Q&A with Nate Akin (Pillar Network)

Follow Nate on Twitter here. Follow Pillar Network on Twitter here.

Q&A with Nate

Evan: Tell us about yourself?

Nate: My name is Nate Akin. I grew up in Dallas, TX but as the son of a dad in theological education (Danny Akin), we also lived in NC and KY. I am the oldest (by 3 mins over my twin brother Jon, he needs to be reminded regularly) of 4 sons, all of whom are serving in gospel ministry. We are basically into two things: theology and sports. I played basketball at Murray State before eventually pursuing a seminary degree at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS). During this time, I really did some digging as to whether I was really a “Baptist” and if Baptist convictions were consistent with the New Testament. From my study, I became a very convinced Baptist and that our ecclesiology and distinctives most closely align with the testimony of the New Testament. At SEBTS, I joined Open Door Baptist in Raleigh (one of the founding churches of the Pillar Network) and went through a 2-year pastoral internship alongside my seminary work. It was a life-altering experience as my passion for the local church and Baptist ecclesiology grew. I knew then I wanted to be a part of church planting for the rest of my life even though it was not fully formed in my mind how that would look. I did go on to help plant a church in Raleigh (Imago Dei) as one of the founding pastors before coming to work for the Pillar Network in June of 2018.

Evan: What is Pillar Network?

Nate: The Pillar Network is a community of SBC & International Baptist Churches that are doctrinally aligned (see our 6 DNA and Statement of Faith here), missionally driven, & committed to equipping, planting, & revitalizing churches, TOGETHER. So simply put, Pillar aspires to be an affinity-based, rather than geographically-based Baptist association, that cooperates together around like-doctrine for the starting and strengthening of churches. We believe that the local church is both the goal and means of missions, though this is not original to Pillar or myself. The King has given the local church “the keys” to His Kingdom and so if we are going to be about His glory by means of His commission it will mean the starting and strengthening of these Kingdom outposts everywhere.

Evan: Why should churches join the Pillar Network and what are some things that Pillar is doing in 2023?

Nate: If you are looking for a network of churches with a family-like feel because of its doctrinal core and singular focus in missions, Pillar would be a good home for you. In addition, in the US, every Pillar church also cooperates with the SBC. If you’re a pastor and find yourself thankful for the big BFM2000 tent of the SBC but also want to occasionally find a small huddle inside that tent, that more closely aligns on matters of polity for equipping, planting, and revitalizing churches, then Pillar may be a great option for you.

In 2022, we either directly planted or helped plant 40 new churches. In 2023, Lord willing, we will continue that sort of work. In addition, we will have our first major conference in South America in the spring of 2023, our third Pillar intensive in Dallas in early March, our second conference in Europe in May, our first Regional Leaders training, and a lot more. You can always learn more about us at the website, www.thepillarnetwork.com.

Thank you Nate for doing the Q&A! I am thankful for our friendship. North Hills Church, where I serve as an elder, is a Pillar Network church. We love Pillar! This network and its leadership has been a blessing to us.

Evan Knies is an elder of North Hills Church in West Monroe, LA. He is husband of Lauren and father to Maesyn. He is a graduate of Boyce College and Southern Seminary.

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