Garvinwood Church

Garvinwood Church is a church with friendly fellowship just across from the University of Evansville baseball fields on the Lloyd in Evansville, IN (19 N. Englewood Ave) that meets every Sunday at 10:30 AM.

I Love my Job

Honestly, most days as a pastor either aren't anything about which to write home, or they are rather difficult, whether it be stress or business that keeps me from my best friend whom I love and need for my sanity.

However, there are days like yesterday that make it all worth it. Obviously, there was still some monotony, such as research, writing, and reading, which I enjoy, but will omit for the sake of brevity. 

Beyond the early morning reading, my day started at a diner, eating breakfast with one of my best friends, talking about life and ministry, as he bestowed wisdom upon me from his over 30 years of ministerial experience.

I then went to see a beautiful senior saint in the nursing home since I was already on the west side. I walked into the dining hall and her face beamed with excitement to see me, as it does nearly every week that I see her. Not having any biological grandmothers remaining on this earth, it is always great to have conversations with an experienced grandmother. As I was leaving, I prayed for her, and then we sat in silence, holding hands for several minutes. It is always great to be in the presence and encourage someone who was recently widowed after seventy years of successful marriage. It is such an encouragement for me in my young marriage of five years.

My afternoon consisted of more enjoyable ministry. Two of the boys in our youth group are on the same basketball team, so I have been driving around town watching the majority of their games this season. While there, mothers, fathers, and grandmas, who rarely attend a church function, smile, wave, and laugh while referring to me as Pastor Mat and asking for prayers.

While at these games, I regularly hear "Pastor Mat, Pastor Mat" from other neighborhood children and students. One of these 11 year old girls sat next to me temporarily while talking to one of the other moms. She was full of life and joy. I asked her if she was living the dream, and this blonde haired beauty looked at me with a confident smile and said, "Yes, I just got my own bed sheets and pillow and pillow case, so I am literally living the dream." I replied by saying that is great and asked where they are living now, to which she replied one of the family shelters here in town. Still with excitement, she told me about how all of the members in the family get their own beds, and they all get to have fun in the same room.

Then, I go have a Monday night Bible study with the students who are more dedicated and focused. One of the boys' mother asked me if he could get off the bus at my house on Wednesdays and help out at the church, so I can be a positive role model in his life. It is so great to have that credibility from a lady who has walked into our church 3 times in the last 2 years. 

One of the girls in the group, the one who pushed for this separate Bible study to be a reality, sat there soaking in the lesson. She retold a familiar story about how two years ago she came to church because her mom made her. She didn’t care about school grades and lacked confidence, continually angry. We looked at other individuals in the youth group, and I asked her what was different, and she simply said Jesus. Jesus radically changed her life.

I then went to play basketball with some young adults who are starting their lives and families. I am now able to play competitive basketball and have fun. In the past, even my best friends would not want to be on my team because of my anger that I blamed on being competitive.

This is my job, and I love it. My friend from the beginning of the story has lost 90 pounds this past year, despite regularly being tempted by bad foods at diners, because of Jesus. The widow at the nursing home was married for 70 years because of Jesus. The parents and students love Pastor Mat because, I hope, I show the love of Jesus, which is the same reason a mom trusts me with her troubled son. A young girl has joy and is living the dream despite living in a bad situation, that made my wife and me cry when I got home, because of Jesus. A teenage girl has been radically transformed and is getting ready to enlist in the service to protect one nation under God because of Jesus. I am able to actually play basketball without it consuming me because Jesus.

What have you let Jesus do for you?

Background image by Kuba Bozanowski.