Who is Matt, and what is this all about?

A bit of my story:

Growing up in Philadelphia, I had dreams of being a professional athlete like Michael Jordan, an archeologist like Indiana Jones, or an architect like Franklin Lloyd Wright. Slowly, reality sank in and new dreams emerged. But not before some awkward family photos, like this:

In high school I thought about becoming a pastor, but then I realized pastors needed to learn Greek and Hebrew (at least in my Presbyterian tradition). Then the realization… I had just gone to summer school for English! There’s no way I was ready to tackle Greek and Hebrew. So I ditched that dream for a new one: becoming a teacher.

My passion for sports and working with people translated into my pursuit of becoming a Health and Physical Education Teacher and a Coach. After 8 years of teaching and coaching in suburban Philly and Central PA, I loved it but still had a passion I couldn’t shake for the local church. By this time, I was also married to my college crush, Beth, and we had two energetic boys. So, after a number of moves (including living on a tiny island in Africa), teaching at 2 high schools, and earning my Masters Degree in Educational Administration (thinking maybe my next move was to be a Principal), I eventually became a Pastor – first in Central PA (LCBC Church), then in Southern CA (Saddleback Church) and now in South Bend, Indiana (South Bend City Church). And just in case you’re wondering, I still haven’t taken Greek and Hebrew. 😉

Over the last couple decades of being a “Gym teacher,” a Coach, a Pastor, a Husband, and a Dad, I have become more aware of who I am and what I have to offer the world around me. I have realized that I like to ask questions, and people like to ask me questions. It is not that I have all the answers, but I’ve had a fair amount of life and leadership experience. And I think the more you ask questions, the more you learn. Asking questions requires a different posture than having all of the answers. It’s the difference between being a student and being the expert. I’m not the expert, but maintaining the posture of student has taught me some really valuable lessons – lessons other people ask me about frequently. And it’s been really fulfilling to share those learnings with the people whom have asked.

What is all this about?

I’m not a blogger. In fact, I’ve resisted starting this blog for a long time. I’ve watched up close and from afar as people promote themselves in really unhealthy ways, and honestly this kept me from wanting to put myself out most times. But a friend recently encouraged me that others miss out on what I have to share because I do not want to come across as a “self-promoting salesman.” #truth

So, this space is all about questions – the questions I frequently get asked as a leader and the questions I’ve been asking as a human. My hope is that communal learning happens when more of us start asking questions and sharing insights in this way. May this be our practice together.

More about Matt:

  • One of the best questions I have ever asked in life was asking Beth to marry me. Beth is an amazing woman, wife, mom, leader. She started her own business as a Conscious Consultant and Collaborative Storyteller which you check out at: bethgraybill.com
  • I get to be Dad to two awesome teenagers: Kallan and Aaron.
  • Our golden retriever, Champ, walks me daily and helps keep me connected to some sacred life rhythms by getting out in nature.
  • South Bend, IN has become our city and our home.
  • I get to help lead a talented crew at South Bend City Church as the Executive Pastor
  • Skills:
    • ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERSHIP: Turning vision into a reality for maximum impact.
    • TEAM BUILDER: Developing and empowering teams towards a common vision and mission.
    • STRATEGIC CONNECTOR: Seeing people connected and organized into the vision.
  • Personality Assessments:
    • Myers-Briggs: ENFJ
    • Strengths: Strategic, Belief, Responsibility, Developer, Woo
    • Enneagram: 8 with 9 wing
    • DISC: D,I

Want to know more about me and what this is all about?

Ask me some questions.

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