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November 5, 2021 12:30 am
Chris Hughes is joined by the executive director of The Pillar Network Zach Nelson to discuss how young men of faith can help lead future churches.
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Get ready. It's one of America's most important, influential, respected voices on cultural and political issues and apologist Christian political advocate and author. Here is the founder and chairman of the citizen of America foundation, Dr. Chris and Chris use welcome to the Christian perspective, overlooking God develop a Christian worldview in modern culture. I've had the privilege guise of serving on the Board of Directors of the Baptist State convention of North Carolina for about five years now in a couple months ago I was at a board meeting at the Place called the caraway conference center. Beautiful place, secluded in the foothills of North Carolina and you know me know that I will love to eat and they always have great food at these board meetings and another Christian camp to cook such delicious meal. My favorite time is is mealtime because you get to visit with people and I like to sit at different tables and meet people that I don't know, and so well that this meeting I sat down at a table of friendly folks and I was immediately impressed with the man that was sitting across from me and he's our guest on our show today I found out that his parents live close to me in the Appalachian Mountains. But what really drew me to him was his love for Jesus and his passion to plant and I know that's a church term. Really we say plant we mean start new churches across the nation and across the world and as you know my passion is leading people to Jesus not been active in church planning for many years. So when Zach shared his story with me. I knew that I had to have a come on and share with you so we can help them start more churches across the world today. I guess today is the executive director of a wonderful organization called the pillar network Zach Nelson, welcome to the Christian perspective, neglecting to be dear brother, thank you for your kind word. Likewise man being able to cross from you at camp caraway, which happened to be one of the places where I happened to hear the gospel to very early age. When I went there on a retreat with a group of RA in my chart where I grew up in North Carolina, Mount Vernon Baptist Church manage it. It brought back great memories getting can't get continue to meet other brothers that have been redeemed or brought close to the Lord because of the work of cry and I get a chance to meet those people today people today. If you got kind if a great blessing to be here with you, Chris, was that now are we having even more common.
I am a huge amount.
Now get off topic here for the pillar network that we want to talk about but I'm a huge fan of Christian camps and yeah and parents.
I would just encourage you to find there a lot of still good Christian camps across the country so many young people come to Jesus and some the best memories growing up for me were going to camps with Zach. I am in now will really get into the inside but he still fear.
I did not know you said that you went there as an RA. For those of you who don't know RA's means Royal ambassadors. It is usually was on a Wednesday night, sometimes on a Sunday night at Southern Baptist Church is this kind of like a Christian Boy Scouts where you go when you memorize verses you you learn about ministries and missions in many young men prop and Zach that might've been hit what help push you in the ministry. I know it did me and you earn patches and I even got a scholarship to college through Royal ambassadors.
So we got something else in common. But what exactly so is her parents before never going jump into it, but parents you need to to encourage you to send your kids to Christian camp because they are life-changing experiences of so many young people it in the Southern Baptist convention in North Carolina the meds to commit to North Carolina. We have about a thousand kids a year there saved summer camp and just hundred that commit to full-time Christian ministry is such a worthwhile thing to do with your kids are encouraged to do it, but Zach you are the executive director of organization that I have to admit I didn't know existed, called the pillar network and I'm so excited about what you're doing. Can you tell us what is the pillar network and what is the work that you do yeah absolutely and stop feel free to go to our website. Pillar network.com and you can read a lot about the pillar network is how we started the churches that we had a chance to partner with the churches planted all over the US, even internationally. Now, but the pillar network really who we are. Work unity of Southern Baptist churches and international Baptist churches are board voted a little over three years ago that were going to open up our network of churches, not just to churches in the US outside of the country to partner together were doctrinally aligned were initially driven and were committed to equipping planting and revitalizing churches together, we see that the path that is just based on one individual church but a group of churches that want to really partner together because we can affirm what the gospel is, we can affirm commitment to took to preaching live X additional preaching.
