We can all agree that we do not understand the happenings and seasons of life while we are in the midst of them. Over time, we gain perspective and make sense of what made no sense before. Such has been my transition recently.
When God led me to step down from my worship position on September 6, all I knew was I had an order from God. Since then, I got married and am experiencing the transition of blending two homes and families. My wife is a tremendous blessing and constant encourager! Other things have taken place that revealed to me the need for my attention to be diverted for a season.
After many years of living hours away from my mother, she moved down here in May. I asked her last year to consider that since I would be where I am for the long haul. I am the only child, and I wanted her to move near me while she was able. I thank God that I had the foresight to do so.
Since the move, she has had some health struggles beyond what we realized. Her new doctor put her through multiple tests to discover that she ultimately needed open heart surgery. Had she stayed where she was, this may not have been discovered. God has provided in amazing ways since then, and I have had the joy of being able to walk with her through this and the recovery that will follow.
I had no idea what God was doing then, but the picture is becoming clearer. Dear friend, you may not be able to see it now. But wait! Step back, focus on the bigger picture, and you may see the hand of God in ways you never expected.
For those who don’t know about me, my name is Matthew Winters. I was born and raised in Portsmouth, VA. I am a 1998 graduate of Portsmouth Christian School, 2003 grad of Liberty University (Bachelor of Science in Religion), and 2006 grad of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary (Master of Arts in Leadership). I gave my life to Christ in 1987 following a Christian school chapel service and surrendered to the call to ministry on May 4, 1997. I was licensed and ordained by Hepsibah Baptist Church of Seneca, SC in 2012 and have served primarily in music ministry and as a pastor.
I currently live in Seneca, SC where my ministry is based. I am available to do some minimal travel to minister due to my service as a hospice chaplain and piano teacher. I would love the opportunity to minister in your church through preaching or workshops. My passion is to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. If I can be an extension of the pastor and empower people with the necessary tools to be victorious in Christ, I am most deeply fulfilled. Please contact me if I can be of any assistance.
A few years ago, a committee contacted me about being the church’s worship leader. I agreed to the phone interview. In the process, I was asked why I served so many churches since 1996. After some time of examination, I began to understand why.
The ministry God gave me is one of transition. God sends me somewhere for a season. When the purpose is accomplished, He sends me to the next place. Because the ministries in which I have been involved are primarily music, I inherited situations where unity was no longer present and God restored unity while I served in that position. I am an encourager and transitional leader.
My God-given ministry of transitional leadership is not a sin. I now embrace it. I am not interested in building an empire. I am simply interested in encouraging the body of Christ to see that there is something greater around the corner. Because I have been a pastor, I want to encourage pastors and supplement their God-given vision as God provides opportunity.
I honestly cannot wait to see how God uses me next and where. I am thankful to be God’s instrument through which HE alone does all the work.
I’m sure that many are asking, “Matthew, why are you shifting ministry directions now?” That is a good question that I would love to answer!
Ministry changed for me when I went through a separation and divorce in 2014. I resigned the pastorate in November 2013 and returned to music ministry on a part-time level in March 2014. I continued doing that until September 6 of this year.
Now I am remarried. God gave me a precious wife, Jennifer, who has two precious children. My three children live 4 hours away, making it difficult to minister to a single church every week. After much prayer, I am making myself available to churches that would allow me to preach or minister through music since both are areas of passion.
I am thankful that God continues to use me as a hospice chaplain and piano teacher throughout the week, but I still have a heart for the local church. Please join me in asking God to open doors where I can continue to minister for His glory.
Don’t you just love it when things happen in life that are a total inconvenience to us? Don’t you love when you have everything planned out and nothing goes according to schedule? Such is life, so why do we think that something unfair has happened and we’re victims?
Have you ever thought that the uncertainty in your life might just have a purpose? Maybe God is trying to strengthen your faith and test your character. Maybe your delay has a divine purpose because you are not ready.
I know that waiting is something that few if any of us like to do but hold on! Be still! God is doing something far greater than you can imagine. As you wait, draw closer to Him and begin to understand His heart. He really has your best interest in mind because His love for you is great!
The month of September was full of changes. Truthfully, my life since the latter part of 2013 has been totally unpredictable. For time sake, I will only focus on the changes in the last month (I think).
At the beginning of September, I resigned my worship position where I worked with a pastor, mentor, and friend. The move of the Holy Spirit to leave didn’t make sense, but God made it clear that I would disobey Him if I stayed.
The following Friday, I married the woman I prayed for. I can’t even put into words how wonderful this is. We are still in the process of trying to blend homes, belongings, etc.
Now, I find myself once again stepping into the unknown. This season of rest from weekly church ministry has been refreshing. I have worshiped in some great churches for the last four Sundays. This coming Sunday, I will assist in leading worship at a church plant in the area and preach at a local church in the evening. I continue to serve as a hospice chaplain and have added some substitute teaching into the mix. I’m excited about what God is doing. In this season of my life, I hear God saying “It’s not about one local organization/church; it’s about My kingdom”. So I will continue to help believers draw into a closer relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and watch God expand my circle of influence all for His greater glory. Please join me in asking God to open doors where I can preach, teach, lead worship, or be a blessing.