The following are unsolicited testimonials provided by pastors & churches working with IgniteUS:

The church is doing well. A couple more salvations, but what has been really encouraging is the excitement of the people to reach out to their friends over the holidays! Time will tell the lasting impact this will have. 2012 looks like another exciting year of development and growth here. Our leadership team will be looking into the whole concept of eldership.

We have had to utilize some preliminary church discipline with a couple and our guys didn`t even flinch! PTL, the couple is responding well. They said this is the first church they had attended that the leadership actually has not just talked accountability but has called their bluff and held them accountable!
(Very Satisfied IgniteUS Ladership Development Process Alumni Pastor; 12/10/09)

I am THANKFUL for the time you have invested in my life and the godly counsel IUS has given to our church. We are experiencing wonderful days of growth in the lives of the believers,  seeing people come to Christ and new faces in our congregation. We have lots more to do but the time we spent developing godly leadership and equipping the saints is paying off. We have our challenges but we have a firm foundation rooted in Christ and the Word that gives us confidence to push on and patiently await all God has in store for us. Thanks again. (Alumni Pastor; 11/25/2011)

The IUS Process has revolutionized ministry in our church. (Pastor in CA) 11/15/2011

I have never seen the change in people lives like we have seen the past two years in our church. (Key Leader in a church that recently completed the Leadership Development Process). 11/15/2011

Last Sunday morning, the sister of one of our adult members came forward for salvation;  Her name is Sue.  Margaret counseled with her following the Worship Service and met with her last night for follow up.  Danny & Jessica Burdine (Danny is a deacon) publically announced his call to vocational Christian service—the pastorate, last Sunday at the Invitation.  He is taking the Liberty University MDiv program on line.  PTL!  Another lady who was saved through our ministry approx. ten years ago and became very active in our Children’s ministry, but left the church 3-4 years ago, was  back in church for the first time, also!  This too is a praise.  Her name is Peggy, if you care to pray for her.  Her husband recently left her, but she appears to be adjusting and growing spiritually.  She was impacted by Marc’s death and his wife’s (Amy) faith and strength.  Talk to you later.  We’ll pray for you and your transportation decisions, tonight. (OH Pastor, 09/21/11)

Hey Tom,

What a challenging newsletter this month. I certainly have benefited from the time you have invested in me. You certainly have not been in the retirement mode! May each of us who read this consider our plan for finishing strong. I will be sending your newsletter link to a few guys for their careful consideration! God bless and thank-you for continuing to be a great example. Talk with you soon! (from an IgniteUS Alumni, June 15, 2011)

Thank you for your ministry. Your News Letter is always a breath of fresh air! (Pastor Jim Wolf, April 26, 2011)

One of our Transformation Partner Churches recently received two major offerings. One for $35,000 and another for $36,000, both on the same day. This is a church of 100 people. This assembly is 157 years old. They are focused on making disciples not managing activity. They are attracting Young Potential Leaders because of the Vision & Challenge the Pastor has set before them. Great Risks & Great Rewards. (April 22, 2011 – Resurrection Weekend).

I enjoyed the March 1 newsletter article very much–helpful to me in leading my home group and working with my church’s college & career ministry.  I love the idea that the goal is transformation and our job is to accurately lay out the Word of God and help them apply it in their lives. Thanks, (A SC Small Group Ldr, March 1, 2011)

Good grief – that’s a good article, Tom! Did you just write this recently?  This provides a fantastic overview of the IUS Process.  Very clear.  Thanks, this is going to help a ton.  I’ll send it to . . . (OH – after a Pastor’s Forum; 02/11/2011)  Measuring Ministry Effectiveness. info@igniteus.net to request a copy.

You nailed that issue to the wall! Great illustration of the truth. We all want the reward without paying the price! I woke up this morning with Luke 6:40 running thru my head…the disciple is not above his teacher. As a shepherd I cannot expect to take my sheep past where I find myself. It is so true, we need a prophet not a priest. . . .Tom thanks for making the investment in my life. I can truly say it has forced me to grow! I still have a long way to go! (Transformation Partner, 01/21/2011).

