Matt spent his teen and college years working in camping ministries. It was while working at camp at the age of 16 that he received his call to ministry and developed a deep love and passion for young people. Matt attended Oak Hills Christian College and earned his B. A. in Youth Ministry, and even better, met and married the love of his life, Amanda. Matt enjoys serving at Harvest and loves spending time with Amanda and their six children.
Where did you grow up & what are some of your favorite things about those years?
Matt: For most of my growing up years, I lived in southwestern Minnesota. It is a really boring place to live for uncreative people. But I loved it because of all the freedom it provided. Guns, guitars and motorcycles were my passions growing up. Both of my grandparents owned large farms, I enjoyed roaming their lands shooting stuff, driving anything with an engine through mud or any crazy scenario we could come up with. These experiences of “making something to do” out of “nothing to do” has helped me in being a youth pastor since creativity is key to working with students.
What is your “go to” for relaxing? Any music or hobbies you enjoy?
Matt: I love the outdoors – hiking, hunting, etc…! Starved Rock and some local forest preserves are some of my favorite places to be. I also have grown to enjoy “thrifting” with Amanda. She runs an business centered around it, and has provided our family with some cool things through the years, and I have grown fond of “the hunt.”
I am a huge U2 fan, and have a very eclectic taste in music … classical, Holy Hip Hop, worship music, etc…
What is your favorite food?
Matt: Black Angus Beef! I am a definite carnivore. At a previous ministry, a beef farmer would give us half a side of beef each year, and that developed my taste for quality meat. I dream about amazing t-bones and sirloins!
Describe your time with the Lord or a good book that has impacted your spiritual life.
Matt: I am trying to read through the Bible this year, and have committed myself to developing some spiritual disciplines. While I have not yet mastered them, it’s good to make a shift in that direction. I am thankful that I work with students … to help them grow spiritually, I must be growing too.
The most influential book I have read is Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. God has really used that book in my life, and I recommend it to everyone.
Anything else interesting about you, Matt?
Matt: Well, I have webbed toes and can swim like a duck … or perhaps a platypus.