Year One.

It’s been just over a year ago that my family and I moved from the East Coast to Mid-America, into Fort Scott, Kansas. We transitioned because God was giving us an opportunity to pastor a local church. It’s something I’ve always felt “called” to do, but never really believed would happen – but that is for another blog at another time.

We have fallen in love with a community, a church, and this calling. This past year has been met with many joyous moments and few not so joyous ones. And by God’s grace, the church has grown – spiritually and numerically. We have encountered many beautiful people, who we love to call friends, and are humbled by them calling us “pastor.”

As I have been reflecting and reading through journals from the past year, there are several things we’ve learned, unlearned, and realized through this past year. I thought I’d share some of these personal reflections and observations with you.

  • God’s grace is amazing.
  • When preaching I lean heavily toward the side of prayerfully spiritual. When leading I lean heavily toward the pragmatically strategic. I hope to blend more of the prayerfully pragmatic into preaching and the spiritually strategic into my leadership.
  • I love this community. God has a cool way of changing our preferences and desires when we submit to Him in obedience.
  • I love fall in this region – the most beautiful season in Fort Scott is fall!
  • Friendliness is easy, but friendships are harder to come by.
  • In our culture family is important, but not always healthily prioritized and at times, idolized.
  • Mindset Matters
  • The sunsets and sunrises here in Fort Scott are incredibly breathtaking!
  • I was born to do this. Nothing I’d rather do.
  • I love meeting with people, especially over coffee.
  • I don’t like administrative tasks (budgets, spreadsheets, data entry, etc.). Really glad I have a great team member to tackle most of that.
  • Golfing and jogging have really been soul-refreshing for me.
  • God’s grace is amazing.
  • I get energized by vision.
  • My kids LOVE Dairy Queen & Sonic.
  • You can overcome fear.
  • I hate that vision leaks out so quickly.
  • I want to learn to ask better questions.
  • We cannot settle for the probable when God is daring us to dream of the impossible.
  • Leadership is vital to the success of a community, not because they create ideas and take them all on, but because leaders know which ideas to run with and which ones to say no to.
  • There are loads of opportunities and possibilities, once you see beyond the problematic.
  • The smallest amount of preparation, communication, and follow through pay enormous dividends for any organization.
  • God’s grace is amazing.

To everyone who has loved us, prayed for us, encouraged us, walked with us, been patient with us, and celebrated the little things with us – Thank you!

I believe God’s best is still unfolding and the season ahead will be transformative.

Much love!


(Here are some of my favorite moments from the past year.)


4 thoughts on “Year One.

Add yours

  1. Dear Pastor Matthew,

    Great Story! I love how God is using you and Amber in this community.

    Love the story that the pictures tell and love and miss you guys! I teared up reading your story and can’t wait to hear more about what God is doing!

    Tell the kids we miss them and love them❤️

    Love you guys!

  2. Wow! One year! Amazing. It does not seem that ago long that you left. My family and I miss you and your family. I am glad you decided to follow the call of God. I know the tremendous outreach that you are providing to your new community, as you continue to assist in the building of the Great Kingdom of God is indeed a blessing. Pastor Matthew, thank you for being an inspiration in my life and I know that your are touching many other lives in the same positive way. Thank you! Much Love to you and your family – Milton, Daphne & Justin

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