I have been blessed with the help from Ignite US in helping to assess whether or not we could even with stand such a turn around. The Assessment Indicator we used identified the areas within every church that need attention, we were able to see if we as a church were up for it and if the leader(s) were prepared to move ahead. It was probably the most thought provoking exercise we as leaders had taken in a very long time. I believe the passing score should be above a 60% in order to have a margin of success. We squeaked by with about a 63%. That was about 4 years ago. Things have changed dramatically at RMBC. Not all smoothly but I can say for myself and the leadership we are not the same men we once were. There has been a growing confidence in the ability of God to build His church and we are seeing the evidence firsthand in own lives. IUS is not a program you purchase and follow step by step. It is a process that allows the Spirit of God to massage the hearts and minds of His people. Every church is going to have very different experiences but the outcome is draw us closer to Him, understand and relate to one another as members of the body of Christ, to be fully engaged as a Church family in going into all the world to make disciples for His glory and honour! (from an email sent by an IgniteUS Alumni to another Pastor who is considering the Process (12/14/10).

On a personal note, thanks for your help, and for your service.  You consulted with integrity and transparency throughout this entire process, and I am grateful for this. (Denominational Leader, MD, 11/01/10)

Tom, your sermon was outstanding and exactly what we needed to hear.  As we’re trying to develop and promote small groups, I couldn’t think of a better message to encourage people to get involved.  I rarely get to sit and hear someone else preach live, and often when I do it’s a dud, sad to say.  The message was great homiletically, but even more important you laid out the truth clearly and shared it from the heart.  Thanks for this. (Pastor of POF Church, 10/24/10)


I posted a link to your sites this morning on my blog. I appreciate what you are doing. Hope you are in good health and keep fighting the good fight. (KY Pastor; 10/15)


Thanks so much for coming today and standing in the line of fire. . . .You said these things would happen-funny how people forget that.

Anyway, I have a tremendous amount of respect for you and find you to be a God lead man full of integrity. I hope IgniteUS can continue to thrive.

God bless,

Steve  (09/26/10)

Hey Tom,

Happy Memorial Day! The weather here is 80 plus, thundershowers coming this afternoon. Had a better week, I am starting to get over whatever bug I picked up out East. Had a great day here on Sunday. We had 14 new folk out for membership class last night. At least two have indicated their desire for baptism and we had for the first time multiple people fill the application sheet in on the spot. One couple wants to fast track their membership and want to be approved at the next business meeting  June 9th! I showed them an abbreviated version of our Growth Chart Matrix and explained why we believe God intended them to grow and how the local church is vital to the process. It was great to see the deacons take part and the confidence they have in sharing what we believe. Looks like there will be lots to keep us busy of the summer months. God bless, have a great week, See ya! (This church completes the 3 year Leadership Development Process September 1, 2010. They are in a rural setting in a farming community. God is growing this assembly in every dimension.  God will also use you in this fashion when you Lead with integrity and honor Him). Posted May 31, 2010

In short, I’ve been looking to be mentored and discipled by a seasoned pastor who has been where I need to go.  I feel God has caused our paths to cross, and that you are such a pastor.  If you feel you can help me, based on what I’ve said above, I look forward to setting out on this journey together. (CA Pastor, 03/04/2010).

The IUS Leadership Development Process is helping us tremendously.

a. The “every other week” coaching calls with Tom Fillinger have been phenomenally helpful. The 85 bucks per month we’re spending on IUS has been worth it for this reason alone! The insight and direction derived from those sessions has been extremely beneficial.  OH Pastors 01/19/2010

Thank you so much for your promptness in getting me more information…I am going out of town for five days and then have to do some catch up upon returning. I hope to review some of this then and also want to meet with our leaders and share this with them and see how God will continue to guide this body to be all we are designed to be to bring Him glory. Again, many thanks. JAX FL NANC Conference Response, October 17, 2009)

Hey Tom,

I went through the process again and used your scoring. WOW, that was revealing. It is so easy to say one thing but when you evaluate with a written scale based on objective standards and not ‘feeling’ the scores change. It looks like we have a ways to go. I am encouraged that at least we have something to talk about. If I had taken this quiz 3 years ago it would have been very different. I am going to hear Ed Stetzer tomorrow in Toronto, the Fellowship has brought him in for the day. God bless. See ya! (Canadian Pastor in response to the 14 Effectiveness Criteria, September 30, 2009).

