To all who follow this blog, I will be merging this account with honestthoughtsfromapastor.com in the near future. I have years of content here that I do not want to use while I also want to enhance my current site. I look forward to this enhancement and the opportunity to engage with both audiences under “one roof.”
From 2015 until 2018, I was a rather prolific writer. Ideas came left and right. I must admit that my writing was rather impulsive. The adrenaline rush of becoming a rapidly growing blog at that time became a god. My blog became a place to process hurt and gain the affirmation I missed. Soon, my writing took a turn.
In 2017 and 2018, most of my writing was about my journey of trying to get a church off the ground. I posted excerpts of the sermons I preached. The horrible reality is that I was trying hard to make MY dream of a church work while simultaneously trying to convince the world that everything was great. I am a horrible actor, so I gave up the church in September 2018 and the old blog shortly thereafter.
Some may wonder why I would give up a blog for which I was so passionate. I finally realized the bitter undertones beneath my writing, and I knew I could no longer spew that venom at an audience that was growing tired of it. While some of that can easily sell, that is not my calling. I am called to encourage and share the life-changing message of Christ. I am called to help others. Writing for the sake of writing is not enough. No wonder I had writer’s block! God blocked it and rightly so!
Another thing that blocked my writing was a hurtful comment. The comment was not on a blog, but it was on a famous social media site. After that, I went silent there for a long time. I started this new blog with the hopes of reigniting the fire I once had for writing. Here was the problem – God wanted me silent while I finally came to terms with the hurt and pain in my own heart. Until I did that, my blog posts were only going to be about me and would offer no help to anyone. Some still say the things I post are too much about me. Here is what I learned – God has used my life experiences to help a lot of people. So many have thanked me for being transparent and vulnerable. My stories are not to put Matthew on parade but to connect with someone’s internal struggle and help them through it.
While the “pen” doesn’t flow as frequently as it once did, this writer is much more careful to pray before he posts. God often blocks my writing, and I’m learning to be okay with it. He knows best!
If you are older than I am, you probably watched a sitcom called “What’s Happening?” I love older shows, so I enjoyed watching it. Since I’ve been silent for a while, I thought I might write about what’s happening. This sitcom had a character named “Rerun.” I feel like “rerun” might be the story of my life, but we have had some nice twists and turns in the mix.
Last year around this time, I returned to the pastorate. It has been a pretty glorious journey as I have watched God breathe new life into the church and into my own life. We have baptized 4 people, witnessed a rise in giving and attendance, and seen some new folks step up and serve. That is just the beginning.
When I became the pastor, the leadership discussed a relaunch. The thought scared me half to death since I flopped at my church planting attempt and stepped down 11 months into my first pastorate due to family issues. My first thought was, “Lord, we will do this in about 2-3 years.” The leadership was eager, signs pointed toward “GO” within 6 months, and we made the announcement with applause from the congregation. We waited until late January to begin the process, and God has aligned things beautifully. From the decision for the name to logos to building renovations, God has unified the people, and they are ready to share the love of Christ like never before.
This coming Saturday and Sunday is our opening weekend for the relaunch. Saturday will be our Spring festival with the opening service on Sunday. I would ask you to join me in praying for this. I just want what God wants for this beautiful body of believers. I simply want God to write the story and receive all the glory.
Maybe after next weekend, I can return to writing regularly and keep you in the loop on “what’s happening”…