I desire to be kingdom minded use our resources are people in such a way to where we want to send them out 15 new churches started and also churches that are struggling possibly even those without a pastor, then brought back to help where the church is committed to the inerrancy of Scripture, and so were Bible bait and how we want to do our ministry were also churches that are committed to a plurality of pastors we call that just elder led churches. We believe that churches are most healthy when there are more than one pastor or a group of pastors that are shepherding the body and were committed to being Baptist. That's something that I think is a true distinctive about who the pillar network is there's a lot of networks right now that I think they're out there, but we we want to see Baptist churches planted and Baptist churches revitalized work or are brought back to help and that's really the mission of why we Zach you said your your Baptist maybe some of our listeners may not know what it means to be a bad to so why did you choose to specifically say that you're going to partner with Baptist churches and then then after that, what is the difference between the network in a denomination is a pillar network wanting to become its own denomination are you just directly working with in partnership with the Southern Baptist convention yeah yeah Chris, that great question then I'll probably get an answer and maybe even wrap up both of our answer to both of the questions though the pillar network really began out of a group of five Southern Baptist churches desiring to cooperate together so we function dreamily well with in the context of the SBC.
It was never our desire to order new denomination will not our desire and in any way. I mean we we function very much like the creation but we would probably say we are not infinity based Association that is not geographically driven. We churches partnering together in specific locations and we got churches doing that all over the nation, but we think most of the important that define power churches cooperate together is not necessarily our location but it's based upon how we are like-minded doctrinally. We would say it like this, we are doctrinally aligned so that we can be initially driven and we defined mission in many ways by raising up those that are aspiring pastors. The purpose of sending them out to plant or revitalize churches and so that's at the very heart Pete of who we are if we are going to be closely aligned with any gifting groups within what they Southern Baptist circles, we would be very much like an association, not a state convention, not an agent like the North American Mission Board and not something that would be a very large network like the SBC. That kind of made up of 45 to 50,000 churches since I loved what you said there your group of churches who were doctrinally aligned to be mission driven in and the reason I asked that question is a lot of our members may not understand the Southern Baptist convention really is not even a denomination. It's a group, churches that are independent and autonomous, have like what you said though doctrinally meaning they agree on certain things in. They've come together as like-minded churches and really the purpose of the gathering together is to support mission work to to send missionaries and to start churches across the world and Inigo enter the United States to and so that's why asked that because we have listeners that might not understand your they hear independent Baptist that your Southern Baptist. They don't know the difference. The difference is what you mean there are other differences to mailing is a group of doctrinally agreeable churches who come together for the purpose of spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ while I'm excited about what you're doing.
Can you share with our listeners.
You know I hear people because you as I share with you Zach. I have a ministry that I work with called salvation ministries were in the process of planning churches around the world a lot in Indian specifically right now in the Philippines and people like why in the world are you starting new churches. You know I have been in the DC area Baltimore for the past week and they're just empty church buildings all across the area. There in the region and as with many big cities across the country or there might be just one or two people go to some of these churches and people like why are you planning to churches whether existing churches. There's a reason. Can you tell them why your organization has a passion and I know you work with revitalization tube wise church planting so important. Yeah, I bought I believe that planting is very much a biblical model of healthy discipleship within the context of the local church.
So were talking about about network that it purpose of cooperation and really helping our churches be as healthy as possible that much mean that we are committed to raising up others within our churches, so a discipleship ministry re-where we are pouring are like others that are fired after I had the joy of being able to experience this at a number of different churches growing up and so growing up in bed know that Mount Vernon Baptist church in in this church had just day tremendous student ministry college ministry and a group of pastors and interns and even and even to older brothers that were members of the church invest in in my life and based upon that investment from pastors, one brother, that's just been consistent in my life has been a brother by the name of Bud Russell: but Russell has been a pastor at Mount Vernon or I don't know you still there at the associate pastor probably 35, 40 years now and I and I just think about the impact of that man and how he had impacted so many people that are now serving within the context of local churches and ministries all over the state and probably all over the South Easton in countries outside of the US and so that be a model of the commitment of the local church.
We are to be raising up pastors after types that are aspiring to use the gifts that God had given them within the context of the local church I and so I had a chance to. That, and in many ways. That tradition was just passed on to other churches and when I came to seminary at Southeastern seminary I landed a church by the name of open-door and went through it to year-long internship.
