Pastor for Worship & Music, Downtown
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Matthew’s father is a pastor, and Matthew was raised in a Christian home. He testifies that his mother explained the gospel when he was 5 years old, and by faith, he responded. His understanding of the gospel increased as he grew.
Matthew received his BA (Music/Church Music) from Trinity International University, and his MA (Systematic Theology) from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, and his PhD (Christian Worship) from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His 2016 dissertation explored the intersection of evangelical eschatology and congregational singing.
Matthew serves as Pastor for Worship and Music, Downtown at Bethlehem and Assistant Professor of Worship and Music at Bethlehem College and Seminary. These roles involve overseeing the worship ministry for the church’s historic Downtown Campus and teaching in the seminary’s worship pastor track. Before moving to Minneapolis, he served at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, as Dean of the Chapel and Director of Worship Arts (2008-2013) and as a worship pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel in Rolling Meadows, Illinois (1998–2008).
Matthew has written many songs for congregational worship. His song, “The First Place,” has been published in several collections, including the 2013 RCA/CRC hymnal, Lift Up Your Hearts: Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Other songs have appeared in Worship Leader Magazine’s SongSelect and on the album, “Live Worship from Vertical Church” for Provident Records.
With Dr. Joel Beeke, Matthew has co-written a chapter on the Lord’s Supper for A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life (Grand Rapids: RHB, 2012). He has published in the Puritan Reformed Journal and Themelios. He has contributed articles for Desiring GOD, The Gospel Coalition, and Doxology and Theology. He has presented workshops on worship for the StraightUp Conference, Calvin’s Institute of Christian Worship symposium, the Desiring God Pastor’s Conference, the Canvas Conference, and the Doxology and Theology conference.
John Piper has said, “People are starving for the greatness of God.” Matthew’s passion is to champion the glory of God and help people encounter that glory in a week-to-week, moment-to-moment way by ensuring that when the corporate body gathers together, the greatness of God is seen and savored.
Matthew loves classic and modern jazz, comic books, and Chicago sports. While he feels comfortable behind a piano, he only feels at home with his wife Lisa and their three boys: Ethan John (2002), Owen Samuel (2004), and Levi Daniel (2007).