87: Episode 87 – Mat Alexander on Revitalization, Preaching, & Being Yourself in Ministry

This week, on The Church Leadership Podcast, Mark and Andy get to spend some time with their friend Mat Alexander. Mat serves as the Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Gadsden, Alabama, and has done a wonderful job leading and loving this great congregation for over eight years. In this episode, we talk about the hard work church revitalization, the necessity of biblical preaching, and how the gospel helps us better understand our political culture. There’s no doubt you will be encouraged through this conversation with Mat and his gracious approach to ministry like we were! No matter the size church you belong to right now, there are so many helpful things from this talk that will benefit any who listen. We are so grateful for Mat and every church leader who has intentionally invested and committed themselves to a local church, to the hard work of revitalization, and to the ministry of the Word, no matter the outcome. 

Snippets from our conversation with Mat

“For me, the biggest thing in terms of church revitalization that I think is important is to remember you are not the belle of the ball.’

“Mark Dever, I think, said one time, ‘We call it church revitalization now. Fifty years ago, it was called pastoring.’”

“When a church has been the premier church, and has done well for a long time,… even Christian people seem to kind of enjoy it when things aren’t going well.”

“So, we volleyed a couple of times on whether our church was open or not. I said, ‘Hey man, I’m telling you, I’ll show you a pay stub… I promise I’m the pastor there.’”

“We want to make sure it’s really clear we are this way on purpose. We don’t want anyone to ever come to our church and think, ‘Bless their hearts.’”

“I would just say, you can’t. And, the harder you try to do it in six months, the more likely you’ll be trying to figure out how to fix another church in six months.”

“I do think that biblical, faithful preaching is the Archimedean point from which a church turns.”

“If I address it in the pulpit from the Word, people are one million times more receptive than if I share it on Facebook, or Twitter, or something like that.”

“We are not called to be Old Testament prophets. We are called to be shepherds and pastors. We are heralds of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

“When we’d gone through a tough season here, I just remember thinking, ‘If I can’t be me, I can’t do this very long.’”

“It’s not a sacrifice for me to stay here. It’s great. I love it. They treat me really well, and love me, and they listen to the Word every Sunday, and they love my family… I’m here because I love it!”

“Our lives are bigger than our ministries. Our lives and our relationship with Christ is worth more than our pastorates.”