The IgniteUs philosophy and process is biblically sound in every way. Rich Rardin writes about “First Principles” in his book. These are the “amino acids” of the body of biblical truth on leadership. These principles are counterintuitive and cannot be discerned apart from God revealing them to us in His Word. Church leaders are challenged to ask two essential questions: 1) “What does the Bible say about leadership? and 2) “How do I put these truths into practice?”

Tom Fillinger models what he teaches. He has responded to our needs and questions in a timely and helpful way, walking us through the initial phase of the program. He practices the P-I-E formula on leadership: P-rayer, I-nformation, E-ncouragement.

Tom has freely provided resources and coaching on how to prepare for and initiate change with our congregation. During our most recent conference call he responded to our question on how to exercise authority without being authoritative. He explained the concept of “emotional intelligence”, and the fact that most conflict is not over doctrinal issues but hurt feelings. He explained his “Decision Making Model” and “Communication Protocol”. These are essential, practical methods for any pastor hoping to lead his church through the change process. (OH Pastor, September 25, 2009)

Great to read of Wayne’s progress with his Transition Team. The Leading Change and the summary page of the Kotter article (I haven’t read the other pages yet) helped put what is involved in change in clearer perspective for me. The correlation between Kotter’s article and the IgniteUS process is quite evident. I’m nearly finished with the Servant Shepherd book. I can’t begin to express how immensely helpful this book has been to me. It is a gold mine. I’m now thinking in categories I didn’t even know existed previous to reading this book. It provides the biblical framework prerequisite to any long term growth and change as servant / leader. I can’t wait to begin going back through it as I retrace my steps through the four quadrants in conjunction with the results of my SSLI. (OH Pastor August 9, 2009)

After reading the Process Profile in it’s entirety, I can understand what you meant about the IUS LDP not being easy! The path is straightforward enough, but it will certainly take discipline, commitment, and perseverance. This is exactly what I need and exactly what our church needs! I found hammering out a customized Task Chronology Template to be of tremendous help. This gave me a clear understanding of the Process, a stronger sense of ownership, and a deeper sense of excitement concerning the this challenge of transformation! (Ohio Pastor, June 11, 2009)

Thanks for taking 45 minutes with us on the phone this morning. The conversation on transition and transition teams was very informative and helpful.

What impressed me during our conversation today, was just how much I have to learn and how much sense the IgniteUS process makes. Finally — I’m beginning to grasp the reality that the IgniteUS process is a well thought-out, carefully crafted, 5 phase, sequential process, which if adhered to with diligence and whole-heartedness by the pastors of a church will result in change and will produce transformation–in the leaders, in the church overall (in the way the church conducts it’s ministry), and in the lives of the individual church members. I can clearly see now that the IgniteUS process will indeed address each and every issue that needs addressed for our church to be transformed. (OH Pastor, May 27, 2009)

Congregational Attitude & Change

Had another great meeting with the guys last night. We have been reading The Lost Art of Discipleship together as a team a chapter each month. We are in chapter 6 that deals with the whole area of things a new convert needs to know. It flowed right into our discussions and is proving helpful to the process. One of the guys overheard one of the congregants saying to another, he feels like something is going on at church, and is expecting God to do some key things in the near future! This was a great encouragement for our guys! (May 07, 2009)

Just as a note of praise, we had a WONDERFUL Praise and Prayer service last night (April 1, 2009). Transparency coming from folks in their 70’s, prayer request for lost children, encouraging the process of accountability and their was an enormous opportunity and freedom for me to lead them in where we are going in the disciple making process! Thanks for your prayers. Pastor David

The following testimony is from Pastor Wayne. The church he leads has been in the IgniteUS Transformation Process for just over 18 months. They have applied the principles we teach with wisdom and consistency. The results are most encouraging.(April 2, 2009)

We had a great meeting last night. The guys (Transition Team) were prepared, engaged and left excited. We actually were finished with 10 minutes to spare! Here is a list of blessing from the process to date…


• Gives us the track to run on – Purpose

• Unity among the workers and an expectancy

• God is Awesome


• More people involved in practical ways in the church – worship for example

Steve S.

