Matt Smith

Church Name: First (Kearney)

Share any relevant background information including leadership experience both within the church and in other areas of your life.

I truly believe that our faith, and Christianity has to cross into all areas of our lives, not just our "church life".

  • Discipleship - started and led many adult and youth small groups, currently lead a youth small group at the Junior level.
  • Administrative leadership - served as lay leader 2X, on the board 4X, annual conference rep 4X, discipleship team to help guide the overall process of discipleship at FUMC Kearney.
  • Evangelism - worked in the core group to start a second site of FUMC Kearney, focusing my work on hospitality, prayer, and discipleship.
  • Service - Kairos Prison Ministry, Disaster Relief in Haiti; Spofford House; and others.

Healthcare/Business: As Director for one of the largest hospitals in the state of Kansas, I have been employed for 13 years, and have a staff of around 100 people, supporting over 80 clinics and 4 hospitals. Where we stress "patients first".

President of the Greater Kansas City HIMSS Chapter, receiving the nationwide Outstanding Service Award.

Describe your personal practices of intentional faith development that strengthen your spiritual engagement with God and your capacity for fruitful leadership in the church.

My faith development continues to grow daily, as I start my day talking to God during my morning runs, with Him and nature. After returning I continue with my daily reading of Scripture from the Old Testament and the New Testament, along with going to God on my knees in prayer, and surrender, asking for daily wisdom, discernment, and guidance for the day ahead. I'm also currently going through the devotional "40 Days with Wesley, A Daily Devotional Journey" by Rueben P. Job.

On a daily and weekly basis, I also pray for our church leaders, members, and those yet to find Christ, literally praying over every seat and space in our second site (school), asking for the Holy Spirit to come join us. This is a habit that I started years ago, praying over every seat, and all of the Sunday morning church space, ensuring we are covered in prayer, before anyone enters the building(s).

Why do you seek election as a lay delegate representing the Missouri Conference?

If elected, I am willing to serve as a General or Jurisdictional delegate for the Missouri Conference.

As we have all seen in the recent months, and years, it is more important than ever to have the discernment of God, the Holy Spirit, leading in love, and moving us forward in the days ahead. We must take into account and learn from those who started "the church" as the foundation, and abide by the wisdom provided through Jesus Christ, the apostles, and those who came before us in the Scriptures.

How will your involvement in General Conference 2020 support the church to fulfill the mission “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world”?

I realize how important the 2020 conference is for our denomination, the church, and I believe the world.

My life and involvement with the church, is lived in view of eternity, and how we can impact eternity for those around us, and those we are to meet in the future. By making disciples, and living as a disciple, I feel there is no greater way to help change lives inside and outside of our church walls. Both need to be considered, as we look at long-term relationships, evangelism, service, and discipleship within and outside our local churches. There is hope, and we can make an eternal impact by the example we live every day, and the attitude we bring to GC 2020.

General Conference is an opportunity to help impact discipleship at the national and world-wide level, which is so important in the days we live.

Since the primary focus for Jurisdictional Conference is to elect new bishops, what qualifications do you think the church needs in its future episcopal leaders?

Servant leaders with extreme courage, who are Spirit-led, devoted to prayer, and Bible-believing. 

Ready to surrender their personal motives, opinions, words, and works to where the Spirit leads and speaks. 

Who also understand the world-wide impact of decisions, but also understand how decisions impact those at the local level.