We memorized first and second Timothy and Titus together in the pastors of open-door really just talk how to become shepherds how to shepherd the flock how to how to work and how to preach and in such a way work in understanding the text communicating that X positionally. I instill all the things that I've been learning really were just the ministry that was given to a church to prepare send out those that are aspiring to be pastors either landed churches that were existing, or to help new churches where where there needs to be a new gospel work and so we we think like this all over North Carolina all over the world where the church and of itself is dreamily either unhealthy or the church is just not very long. The building Shut down or there's been so many people that have moved into an area where one church is not necessarily and not winning multiple churches becoming light and being a beacon of light about darkness and the city's ingredient is something that I love about church planting is many and I'm not saying that other pastors don't have a passion for winning people to Jesus but seeing a larger percentage of people get saved in new church plants. I think the pastors there are hungrier, you know, they've got to build a church from scratch and many times are sent into areas that is, that might be unchurched or were others not allow the gospel and just you see many many more people coming to Jesus. Zach, you talked a while ago about having male elders for the our listeners that don't know what does that mean and is that a different model than people might normally see in a church.
This show is brought to you by generous Joe's coffee company with the Christian perspective, this is the answer that Christians and conservatives have been looking for a coffee company that gives back to causes you care about. Order your copy today at shop generous Joe's.org and even subscribe to a subscription coffee plan and never forget you love or causes you care about yeah yeah so I do want to say that it may be a new model for some today but historically this is not a new model and also we want to go back Excel table. What is an elder and as we look throughout Scripture.
What we end up being the term elder and pastor really being used anonymously where the term pastor is much more kind of a observable role where elder is almost the function within the context of the local church and so elders when we talk about elders when we talk about pastors. We're just really using this in a very thin, not in this way and I think maybe over the last probably let's just say, 40, 50 years of potentially a pastor has been somebody that we've also tied toward vocational ministry so that when I say that they get paid to do the job of capturing her elderly elderly within the church. And as we look at Scripture often time we do see passages where Scripture points toward toward the church needing to take care of its pastors and so even getting double honor and extent to those that are being better better teaching the word of God are doing the work type ministry, but there is also the think that every time the pastors used throughout Scripture that it talked in the plural.
So there's a fit that is think back to that is almost as soon that the church has multiple pastors just not one single pastor that is leaving the church and so we really need to help that it that is good for the church that pastors are a gift to the church that we want to see multiple pastors, some of which are getting paid and some of which we would just call the pastors lay pastor. Some of these are pastor ties people to have the character in the gifting of first and second Timothy and Titus type man that have this aspiration and have been recognized within the context of the local body, the congregation, because we Baptist are Congregational and so yet the elders may be pouring extra time into these men. Debtors hiring in overtime to put before the church in kind of a recognized set apart for the service of shepherding or pastoring or elderly. The congregation and so we did. We see the importance of this and all throughout Scripture where were pastor elderly is used.
We also see this is a will there's been set apart for Manor for males within the context of the congregation, will it really is the model that God gave us in the New Testament in a church that I've seen. They started about two and half years ago in Baltimore called redemption city church, and Adam attested is the path I know Adam and they actually came out of North Carolina for you and I'm from, and that church is just exploding and they are using both remembers the pillar network but they're using the data that you describe where you have elders in your training up other young men to be in ministry and plan to plant a lot of churches up in that area so Zach will for those that are listening. Maybe there somebody is seminary or some of that wants to be a pastor down the line wants to plant a church or or there's a church who wants to learn how to plant other churches. What benefits do they have if they join the pillar network.
How do you help people plant churches so this is a very practical question end and it's great it.
I think the question that that that churches need to be asking how do we become a church that is a church planting church and if you're seminary student, I would say land at a church that desires to help prepare you for future ministry itself.
I would think first and foremost seminary students or those inspiring that even happy seminary student though this firing towards pastoral ministry.
