Matt Chandler On Being A Pastor

Matt Chandler On Being A Pastor December 13, 2009

Matt Chandler is now in rehab, with a weakened left side after brain surgery. Pathology results are awaited and so our prayers are still much needed.  I suspect, however, there is something that Matt would crave even more than our prayers—that is that we would be inspired by his message to run after our Lord Jesus with all our might. He is truly worthy of such devotion.

I thank God for the wonders of technology that allow Matt, though he is sick, to still speak to us.  Perhaps you have yet to listen to or watch much Matt Chandler.  So, as I dig into  more of his messages I plan on sharing them here.

First up is a talk he gave earlier this year.  Maybe you missed this like I did. Entitled A Shepherd and His Unregenerate Sheep :: Desiring God Christian Resource Library I watched it this week. Along with the famous battered rose clip, this message outlines his own incredible journey in church leadership this past 7 years and teaches us much about the pastor’s role whether we are called to be one or to be a good sheep.  Here is how his story began.  He explains that during the process of applying to become The Village Church’s pastor, he was initially trying to put them off as this transcript shows:

I decided to submit my résumé and be brutally honest. I’m a 28-year old Calvinist, complementarian, believe in the gifts of the Spirit, etc. I thought this would be easy.

I went to the first meeting and was brutally honest. The doctrine of women came up and I explained how I thought the doctrine works. I left and called my wife on the phone and said, “Checkmate. It’s over.” On the drive home I got a call from the head of the search committee asking if I could come back and teach on complementarianism.

We passed that one, but I thought for sure the Calvinism would get them. I came in and they said, “What do you believe about predestination?” I said, “I believe it,” and thought I killed it there. There it went. I kept trying to not get the job. They asked if I could come and preach a sermon.

Before I preached, we did Q&A. I walk up and do a Q&A. I had to go buy slacks and do a Q&A with the whole church. The first question was, “Everybody buys a house knowing there is something about the house they are going to change. What is that thing here?” I said, “Bingo. The system of government is unbiblical. Maybe wicked. Nobody brings a Bible to church. I have no idea where to start.”

I get in the car, and here’s the thing. Up until this point I haven’t hardly prayed about this, because it’s not going to happen. I told my wife, “We’re going to get this job.” And sure enough, I got the job.

We prayed and we thought, “Okay, let’s go and do what we can for a few years.” I had a unanimous vote and had a CD that explained clearly what I wanted to do with the church.

We baptized a lot of people that first year. People would get in the water and share their testimonies. They would all say the same thing. They either had these stories of legalism or license, of being in church their whole lives and never understanding the gospel.

In December of 2002, despite my anger towards evangelicals, I became the pastor of a church of evangelicals in what Christianity Today called the “center of the evangelical world.” Despite the fact that my heart had always burned for the prodigal, God sent me to the older brother.  READ MORE, WATCH OR LISTEN TO THE MESSAGE

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