Equipping pastors for exemplary ministry in the local church.

what we do

We provide local pastors with theological enrichment and ministerial encouragement through guided conversations and faithful instruction.

why participate?


Pastors who are local to each other get to meet with a greater frequency than other national organizations may allow. This also allows for personal connections and follow-up meetings between the pastors at their convenience.


Many faithful, theologically serious pastors minister to small churches with minimal elders and staff. They are in need of peer-fellowship with other laborers in the gospel. Other pastors with a larger body of elders and staff may also find the need for fellowship that is not "in-house."

theological growth

The theological tenor of the fellowship is accessible but challenging; many pastors will find that they are encouraged to continue in a depth of education that they have not experienced since seminary (if they were so privileged). For this fellowship, theology does not replace praxis – it precedes and directly informs it.

Watch Lucas O’Neill talk about the mission and vision of CHICAGOLAND GOSPEL NETWORK.

join us

every month

We provide local pastors with theological enrichment and ministerial encouragement through
guided conversations and faithful instruction.

We do this by…

Book Discussion

A monthly conversation about a book or article that serves to enrich our understanding of Scripture and its application to our ministerial contexts.

Topic Discussion

A shorter portion of the monthly conversation dedicated to a members question or concern regarding a challenge in their ministry.

Men's Retreat

A time for CGN pastors to invite men from their churches for a weekend of focus and fellowship, as we look into Scripture in a retreat setting in order to build up our faith and strengthen our walk with Christ.

Pastors Workshop

A semi-annual gathering of pastors for a one-day intensive presentation and discussion of a particular topic in theology or ministry practice.

what we're reading

The Creedal Imperative

by Carl Trueman

Recent years have seen a number of high profile scholars converting to Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy while a trend in the laity expresses an eclectic hunger for tradition. The status and role of confessions stands at the center of the debate within evangelicalism today as many resonate with the call to return to Christianity’s ancient roots. Carl Trueman offers an analysis of why creeds and confessions are necessary, how they have developed over time, and how they can function in the church of today and tomorrow. He writes primarily for evangelicals who are not particularly confessional in their thinking yet who belong to confessional churches—Baptists, independents, etc.—so that they will see more clearly the usefulness of the church’s tradition.

coming events

CGN Zoom Call

Thursday, May 23rd at 11am

CGN Book Discussion

Tuesday, June 4th - Discussing Trueman's The Creedal Imperative, a book that discusses the importance of creeds in the life of the local church.


Lucas O’Neill

Lucas O’Neill is a Clinical Associate Professor of Homiletics at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He was born in Lawrence, MA, and lived for several years in New Jersey before going to Chicago to study at Moody Bible Institute. After graduating, he married Tina and worked to complete his Master of Divinity and Master of Theology at TEDS. In 2007 he was called to pastor Christian Fellowship Church in Itasca, IL where he still serves as Senior Pastor today. In 2015 Lucas received his Doctor of Ministry degree from Gordon-Conwell.

Dustin Coleman

Dustin has served as pastor at Brainard since December 2011. He is married to his lovely wife Beth and they have four beautiful daughters, Madelyn Grace, Elisabeth Elliot, Molly Catherine, and Charlotte Jane. Dustin has an undergraduate degree in mathematics from the University of Kentucky and both an Mdiv and Doctorate of Ministry in biblical theology from Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY. He is currently a Ph.D student at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and blogs at www.theologyalongtheway.org.

Matt Black

Matt is originally from Oak Forest, Illinois though he spent much of his growing up years in Ponchatoula, Louisiana. He studied theology and Spanish for his undergrad and is currently pursuing graduate studies at Faith Bible Seminary (Lafayette, IN). He is certified with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). He has been a foreign missionary in the Madrid and Basque regions of Spain, assisting in the establishment of a church and Christian Camp and enjoys Living Hope’s Spanish ministry (Iglesia Esperanza Viva).

Phill Howell

Phill Howell serves as the Pastor of Preaching for Embassy Church. In October of 2012, Capitol Hill Baptist Church sent the Howell’s to Chicago to partner with Edgewater Baptist Church to start Embassy Church. After a year of praying and exploring Chicago God brought a core group together to start Embassy Church in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago. In 2017, Phill began working on a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Paul Alexander

Paul serves as the main preaching pastor for Grace Covenant Church. After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he served for two years on staff with Campus Crusade at Michigan State University, and then completed an MDiv at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He was further trained for pastoral ministry in the pastoral internship program at Capitol Hill Baptist Church, where met his wife Laurie in 2003, and co-authored The Deliberate Church with Mark Dever (Crossway, 2005).

Scott Polender

Scott is a Christian, a husband to Jodi and a father to three daughters. He first came to Bethany Chapel when he came to know the Lord Jesus as a junior in college. God called him back to Bethany in February of 2016. Previously, he served as Director of Training at the Charles Simeon Trust as well as a missionary, church planter and minister at churches in several hemispheres. Scott works with The Gospel Coalition in their TGC Learn initiative.


We are committed to the five solas of Reformation theology and the centrality of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Scriptures.

more info

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