About Matt

short story

  • Following Jesus since 1987
  • Married since 1998
  • Father of 5 boys
  • Full-time ministry since 1995

long story

I have served in full time ministry since 1995, but I felt a clear calling in 1987, when I was in eighth grade. I woke up one morning wondering what direction I was going to take my life, literally thinking, “What is the one thing I’m going to be best at and spend my whole life doing?” I was friends with “powerful” kids in junior high: one friend was the most popular, another was the toughest, and the third was the best athlete. It was clear to me that all of these pursuits were temporary…and therefore, not worth my lifelong commitment.

I figured that since my soul would last forever, I should work to improve its condition.  In this, I felt God say, “Get to know me and help others do the same.” My family had not been to church in a couple years, but I had some Catholic friends so I started attending their confirmation classes. At this point in my life, I decided that I would become a priest. I finished junior high and continued through high school with full-time ministry as my goal.

At Azusa Pacific University, I double majored in Biblical Studies and Psychology. I was fortunate enough to study for a semester in Israel. Upon graduation, I went to serve in youth ministry at Saddleback Church under my mentor and friend Doug Fields. I ministered at Saddleback for eleven years, the last four in the role of High School Pastor. Since that time, I’ve served in a variety of different roles in a handful of churches. With two of my friends, I helped start Download Youth Ministry, an online resource company for youth workers. I am currently serving at New Life Church as the pastor of family ministries.