• Looking at things more intentionally – more of a people focus vs. a program focus

• Evaluating things for spiritual results


• Less opposition

• Seeing the need for discipleship

• Seeing different people involved

• Church family out to Fireproof

• Deacons meeting changing

Steve G

• Growth in the leadership

• Unity and fellowship

• Openness to share

Pastor Wayne

• We are still in operation

• Written membership and policy handbook

• Membership classes

• Church C.H.A.T.’s

• Revamping of the “committee” system – specifically the co-ordinator

• 2nd year with the new nomination procedure

• Voting to establish and “Intern” postion and called a man to that role

• Completed the Servant Shepherd Leadership Inventory

• Completed the Church Health Survey

• First successful growth group

• Open Sunday for testimonies

• 50 team members to leadership conference

• Attendance and offerings

• Potential deacons

• Deacon’s key initiatives

• Fireproof

• Men’s prayer time

They all agreed the next logical step is to begin evaluating our ministries in light of our purpose! I sent them away with a printed copy of Ministry Effectiveness Criteria #1-Pupose. I wanted them to be very sure the purpose statement we developed a few years ago will carry the evaluation process. We will not be meeting for 2 weeks due to conflict in calendars BUT with Spring Bible Conference this weekend and then Easter next week this is not such a bad thing! I walked away from our meeting rejoicing in the fact our God is at work in the lives of His people here at RMFBC. Thanks again for all your coaching and challenge to keep on keeping on. God bless.

I just went to your web site and read through the 14 Effectiveness Criteria.

WOW! This is exactly what a healthy Church should look like.

(Assoc. Pastor Mike V. OH, March 23, 2009)

As far as Tom Fillinger and IgniteUs, where do I begin?

He struck me as a very well trained and self taught man of God in the Word, who has a passion for other pastors to become equipped in biblical leadership, as he has. My personal impression of the IgniteUs program is, it’s every Bible teaching pastor’s dream. One advantage, I guess, which I have over other men may be our similar educational background, including college, seminary, and nouthetic Bible counseling training.

Everything Tom said verbally (and in the form of his handouts) resonated with me (“This is what leadership and local church ministry are all about, and this is how we get there.”) This was especially the case with his persistent emphasis on the sufficiency and authority of Scripture. I’m sold on the overall philosophy, the objectives, and the process. I can envision Tom and I working together. I need further development in this area, and I want to “finish well” and lead PHBC to the “next level” in her spiritual journey. If we decide to go with the “IgniteUs” program, not everyone will “sign on”. Some will even run from it; but I agree with Tom, if we can persuade 20 wholehearted people (and especially men) to take this journey with us, God will do incredible things. My personal opinion, it’s not a matter of “if”, but “when” to begin.

(Pastor Ron Edwards, Milford OH, March 17, 2009)

“In the always exciting, frequently terrifying journey of church transition, IgniteUS is providing the basic tools to help our church negotiate the path. IgniteUS has thankfully not provided any cookie-cutter formulas; rather, we have been encouraged to customize our ministry based on our context and gifts.”

Ohio Pastor

“Pastors and church leaders will gain much from the teaching and coaching of these experienced leaders and the leadership development they bring to the church through IgniteUS.”

– Dr. Dave Hine, President of World Ministries in Marlton, NJ

“IgniteUS has identified an approach that helps leaders discover the courage, heart and brains for the journey.”

– Pastor Louie McDonald, Rosewood Baptist Church in Columbia, SC

IgniteUS Case Studies

For more information about these turnaround congregations, please feel free to contact the pastors directly.

“We are a typical inner city congregation. The challenges we face are definitely overwhelming! How can we reconnect to our neighborhood when many of our members have moved away to the suburbs? The generation we nurtured is now worshipping in a suburban setting. We found both a partner and friend with IgniteUS. They provided accurate assessment tools and realistic plans of where we wanted to go. Are we there yet? No, but we have created a path and inspired a passion in our leaders for the journey toward renewal. IgniteUS will join you in that process of ‘getting there.'”

Pastor Louie McDonald
Rosewood Baptist Church
2901 Rosewood
Columbia, SC 29205

As a small Southern Baptist Church we found ourselves like many others; plateaued, stagnant, and dying. The IgniteUS process has breathed new life into a congregation that was just several years from dying. The Process is tailored to where and who we are and has thus been well accepted by almost everyone. As of this date (Feb. 2004), we are only several months into the IgniteUs leadership development process, we are not any bigger in size, but we are healthier and better, and our future is much brighter. I believe that what we are doing and becoming honors God and His kingdom.

Pastor Jim Reppart
Hillcrest Baptist Church
Laurens, SC 29360