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.

MH: Yeah. And I think with that, you know, we've heard the line, “We've never done it that way before.” That's like the death knell for the pastor. They love to hear something like that. Or, “we've always done it that way.” You know, the opposite.

I think that sometimes you’ve got guys that probably have a great vision like this, or a desire to serve or whatever, but feel like they're not known or nobody's going to get behind them. But for me, I just shared that vision out there and people got behind it and it got some traction from people of all kinds of contexts, as I said earlier. So it’s one of those, where if you have the desire to see that change, then get busy and be a part of that change in some way.

And so God just really took off and really made it work really well together. We've got a great team that is putting it on for us and helping us. And that is one thing that, you know, your listeners may not understand that, in the context of the SBC pastor's conference, it is completely funded by the president. I don't have $450,000. My church doesn't have $450,000. That's our budget, maybe for the last four, four-and-a-half years that I've been here has been a cumulative $450,000.

So we have to fundraise and in many of the pastors conferences, presidents will fundraise in various ways. And so what's been neat even for that - -

I was thinking this morning, you know, in our churches, I don't know about yours, but in ours, if we took out all of the big gifts, the people that—I don't know who gives what, but, I know amounts—if we took out all of the big gifts, all the ones maybe $1000 or above, we probably wouldn’t make it.

But if we took out all of the small gifts, everything $1000 or below, we most certainly wouldn't make it. And what I'm already seeing with this pastor's conference is, as we've been fundraising, is somebody who's like, well, I, you know, I could give a hundred bucks, but that's not going to help you. You need $450,000.

Just $100, isn't going to help, but you put several of those hundred dollars together and we're already seeing how these smaller gifts are already matching some of the larger gifts that we're getting in. And it's really one of those kinds of pictures of small church, big church, small giving, big giving, all working together to accomplish a great purpose.

KV: That's great. Hey, if there somebody’s listening, and I'm sure there are a bunch of people listening who aren't SBC, but maybe they're in another denomination or they're in a particular network of churches or whatever. And they're listening to this and going, wow. I wish our group of churches would do that. I wish somebody who's in a small congregation would be acknowledged in that way and brought into leadership and be able to speak into the broader conversation.

Pivot is a part of CT's Blog Forum. Support the work of CT. Subscribe and get one year free.
The views of the blogger do not necessarily reflect those of Christianity Today.

Join in the conversation about this post on Facebook.

Recent Posts

Read More from Karl

Follow Christianity Today

Free Newsletters