Stephen Füssle is a man who has selflessly served those around him who are in desperate need of life change. He has helped those with drug/alcohol addiction turn their lives around, he has counseled couples saving marriages, and he has loved and served those living lives of desperation into choosing a lifestyle of hope. He has made an impact in the world and his community.
At the age of 20 while living on the island of Maui, Stephen had his first encounter with the person of Jesus Christ. A few months later on a mission trip to China he decided to surrender his life to God. The moment Stephen relinquished control of his life God's power became evident. Stephen experienced positive changes in his daily life and actions, and was healed from all of the hate that consumed him.
God soon set Stephen’s feet on a new path: he graduated from Vanguard University of Southern California with a degree in Biblical Studies/Pastoral Leadership, served on staff at The Crossing Church, and married the woman of his dreams, Amber. Stephen is the founding pastor of The Awakening Church located on Maui. He had big ambitions as a young man, but he never imagined the joy and fulfillment he would experience in sharing God's love with others.
Vision is what you want to be. Values are who we are, boundaries, and what we pay for, but also what we reap.
ANYTHING SHORT OF SIN: We will do anything short of sin to reach people who don’t know Christ. To reach people no one is reaching, we’ll have to do things no one is doing without compromising scripture (Luke 19:10, Romans 5:8, 1 Corinthians 9).
SPIRITUAL CONTRIBUTORS: We are spiritual contributors not spiritual consumers. The church does not exist for us. We are the church and we exist for the world. We can achieve this through irrational generosity by giving our Time, Treasure, and Talent.
MAKING IT BETTER: We persistently improve our ministry to honor God and inspire people (1 Chronicles 12:32).
FORCE MULTIPLIERS: We are in the business of multiplying leaders and churches. The most effective evangelism is in multiplying churches. (Staff/Leaders/Teams: You’ll always have a place if you are replacing yourself.) Who am I empowering?
OPEN HANDED: We grow when we embrace constant change, and this requires flexibility. People who make a difference have to be open to change. Palms up living: it’s easier to remain calm when your palms are up.
RISK TAKERS: We are faith-filled, big-thinking, bet-the-farm risk takers. We’ll never insult God with small thinking and safe living.
OWN IT: We value individuals who take initiative. We promote doers not talkers. We take pride in what we do for God.
STAY FIT: We stay fit to fight. The more The more responsibility you have in an organization, the more important it is for you to stay fit – spiritually, physically, mentally, financially, and relationally. Staying fit matters. Otherwise, if we don’t stay fit, we won’t matter.
Excel Leadership Network exists to support church planters and high level leaders in the work God has called them to do. We plant churches and network church planting entities with church planters in order to do more together than we can do apart. We’re developing a movement where church planting leaders are reproducing healthy churches. Our mission and philosophy comes from Acts chapter 13:
“The Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.” —Acts 13:3
JD Pearring is the founder of Excel Leadership Network. Stephen has been mentored and coached by JD and his team for over seven years and acknowledges that The Awakening Church would not have existed, or even so survived without the support of JD Pearring's church planting expertise. JD's vast experience includes planting churches, leading growing congregations and assessing potential new church planters. He also currently serves as the Director of the Excel Leadership Network, Church Planting Lead for Transformation Ministries, and Teaching Pastor at Journey Church in Elk Grove, CA. JD is a graduate of UCLA and Denver Seminary. JD and his wife, Lori, have four children and four grandchildren.