One of the things that makes the 242 Network unique is that we don't let anyone walk alone as they start working to plant a church. It's a rewarding, but difficult task and we want to help church planters young and old succeed and think through details.
We have experienced church planters on our team as Hub Leaders who have walked through the fire and are pastoring successful church plants that are growing and reaching broken people. Today I'd like to share my interview with North Mississippi Hub Leader, Brian Tillman.
Could you spend a little time introducing yourself, sharing your story, and your view on the need for training church planters?
My name is Brian Tillman. I've been married to Paige Tillman for over 19 years. We have a son, Nathan, who is 15 years old and our daughter, Mari-Morgan, is 12 years old. I'm currently serving as Lead Pastor at Riverbend Church in Hernando, MS. I've been actively involved in ministry for over 24 years serving in numerous capacities from Summer Kids Minister to Youth Minister to Lead Pastor.
I love the variety of ministry in the church. Having the opportunity to stand in front of God’s people on a weekly basis and share His Word with them is not only an awesome responsibility, but something I genuinely love. Applying God's Word in your everyday life is a great challenge for everyone, but when individuals share how God used His Word to grow them or encourage them in life, it's just the best! I am truly thrilled and humbled to be a part of His Work.
Another area of ministry that I find myself drawn to is church planting. When I planted the church where I served 9 years ago, I didn’t have much help in terms of people speaking into the issues at hand. Some of that was my own doing, but there was just not a lot of tangible things out there at the time, or people willing to help on a consistent basis.
I know the numerous hurdles, barriers, and obstacles that church planters and plants go through because I have experienced them. Knowing these things, I want to help planters navigate and smooth out the rough spots as much as I can, so that God’s Kingdom might grow and His Name might be championed.
There's no doubt that church planting is difficult. I'm glad you've already walked through it! Let's get a little more detailed into your style of training and what people can expect when they train with you.
My style of training really goes with my personality. I am somewhat reserved, introverted and quiet. On the training side, I ask a lot of questions and then seek to probe a bit more with other open ended questions. All along I add a few witted remarks to keep the conversation and keep it lively. I readily admit I don’t have all the answers but I strive to help planters through the tough growth issues that they might not want to acknowledge or figure out. I love to see God grow His Kingdom!
I believe one of the goals of the 242 Network is to come along side church planters to help them grow as individuals to train them in the major areas that they are facing in the near and somewhat not so near future with the work they are called to. This training helps to give tangible application so they can build their core teams, leadership, and eventually the church.
Definitely witty remarks! You may say you're quiet and reserved, but you've always got everyone laughing! Moving on, what is one piece of advice that you'd like to share with church planters?
Education / knowledge is not the ALL in ALL or “silver bullet” to planting or pastoring. We all must continue to grow! We all must put in the time to learn how to grow as individuals, husbands, fathers, leaders, pastors, etc. and in turn grow those who God has given to us as a part of the church. I do strongly believe that training or knowledge is a very good thing and it gives the planter different tools to grow the plant / church he is a part of. Conversely, education and knowledge is not the silver bullet to planting or pastoring. Listen to God and follow his direction above all.
Thats great advice! Always keep growing and being obedient to what God says. Thanks for chatting with me Brian! Keep on training those future leaders!
If you'd like more information on training, please let us know! We're here to help!