News from the Waitsburg Christian Church Pulpit Committee! Pastor Matthew Wyatt The pulpit committee has wonderful news after a long journey of meeting together, praying together, gathering input from the congregation, reviewing applications, and conducting interviews – and perhaps hardest of all – waiting patiently for that pastor that we knew God was preparing in their heart to be called to our church and our community.
With the full support of the church board we have extended a call to Pastor Matthew Wyatt to be our next pastor contingent upon the approval of our congregation – and he has accepted. Matt along with his wife Krystal and daughter Mikaila will be in Waitsburg September 9-12 to meet our church family and visit in the community. Matt will be presenting the message on Sunday September 11 followed by a fellowship time with refreshments for everyone with plenty of time to visit with the Wyatt family. Remember that September 11 we will be returning to Sunday School at 9:30 with worship service at 11:00.
Matt has been the associate and youth pastor at The Ridge Church in Lincoln, California over the last six years. He is commissioned as a minister in the Christian Missionary Alliance denomination and will be applying to become commissioned as a Disciples of Christ minister. He has a powerful story of personal redemption and grace that led him on a path for the ministry and a zeal as a motivational speaker reaching out to people of all walks of life about Christ. At The Ridge Church Matt has grown a youth group from two individuals to 130 students and opened the first youth center in the community witnessing over 100 students come to Christ. He also provides marriage and addiction counseling and supports seniors with life changes, end of life decisions, and families in bereavement. Other community activities he has been involved in include participating on the Board of Directors for Community Christian School System in Placer County and Director of Outreach Ministries, implementing different outreach events for the addicted, homeless, hurting, and lost.
In response to a question we asked of all our candidates regarding what they felt were the greatest challenges facing the mission of the church today – Pastor Matt’s response in part was: “The church needs to be everything, especially in these times that we live in. We not only need to build up the youth for our future, but we need to groom Christians for the present…with a sense of urgency. We need to look at everyone in this world in the same light. They need a church, too. They need a pastor, too. We need to be a church with a gospel that is big enough to welcome everyone to our doors. We run towards the lost. We run towards the broken. We run toward sinners. We need others to look at the church and see the true reflection of our Savior. Because it is grace that sets people free. It’s not laws, legalism, or traditions that set people free. It is the grace of God. That has to be the mission of the church.”
In describing what he feels are his gifts in ministry Matt related: “I believe that God has blessed me with a gift to present the gospel in a way that relates to how life is today. I don’t believe the Bible is an outdated book that is mundane and boring, but the Word of God that is living, breathing, and very compelling. I have empathy. I believe that if you relate to another individual, give them your full attention, and show them that you care, you are more likely to lead that person to Christ. I have never argued anyone to heaven, and I refuse to minister that way.”
Matt’s wife Krystal, who grew up in Walla Walla, is a medical patient coordinator who loves the beach, camping, and hanging out with their dogs. Mikaila is a sophomore this year and involved with volleyball, basketball, and a leader in their youth group. The entire family loves hanging out together as family, going on walks, and anything water related.
Matt is a 1998 graduate of Waitsburg High School. He tells us that when the Waitsburg Christian Church reached out he could not get it out of his heart. He prayed about this call because of the strong ministry that God allowed him to build in California but honestly feels that “God wants to move me and I love it. I lived in Waitsburg for 19 years and love this town with everything in me. To have the opportunity to return is deeply moving to me.”