Nov
20
2013

Sic’em Bears, or You’re Doing WHAT?!?!

Truett SeminaryThree and a half years ago, Theresa and I moved to Long Island in order to care for her ailing father. This has been an amazing time for us, and while it was not a season that I would wish on anyone, it has been a season of growth for each of us, both as individuals and as a couple. When Theresa’s dad passed away a little over a year ago, we agreed that we would take our time figuring out what was next. Since that time, we have prayed, soaked, waited, pursued opportunities , waited, prayed, and continued to wait. In July I spent a few days at Graymoor monastery listening to the Holy Spirit, and seeking wisdom for the days to come. I came away from that experience confident that we were being told to simplify our lives and prepare for the next season.

Since my trip to Graymoor Theresa and I have been intentional about taking one step at a time, being faithful to pursue our immediate tasks of simplifying and preparing. This has meant getting our house ready to sell, getting rid of a bunch of junk, conducting a massive yard sale, more prayer, pursuing different opportunities, and a lot of waiting.

Throughout this entire process, our focus has been taking the next step. We have tried (and often failed) to avoid looking further down the road than the next step, learning patience and being ok with living in the present. As you might imagine, this became much more difficult after we found a buyer for our home, and had a signed contract (the house never officially went on the market). Still, we sensed the Holy Spirit saying “take the next step: prepare and simplify.”

For the last year I have been quietly engaged in a job hunt, looking at several church staff, and non profit, opportunities. For one reason or another, nothing seemed to come together, and while this was initially pretty frustrating it gave Theresa and I the opportunity to continue to process our time on Long Island, and fully grieve the passing of her father. It has also given us the time we have needed to heal from a particularly stressful season in our lives. Throughout this entire time, our plan was to find a church that was a good fit for the two of us, join the staff team, get settled in, and then begin to explore seminary opportunities.

Like I said, that was our plan.

In mid-October, while on a quick get away for a family wedding, we started to ask the question: “do we really need to wait for seminary?” After more prayer, more waiting, and more soaking, we started to sense that it was time to seriously consider attending seminary. As has often been the case in my life, our initial investigations were relatively safe… dipping a toe in to test the water. I figured, “Sure, we will start out on campus for a semester or two, then transfer to a distance program.” The more I soaked, prayed, and waited, the more I realized that I needed to be all in on this adventure.

Two weeks ago today, I learned that I had been accepted to Truett Seminary at Baylor University.

This past weekend, Theresa and I visited Waco in order to get a sense of the area, check out the school, and make sure that God is in this. So far as we can tell, he is.

Yesterday, we bought a house in Waco.

This is a lot of change in a short period of time. It is times like these that I think of the inscription on the inside of my wedding ring: Habakkuk 1:5.

Look at the nations and watch— and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.

Ok, so let’s run through the general questions that I am being asked on this:

  • Aren’t you a little old to be going back to school? Probably, but between the advances made in dentures and walker technology, plus a little help from Geritol, I should be able to manage.
  • When are you starting? January. Yeah, that is soon… but it is time to make this happen. We close on our home in mid-December, so we hope to be in Waco by Christmas.
  • What are you studying? I am going to pursue a dual degree: Master of Divinity and Master of Business Administration.
  • What about everything else you are doing? One of the coolest things about Ministry Briefing, the work I have been doing with eGive, and Church Simple is that I can have a flexible schedule. While my coaching load will have to decrease significantly, Ministry Briefing and eGive will continue to go full bore.
  • You have four years of NCAA eligibility, are you walking on for football? The thought has crossed my mind.
  • How does Theresa feel about all this? Theresa is excited. We have both known that big changes were coming for a while. Over the summer she was offered the choice of a new job, specifically created for her, or a severance package from her job. She shocked her boss and accepted the severance package because she wants to be freed up to fully lean into this next season of ministry for us. As an aside, as we toured the campus and spoke with the Associate Dean, the only question Theresa asked was whether she would be allowed to sit in on my classes with me. I think she has a plan.
  • Are you excited about being able to root for a good football team again? I might have told the Associate Dean that this played a major role in my decision to come to Truett.

For some, this may seem to have come out of left field. But I we have seen God orchestrate some incredible things to make this a possibility. I would go into those here, but it is late, I am tired, and I have already written over 1000 words on this post. So, I will end it with this:

Will YOU pray for Theresa and I on this next stage of our journey?

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About the Author: Matt Steen

Over the last fifteen years I have been a Church Planter, Youth Pastor, Executive Pastor, and now I serve churches through coaching (churchsimple.net), providing online giving services (egiveusa.com), and through keeping them informed (ministrybriefing.tv). I love Jesus, my wife, the Redskins and Capitals and am currently living in Waco, Texas where I am studying the finer points of BBQ.

  • http://www.inamirrordimly.com/ Ed_Cyzewski

    So happy for you Matt! Should be some good college football next fall too!

  • http://www.blakeatwood.com/ Blake Atwood

    Congrats Matt! Glad to hear that your patience has been rewarded. For what it’s worth, I grew up near Waco. I think you’ll like the area, though I’m sure it’ll be a change from what you’re used to.

  • Andy

    Congrats Matt!

  • Tom Maxwell

    That is great to hear Matt, will be praying for you and Theresa as you continue your journey in the Lord.

  • Joel Ball

    Thanks for sharing! Maybe Lifeway will produce a movie about your football experience at Baylor similar to Rudy.

  • Mark Barnard

    Sounds Great Matt!

  • Ben Nelson

    This sounds great Matt

  • donnie

    Congrats Matt. I’ll be praying for the transition.

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