Matt Henslee, the Associational Mission Strategist for the Collin Baptist Association in Texas, has debunked some of the myths that some people think about small church pastors.
Currently, smaller congregations dominate the U.S. religious landscape. While they take up most of the denomination, they are often misunderstood.
In a report by Kentucky Today, Henslee busted three common myths.
Small Church Pastors Are Second Class
According to Henslee, small church pastors, especially those in rural areas, are not below the pastors of large churches.
He stated that every church has a different set of challenges. The obstacles that a small church pastor has encountered may be different to those of a large church pastor.
Henslee furthered his point by narrating his experience.
According to him, he once worked with a pastor of a church that had 20,000 members and another with only about 80. While one may be great in numbers and platform, neither of them is more or less significant in the Kingdom of God.
They are Lacking
Similarly, a small church pastor is not less capable than a large church pastor.
Henslee stated that he once worked at a church in the middle of the mountains in rural New Mexico. During his time there, he took on several responsibilities, including being a song leader, janitor, and audio and video technician.
His choice to serve in a rural church was not because he lacked the capacity, nor because he was a weak leader or lacked creativity. Rather, it was because he was called there by God.
Pastoring in a small church should not be regarded as a second-class ministry. In fact, Henslee stated that being a pastor for those churches needed him to have a greater breadth of expertise.
They Hate It
As a small church pastor, Henslee was often asked how long he planned to "waste" his life in New Mexico.
However, small church pastors like him simply have no desire to leave. They simply believed that they were called to serve and lead the members of those small churches to God.
Most small church pastors who Henslee knows love leading their churches. They do so with distinction and without the desire to be in "bigger and better" pastures.
However, there are exceptions. Henslee stated that some pastors have a "moving up" mindset and use various churches to reach their desired destination.
Henslee himself became a leader of a large church after serving in New Mexico. However, instead of viewing his new role as a "moving up", he only saw it as God using him in a different way.
Henslee stated that there is no insignificant ministry. So, whether one serves behind the scenes or in the limelight, one just needs to be constantly faithful to what God has called them to do until He takes them elsewhere.
Henslee also addressed small and large church pastors.
"To the small church pastor, especially, you are seen and known today," he said.
Henslee then reminded them that their worth does not lie in their reach on social media nor in how many pews they have filled up in church. Instead, their worth is measured in Christ.
Meanwhile, Henslee addressed large church pastors, saying not to look down on small church pastors. Instead, they should view them as crucial leaders in their mission to advance God's kingdom.
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