By: Matt Atwell
My name is Matt Atwell. I am a new graduate from Southeastern with an M.A. in ministry leadership. Currently, I serve as the youth pastor at Pearce Baptist Church and as the church and community ministries director at the Tar River Baptist Association. I also work at a furniture store in Zebulon.
I have been looking for a full-time ministry position since September. Primarily, I am looking for associate positions in discipleship, assimilation and missions. I am in the interview process with 4 churches, but things have gone slow and are still up in the air. Pray for wisdom, patience and trust through the waiting process. We want our next stop to be a long one, where we can plant some roots and see lasting results. Therefore, I am being careful about the jobs I apply for. Church search processes can be frustrating, as I’m sure many of you know. I have made it a point to constantly remind myself that my trust is not in a pastor or search committee. It’s in the Lord. He can cause the right person to read the right resume and cover letter at the right time and in the right way. Our job is to be faithful wherever we are at any given moment.
Also, I recently competed on the upcoming 9th season of American Ninja Warrior. Please be in prayer that the experience would lead to God being glorified and the gospel being magnified. Getting into American Ninja Warrior can easily consume one’s life. I have tried to keep my priorities in line and focus on the gospel. Pray that I would keep my focus and priorities where they need to be. I have already had a few opportunities to share my faith and the gospel. I hope for many more. Give God praise for that and the doors He has opened with American Ninja Warrior.
A final prayer request is that I would not have wasted time in my life. My work at the furniture store is often slow with lots of wasted time. I do not want that to continue. I want to leave that job soon. Pray that my work with the Tar River Baptist Association would be fruitful as well. Also, give God praise for my amazing family and supportive church. We have a two-year-old son and a daughter coming any day now.
For those of you that are not yet in school or still are, I would encourage you to serve in local churches, especially the smaller ones. They need you. Also, get into some leadership classes and at least an intro to biblical counseling class. You won’t regret it. Southeastern is a great place to be. They try hard to bridge the gap between academia and ministry, helping you apply what you learn. Don’t waste your time there. Dig into your studies and apply yourself. It will pay dividends in the long run.