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by Mark Driscoll
Pastor Mark talks with R13 speaker Matt Chandler
It’s all about intentionality, says Pastor Matt, on leading in the home.
This year’s Resurgence Conference is honored to welcome Matt Chandler as one of our keynote speakers. Tickets are going fast, so pick up yours soon if you plan to join us in Seattle or at one of our regional broadcast venues in Bellevue, Reno, Albuquerque, and Orlando.
Recently, Pastor Matt was kind enough to answer a few questions related to some of the big themes of the conference: responding to God’s call, growing as a young leader, and more.
Mark Driscoll: What was your childhood like? How did God use it to prepare you for the work he called you to do?
Matt Chandler: I grew up in a strange home. My dad was either distant or abusive and my mom was a religious woman who understood morality but not the relational aspect of life with Jesus. I only realized it recently, but God was showing me the bankruptcy in pursuing either legalism or license. They were difficult years, but God has redeemed them and powerfully shaped me with them.
MD: Tell me about when God first called you to ministry. How old were you and what was going on at the time?
MC: From the moment of my conversion I was burning to understand who God is and to let everyone around me know what I was learning about him. Although this passion hit a few speed bumps along the way, I was close to my 19th birthday when I first felt a strong pull to serve the Lord in vocational ministry. I was sure at the time I would be a youth minister because every pastor I knew looked weird in jeans and seemed to be allergic to genuine laughter. God took me through the wringer on a few things, and I was led into pastoral ministry.
MD: What was 19-year-old Matt Chandler like?
MC: Ignorantly confident is the best way to describe it. I continue to be grateful for the men of God who the Lord put around me in those early years. The gifts of compassion and grace that those men possessed is astonishing. I hope that I can show that same patience now to young men who are called.
MD: What opportunities has God provided through your battle with cancer?
MC: I think the greatest opportunity was in the battle with cancer itself. For years while my marriage was amazing and the church I was leading was exploding and everyone was healthy and strong, I was preaching that Jesus was better than all of those things. I think before I got sick people were able to roll their eyes a bit. The thought was I could say those things because I had everything that guys in ministry wanted. The cancer gave me the opportunity to make much of Jesus when all of that was threatened.
MD: What are some practical ways that you lead your family as a husband and as a father to young kids?
MC: It all comes down to intentionality, with both Lauren and the kids. Lauren and I make it a point to talk through schedules, how each of the kids is doing, and what steps we need to be taking to shape and mold, as best as we can, the hearts and minds of our kids. The two of us have a standing Sunday night meeting and a weekly date. The Sunday night meeting is about schedule for the week, where the kids are spiritually, emotionally, and mentally (Do they need more Daddy time? Do I need to engage them over a specific behavior or issue? Etc.). Our weekly date is all about Lauren and me, and we do our best to not discuss the kids but her heart and mine.