Knowing that 70% of society is uninterested in attending a church service of any kind, and that most people will only give a listening ear to someone they know and trust, Russ stepped out of his pastoral role at MissioDei Chicago in 2014 to start the Table Network. The belief from day one is that life-change happens through the freedom and family found at the table Jesus prepared, but the conditions and limitations that have been added to the story of “God” and “Church” limit the natural spread of this joyous reality.
With a heart to see everyone know the freedom and family found in Jesus, the Table Network exists as a tribe committed to setting a table of grace and belonging on every street. If that’s your desire, know that stepping into this ancient approach of being the Church will cost you your normalcy in the religious world. But take heart, you’re not alone, our training is for everyone, and our philosophy is simple:
SETTING A TABLE OF GRACE & BELONGING
SHARING HOPE THROUGH VULNERABILITY & HOSPITALITY
SEEING OTHERS EXPERIENCE FREEDOM & FAMILY
FOUNDER / STORY
Russ founded the Table Network in 2014 and is responsible for direction, partnership development, and our Leadership team. Prior to TN, Russ spent 15 years planting and pastoring churches in Asheville and Chicago. Today he lives in Fort Myers, FL with his wife and three kids.
Tony came to the Table with ten years experience pastoring in large church settings. He is responsible for empowering our Training and resource development efforts. Today he lives in the Chicagoland area with his wife and four kids, leads a new church family, and works for a creative agency.
Christa has been part of the Table Network since the beginning in a variety of ways. With a heart to help build a broader community, she recently took on a new communication and scheduling role. Outside of this work, Christa is a wife to Russ, and mother to two teenagers and an energetic one year old.
Eddie came into the Table Network in its first year, bringing experience in the world of brand/story marketing. Outside of the Table Network, Eddie works as a manager for various artists as well as an Accounts Manager for Apple. He is a husband and father of 4 who resides in Chicago.
DR. SEAN BENESH
BI-VO / INTREPID
Sean joined the Table Network team in 2017, and serves as the leader for Intrepid — an arm of the Table focussed on Church Planting through business/economic Development. Sean is a husband, father of three teenagers, and also works as a professor and writer in Portland, OR.
Rick is the Executive Director of Gateway Leadership Initiative- a church-planting network that’s starting churches all around the world. With 30 years of pastoral ministry experience, he joined the Table Network to help church leaders start movements aimed at reaching the 70% who are uninterested.
Alexis lives in Fort Wayne, IN. She came on board with the Table Network in 2018 to help with finances and administration. Outside of the network, Alexis works as an assistant for Generate, a mission-focused church network.
DR. DAVE DEVRIES
Dr. Dave DeVries is a coach, trainer, strategist and the founder of Missional Challenge. His training skills have been used to mobilize planters, pastors, and ministry leaders across the country and around the world for the past 30 years, and he’s been using his experience to help the Table Network since day one.
Ryan joined the network in 2018 to give leadership to our day-to-day operations, as well as be a sounding board for other network leaders. Ryan and his wife Cadrian live in Conway, AR where he is the Director of Operations for City Church, as well as runs a consulting business called Tabletalk Development.
Matt joined the Table Network early in its inception and serves today as one of our Cohort leaders. Matt spent a few years prior to joining TN catalyzing church planting movements in S. Asia. Today he lives in Portland, OR where he is planting a new church with his wife, Andrea, and their three boys.
WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE AS A NETWORK?
As a network we hold to the Scriptures as God's inspired word to us, and to the doctrines expressed through them as outlined in the Apostle's Creed and the Five Solas.
WHAT DO YOU VALUE AS A NETWORK?
FREEDOM: The “finished” work of Jesus needs nothing else. In Him we are free to rest as we learn to wait, watch, and walk in the fruit He bears.
FAMILY: The “church” is who we are in Jesus, not somewhere we go. Believing this frees us to love and disciple others to love and disciple others.
IS TABLE NETWORK PART OF A DENOMINATION?
No. We do partner with some denominations such as the Missionary Church Inc., and with the Christian & Missionary Alliance, Southern Baptist Convention, Presbyterian Church USA, and many others. However, we are not a denomination, nor does someone need to belong to one to be part of the network.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE PART OF THE TABLE NETWORK?
PARTICIPATING IN THE FAMILY - Ministry is simple, but it’s by no means easy. Which is why at the core of belonging to the Table Network is a community of like minded people committed to coaching and caring for one another.
GIVING TO THE FAMILY - We can do far more together than we can do alone. To that end every Table expression or leader forming new ones gives monthly to the collective mission we are pursuing together. No specific %’s required, just generosity.
LEADING NEW FAMILIES - To see the gospel spread and the Church increase through the multiplication of disciples and kingdom business adventures, every leader in the Table Network lives as a missionary and trainer of future missionaries.
IS TABLE NETWORK A LICENSED NOT-FOR-PROFIT MINISTRY?
Yes, all donations to the network are tax-deductible, and through ministry partnerships we are able to provide partnered church families with a non-profit covering if needed.
HOW DOES TABLE NETWORK DIFFER FROM OTHER CHURCH-PLANTING NETWORKS?
We see the need for new churches, but we believe Scripture reveals church families form out of the harvest through discipleship rather than a congregation being planted to invite outsiders into. We believe this happens most often under the leadership of everyday people.