Podcast Episode 13, 29 min
Small Churches In Denominational Leadership with Matt Henslee (EP 13)
Karl Vaters interviews Matt Henslee. In addition to being a small church pastor and authoring/co-authoring several books, Matt has recently been appointed to leadership in his denomination (Southern Baptist Conference) on both a regional and national level.

It was a little overcast when I was there, but sunny Anaheim.

And so we're looking forward to that. And it's just a time of just a whole lot of encouragement, worship, preaching, and just try and have something good enough that the families decide we'll go to that instead of Disneyland or California Adventure. That's my hope.

KV: Gotcha. So my question is: how does a pastor in a town of 56 people get tagged for both the permanent regional role that you'll be fulfilling and this really major national role overseeing this conference. Is it every year, or every two years?

MH: It’s every year.

KV: Not last year, because nothing was last year.

MH: This is true. This is true. Yeah. COVID took care of that one for last year.

KV: So how did that come about? ‘Cause that really is unusual.

MH: It is unusual. And what is kind of neat about it is I think in some sense, it had less to do with Matt and less to do with May Hill Baptist and more to do with here's a vision.

We had people from large giant mega churches all the way down to small, tiny churches that got behind the idea of a conference that's really going to represent them. And because we, at least in the SBC, you know, and I'm sure maybe other denominations as well, but in the SBC, there's always a lot of talk of—we need these small church pastors in leadership roles because they do know what they're doing. They are doing incredible work. They're great preachers, all of this kind of stuff. They just are kind of out of the limelight and they're not in the conference circuit. And so we've always kind of said that, and there have been incredible ways for “small church pastors” to have some of those opportunities as trustees are on different boards. And even a few years ago, Dave Miller, who is a pastor in the SBC of a small church, he did a pastors conference that was all for churches of, I believe it was either 250 or less or 500 or less.

And all the preachers were going to go through a book of a Bible and they were all from churches either 250 or less or 500 or less. And so there's been kind of little moments like this, and I think this is one where there's a vision that even the large church guys and the small church guys really got behind, of saying that, yes, there's some incredible preachers in our case, in SBC, just like, there are other denominations. But we don't need to just stick with these same eight or nine guys every single time. We can rotate in some of these smaller church guys that are doing incredible work that we just may not know about.

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