The ‘Table of Champions’ is a group that we consider to be “elite” pastors, kind of like the Special Forces! This does not mean they are better than anyone else, it means they embrace accountability, faithfully pray for fellow pastors, accept the Bible as God’s undisputed infallible word, accept marriage as between a man and a woman, that God created every person unique and either male or female without mistake, and actively seek unity within the Body of Christ by developing relationships with fellow pastors! This group encourages each pastor to start or join a “Champions Table” which is 4 Pastors who meet each week for prayer, accountability and encouragement, either in person or virtually! They hold each other up to a higher standard of achievement for the kingdom of God.
A Champions Table is a group of four local pastors(leaders) who meet together on a weekly basis for one to two hours to challenge each other, to encourage, to pray for one another and to help attain individual goals. To have a friend you must learn to be a friend. Champion Tables allow pastors to develop trusted friendships that are genuine.
As a pastor I have found it very difficult to trust anyone. I have many friends/acquaintances in my church and denomination, but these are people I would never expose my hurts or weaknesses to. There are times that I have questions and frankly I am embarrassed to ask anyone because of what they might think. Other times I get so frustrated I just want to quit, knowing I can’t it just stays inside of me like a sore that keeps festering.
Does this sound familiar? You may have other issues that only you know about. The Champion Table may be the place that over time you build deep rooted trust. The kind of trust that you can say anything and know your words and feelings are strictly confidential and secure . How refreshing to find a place where I can take my “Pastor Title” off and just be a man.
It is every Christian’s desire to be like Jesus! Do you know there is one vital example that Jesus gave us that most men do not follow. We call it “The Jesus Model”! This model can also be seen when studying the lives of Moses and Daniel.
If we are to be like Jesus, to imitate his life, then we must follow his example when it comes to developing deep trusted personal relationships with other men. In the Book of Mark three times it is recorded that Jesus took Peter, James and John aside, leaving the other disciples out. When Jairus’ daughter is raised from the dead, when he took them to the transfiguration, and in the garden of Gethsemene when he was troubled and distressed before his crucifixion he called them to join him. Sometimes people refer to this group as Jesus’ inner circle. It would be fair to say that Jesus might very well have taken them aside many times that are not recorded in the Bible. These four men spent a lot of personal time together. Jesus knew what was about to happen when he went to pray that night in the garden. His human body was about to be broken beaten and utterly mutilated and he wanted his “buddies” his closest trusted friends with him in those final hours. It was these three, Peter, James, and John who he poured more of himself into than any others. He trusted them and he felt safe with them!
Moses also had a strong group of 3 men who he leaned on, Joshua, Hur and Aaron. Aaron and Hur held Moses arms up during the battle with the Amalekites while Joshua led the physical fight. Sometimes we need a couple of brothers to hold our arms up and to fight for us.
Daniel had Shadrack, Meshack and Abednigo as his inner circle or trusted accountability and encouragement brothers.
Having men to encourage us and hold us accountable is something every man needs. Jesus allowed himself to be accountable as a man with Peter, James and John. His willingness to take them into his sacred trust is a further demonstration of how important that it is for us to learn to trust! Jesus was well aware as “the Son of God” what was taking place at all times. Jesus was all man and all God and he wanted his friends with him when it counted. He personally set the standard that this is what I need and you need too!
For Pastors it is a very powerful message for our spouse, church family and leaders when they know we have accountability and a place to unload our burdens when distress and trouble hits us. As a Pastor we are also human, we have the needs of the flesh along with the battles of the flesh. Making the decision to follow Jesus’ example will give genuine relief and freedom.
Finding three men (Pastors) to link arms with will extend your life, improve your marriage, and strengthen your ministry. We call this group of four the Champion’s Table!
“I wanted to drop you a line to express my joy in our All Pro Pastors Champion Table. We have been meeting since May, 2007 now, and the intimacy level is really growing. We have seen barriers come down, and transparency taking place. Our four pastors have learned to lean on and count on one another. Hardly a week goes by that I don’t receive an email or phone call, giving or asking for encouragement. Every pastor needs a Table like ours.”
Fred Harrold, New life Community Church USA
“All Pro Pastors has helped me as a man, a husband and a Pastor. The impact of Champion Tables in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania is changing the Kingdom of God for all of Africa. My life will never be the same!”
Ambassador Peter Simwa, Higher Vision Center, Eldoret, Kenya
“Our All Pro Pastors Champion Table meets every Tuesday morning. I was at a point where I had decided not to add anything else to my weekly calendar. After a couple of weeks I discovered that the “Champion Table” was not your normal “meeting type” atmosphere as some would think. It offered open discussion with like-minded people who share the same type of accomplishments, challenges, and needs. We share the importance of honoring God as the husbands, fathers, and leaders in our homes. I now look forward to Tuesday mornings as a priority.”
Kevin M. Wynne, FBC Durant USA
Champions Table Foundational Scriptures
Encouragement and Growth
17 Iron sharpens iron,So one man sharpens another. NASB
9 Oil and perfume make the heart glad,So a [a]man’s counsel is sweet to his friend. NASB
22 Without counsel, plans go awry,But in the multitude of counselors they are established. NKJV
Four Went Together
17 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; NKJV
Four Worked Together
12 But Moses’ hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. NKJV
Friends Lift Each other Up and Stand Strong
9 Two are better than one,Because they have a good reward for their labor.
10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up.
11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken. NKJV
Friends Share the Load
Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived. MSG
A True Friend You Can Trust!
24 Friends come and friends go,but a true friend sticks by you like family. MSG
A Friend Walks with us through our Challenges!
17 A friend loves at all times,And a brother is born for adversity. NKJV
Paul is the Founder and CEO of All Pro Pastors International, a ministry that encourages and challenges Pastors to join together as Kingdom Brothers to develop trust, accountability and unity. It is a ministry that strengthens Pastors marriages, families, and ministries by establishing “Champions Tables”. The “Champions Table” is a safe place where Pastors can meet together and develop genuine relationships. The Champions Table is a pastors “Prayer Fortress!”
Pastor Paul Pickern is married to his wife Linda. They have 5 children (Tony, Stephanie, Dale, Seth, Schyler) and 12 grand children. Their home is in Plant City, Florida between Tampa and Orlando. Paul was born in Belleville, Illinois and Linda was born in Charleston, West Virginia.