Following his successful run on NBC's blockbuster series The Voice, Todd Tilghman, who was also a pastor at his church, Cornerstone Church in Meridian, Mississippi, choose to leave the pulpit and instead began serving as a "boots-on-the-ground" minister.
In a recent interview with the Christian Post, Tilghman revealed that his traditional pastoral ministry came to an end a few months ago.
"A lot of people don't know, but in 2017, maybe even 2016, I felt that a shift was coming. I just didn't know what it was, " he explained. "As boots on the ground followers of Jesus-type people, our ministry has really amped up a lot."
But even after his departure from a typical church role, Tilghman claimed that his ministry has not stopped.
"If I were to say some of these things while I was still in pastoral ministry, I feel like people would think that it might be a little self-serving. ... But now, on the other side of the curtain, I'm not in full-time pastoral ministry, so it's not going to serve me really in any way to tell people that I really don't think people understand the weight of what it is to pastor a church," he said.
He frankly described some of the difficulty he faced when he worked in full-time ministry, such as church bills, repairs, criticism from others, the weight of giving the Word every week, and at times he felt clueless about what to say or do during times of severe sorrow for a member, such as death of a loved one.
On the Sunday of his last formal church lead pastor status, he confessed to the congregation that on many occasions, he did not have the right words to say, but if they ever needed him, he was there.
"I hope people don't get the idea that I'm anti-church. I'm pro-church. I love the church," he clarified. "But I do think it's important that we don't find out our identity in church. I don't care that we find it in being part of the church, which we are, we're the Church. So if we can find our identity in being part of God's Church in the world, ... that's OK. But I just don't want us to find our identity [solely in the local church]."
Tilghman added that he was hoping the Church would "reset," by way of COVID-19, to what it is intended to be like, maintaining that it isn't simply getting together on Sundays.
The artist also wanted to send a message to anybody who believes he is abandoning his faith.
"I am very much in the Church still, and whatever part I'm supposed to be in the Church. I have no intentions whatsoever of walking away from my faith," he assured.
Tilghman also credited God for everything that transpired in his life.
His upcoming book
To tell their story, he and his wife, Brooke, decided to collaborate on a book titled "Every Little Win: How Small Victories Can Lead to Big Joy."
"We all really do have a unique story," said Tilghman. "We just don't see it as really unique."
They wanted to be "relatable" to people so they could let them know that "maybe you didn't go on 'The Voice' and win, but that doesn't mean that you're not living a victorious life if you'll look at the little wins that you have."
Tilghman and his wife were interviewed by Tricia Goyer for a lengthy period of time over Bluetooth before the writing of the book began. During the interview, they spoke about their marriage and life.
The book deals with a variety of their issues including "adopting two children from South Korea, battling for their newborn son's life, pastoring a small church in the face of hardship, and finding success on 'The Voice' as a member of Team Blake,"
The couple hopes that through the book, they can help others achieve a greater sense of pleasure in their difficult times.
"Hopefully, people will read it and be like, this is all of our experience. Now, yours is different than mine, maybe or maybe not," said Tilghman.
He also wants readers to take away a fundamental lesson from his book which is the "importance of objectivity."
"It's important to try to be objective sometimes. Just because this is what you see, [it] doesn't mean this is all of it," he said.
He also hopes that the Church would learn to take a step back and look at the bigger picture rather than trying to pray their way out of hardship that they must face. Towards the conclusion of the interview, he said that everyone is "loved."