You need to go to your pastors need to go to the leaders of your church and really communicate to them. These are my aspirations will you train me, will you equipped me for the purpose of ministry within the context of our local church.
That's one of the most important conversations that can take place. This will help H church that maybe does not even know how to plant a church begin to start thinking through how to disciple members that are aspiring towards pastoral ministry and that that the heartbeat of why the pillar network exists. We want to help you get introduced to churches that have ministries that are faithfully discipling those within the context of their own bodies that are aspiring towards pastoral ministry, as we want to help your church think through how to go about doing that. How to set up initially a 1 to 2 year internship where the pastors and leaders of your church can be pouring into the next generation of aspiring leaders so that there's a real sense that they can learn healthy discipleship and learn to love and use their gifts within the context of the local body that that that is something that we believe is best done within the local church, but also something that learned by watching a church that does it. And so this is the work of what I would say a healthy Association does. It provides model churches to where these churches can influence other churches in healthy discipleship and effect, the heartbeat of why pillar network again. We affirmed the importance of what is it mean to be a healthy Association and the way that we were skiing a commitment within evangelical life and even in Baptist circles about what it means to plant healthy churches and also revitalize healthy churches. We wanted to condensate.
How do we plant a new Association that it did with Andy SP D that can help facilitate mission work preparing those to be pastors that will be sent out a plan to revitalize churches, but do it in an associational type fashion. Will Zach avoid the time Islam I learned so much in so many things I like to talk to you about what we just got a couple minutes left, but this is what I wanted you to come on the show.
Our show really focused on trying to encourage Christians to engage the culture for Jesus and I know that I play in the political world a lot, but I want to tell our listeners. If you want to impact the world for Jesus.
You gotta tell the world about Jesus and in our primary responsibility as Christians I believe is a tell other people about the saving grace of Jesus Christ and a great tool to do that is by planting new churches. There are so many areas across the country that need Bible believing in Bible preaching there a lot of churches out there, but they're not preaching the inspired holy inerrant word of God, and that's what the pillar network is doing folks they are training and raising up young men to plant churches across the world that will preach the an error in the inspired word of God so real quickly. Zach if a pastor wants to join the network does a good website.
What does he do to get more information to join your network yeah could go to the pillar network.com and then you can go to a drop down tab that joined the pillar network and just talked about our partnership process and delete you towards an application. The application many ways take five minutes to fill out it'll give us the chance to interact with. You are a little bit about your church where you're coming from and then from there we just set up a time to do cannabis doom call interview will we get a chance to get to know you hear about your church to hear about your desires potentially for planting and then it allows the two take steps to say how we can best encourage you in the process so folks in the pillar network right Zach that is correct, the pillar network.okay so this is the pillar network.com there is a covenant agreement in an covenant is basically a strong bond that you are agreeing that you affirm that you believe the things that they believe, which is basically from something called the Baptist Faith and message 2000 I believe that correct Zach (you know, so if your bio if you believe the Bible is inerrant word of God, you're going to agree with the things that they believe and then they also have some covenantal of things that they say that you believe about the inerrant word of God about who should be a pastor and who should not be a pastor and how people become a Christian.
This is just such a great great program and I'm so glad that God brought Zach and me together over a meal.
Your fellowship meals. I just take advantage of meals to meet people you don't know in and this is what happens when you get to meet somebody like Zach in his organization who are literally changing the world for Jesus Zach.
I want to thank you so much. Folks go to the pillar network.com, the pillar network.com maybe you're not a church planter, but you want to help, there's a way to donate on their website.
It costs money to start new churches and they could sure use your help Zach. I thank you for being with us today. Folks, thank you for joining me today for Susan. This is the Christian perspective please subscribe like a podcast and share with your friends on social media Jalisco change the culture for Jesus Christian perspective refuse more about impacting the culture for Jesus Christian perspective US this show is brought to you by generous Joe's coffee company with the Christian perspective, this is the answer that Christians and conservatives have been looking for a coffee company that gives back to causes you care about. Order your copy today at shop generous Joe's.org and even subscribe to a subscription coffee plan and never forget the coffee you love or causes you care about.
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