What does Matic mean?
One day I saw this word on a paper towel dispenser and it stuck with me. Matic is what you get when you take away the “auto” from “automatic.” It means you need to use your hands. It’s manual, it takes effort on your part. It’s hands-on.
I like it because I believe in hands-on leadership development. I believe in hands-on evangelism. To be effective you have to be close to people. You can’t affect people by studying how to affect people. You have to befriend people, get close to them, love them, suffer with them, rejoice with them, live with them. Like Jesus.
I have a calling to help develop leaders who reconcile people to God.
I grew up in the trenches (pews?) of local church ministry. My father is the pastor of a small church in Muscatine, Iowa.
Over the years I’ve preached, led worship, served communion, led youth programming, taught Sunday School, cleaned, recruited and managed volunteers, planned events, and served as an associate pastor.
I currently serve as elder with the church leadership team and volunteer in other capacities as needed: speaking, leading services, or leading worship.
In the early 2000s I lived in Israel for one year, volunteering with a social-aid ministry called the House of Light. I lived in an Arab town called Shefa-Amr, about 20 minutes from Nazareth, and took the bus twice a week to study Arabic in Haifa.
I have a deep love for the Middle East and the Arab people. (I like the middles, apparently: Born in the Midwest, love the Middle East.)
In 2005 I traveled solo across North Africa, connecting with local churches and hearing about outreach work in these countries. One enduring memory of this trip was when I was asked to preach to a small church in a remote area in Algeria. The people were so warm and welcoming, and hungry for God. After the service we sat in circles, ate rice out of big shared bowls and drank water out of a little shared tin cup that was passed around.
I married my childhood best friend Bethany in 2009. She also is a traveler at heart and has a love for Latin America. She speaks fluent Spanish and is a TESOL teacher by trade. She has lived and volunteered in Mexico, Chile, and Colombia. She’s currently starting her own English learning program for adult Spanish speakers. We have three kids: Liliana, David, and Simon.
In 2011, I left my official church position for a new adventure. My wife and I moved to a neighboring town to start a house church in an immigrant community.
These were the best years of ministry I’ve ever experienced, and also the hardest, by far. We were able to disciple several families and saw miraculous changes happen in people’s lives. After about three years, this effort wound down when several key members of the group moved away (one was deported, one went to prison, but that’s a story for another time).
During this time I started doing website development to support my family, which has now grown into a full-fledged creative agency called Big Imprint which is my current “day job.”
Matic is a personal project for me to explore how we can get better at helping people find their way back to God.