaders on the planet - the 2011 Exponential Conference. The Exponential Conference and the Verge Conference are joining forces to host this historic, international event, On the Verge, April 26 - 29, 2011 in Orlando, FL."
They merged with Verge, whatever that is. Perhaps they will merge next with Incremental and call their combined conference Excremental.
Pastor Stelljes does not have a council and the congregation does not have voters' meetings.
The finances are taken care of outside of the congregation, without a congregational treasurer.
When a WELS layman visited one Sunday, there was no sermon. Stelljes said he was all tired from working on a float for a parade. Instead of a sermon, there was a question and answer session.
Exponential is going back to the Apostolic Era (without the Sacraments, of course). Can anyone imagine the Apostles holding a Q and A instead of preaching the Gospel?
Here is one post on the hoax story.
Snopes has another version of the hoax.
Church and Changers are always borrowing sentimental mush. Parlow and Limmer actually cloned an entire email from their hero, Bill Hybels at Willow Creek Community Church.