Good News from my dear friend "Pearce Landry"

I was reflecting with a group of men this morning on the question "what is the greatest news you have ever heard?". There were unique thoughts and special memories dancing in each of our heads on the question, and one guy shared it was when he got the news that his youngest son was not going to die when his son was just several weeks old and sick with meningitis. Good news indeed.

Later this morning I was having a different conversation with a man who was reflecting on what he regarded as the most unbelievable news story of the year: the successful rescue of all 33 miners trapped in the collapsed Chilean mine. Thirty-three miners trapped in darkness without hope, incapable of saving themselves...until hope from above came searching for them. First, through a small opening, they received messages from above ground that help was coming. Messages that brought hope and let them know that someone knew they were lost (lost = missing and valuable) and that they were loved enough to be sought after. Later, through a bigger hole, they received food, water and other supplies which sustained them until their rescue could occur. And finally, through a bigger way, a rescue capsule arrived which each one of them, individually and one at a time, could step into and be saved from their tomb of death. The Chilean President welcomed the first rescued person with the words "Welcome to life!" Despair turned to hope. Defeat turned to victory. Death turned to life. This was Good News indeed!

Two thousand years ago, a group of men watching over some sheep one night were told, "I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord." This GOOD NEWS is the reason we pause and mark this time of the year with celebration, with presents, with feasting, with joy and with families and friends who we care so deeply for. The GOOD NEWS is that we were trapped in darkness without hope and without the ability to save ourselves. But hope came from above. Hope, that had been promised through previous messages, finally came as God himself showed up in our darkness. He knew we were lost (missing and valuable) and he loved us enough to search after us. He provided the rescue capsule that each one of us, individually and one at a time, can step into and experience new life. Good news indeed!

"Welcome to life!" this Christmas season,


Anxiety and Depression

I've been passing emails back and forth with an unbeliever that is struggling with anxiety anddepression, so I thought I'd share my thoughts on the topic on my blog. Pray for me and him as this thing progresseses.
Anxiety and depression is both clinical and spiritual. Typically it is wrapped up in an incorrect view of who God is. Let me explain. The scriptures describe that God is 2 things. Sovereign (in full control) and Good (has no evil and our best interest at hand at all times) If we build our life on that truth, we can be confident that in all situations (good or bad) that God is in full control and, although it may be hard to see, God is working for my good.

Depression is typically rooted in the fact that our surroundings are uncontrollable, our situation looks hopeless and there is nothing that we can do because of it. However, with God, we see that God is in full control of our situation and we find our hope in that.

Anxiety sucks, typically it is rooted in fear (Watch As a dude, we typically don't like to acknowledge that we have any fear because we think it kills our masculinity. However, we know that the root of anxiety is fear and we all struggle with it to an extent. Here are the three things about Anxiety. 1. We either keep it to ourselves and it leads us to despair. 2. We express it outwardly and it leads the people around us into despair. 3. Give it fully to God and trust in Him. The bible says "Cast all your anxiety on Jesus because he cares for you." We either cast anxiety on ourselves, others or Jesus.

The last thing I would say is this. What is it in your life that you hold in such high esteem that if it is taken or threatened, it drives you to anxiety, depression, anger etc? Is it your image, your girl, your friends, your family, a sport, a relationship, sex ? What is it? If you are honest enough with yourself to answer that question, you are on the path of exposing what the scriptures call "Idols" An Idol is simply something that you hold as ultimate. The truth about Idols, is that everything that we desire our idols to fulfill in us, only Jesus can actually fulfill it. Relationships come and go, Jesus never leaves us. Sex fulfills a temporary pleasure, Jesus desires to maximize our pleasures eternally.

Genesis 15 - Netcast (excerpts from my Journal)

Genesis 15:5 God says to Abraham “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”

God gives the Law: not so that we can obey all of it but rather to show us that we cannot. And because we cannot obey it all, God creates a sacrificial system in which a Goat, Lamb or some other animal would be sacrificed by a priest for the forgiveness of sins.

God gives the prophets To tell us that there will be a Messsiah, The Christ,

John the Baptist comes on the scene telling us to prepare the way of the lord.

Jesus comes. He lives with 12 disciples, he lives the life that we can not live, dies the death that we aught to dies, “God mad him who knew no sin, to be sin, so that we may become the righteousness of God.” The great exchange.

Jesus rises from the dead, and drops this line: The great commission. Matthew 28:18-20
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (AND THEY DO)

Acts 2 The Holy Spirit comes on the day of Pentecost and Peter preaches the first Christian sermon and 3000 people were swept into the Kingdom.

Acts 9 Saul becomes Paul in this incredible conversion and begins to travel and plant churches everywhere he goes.

Acts 10 God saves the first Gentiles and there is a board meeting to deside if God is allowed to save the Gentiles.

Acts 15 We see the first Church split, by the sovereignty of God, Paul and Barnabas Separate and go different ways spreading the gospel.

By Acts 28 and approx 70AD the gospel has spread from that little upper room to Jerusalem, Ephesus, Corinth, Athens, Thessalonica, most of Europe and parts of Spain.

In 189 The bishop of Alexandria sends the first missionary to India to risk his life and preach the gospel.

By 306 Christianity is established in Britain and has spread to Asia.

In 312, the Roman Emperor Constantine claimed to have had a conversion experience. About 70 years later, Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire. Bishops were given places of honor in the government, and by the year 400, the terms “Roman” and “Christian” were virtually synonymous.

In the 5th century St. Patrick was sent as a missionary from Britian to bring the gospel to the barbarians of Northern Ireland and Scotland. Within a few years, Christanity has become the official religion of the Celtic Irish and we celebrate that today in March on St Patricks day by wearing green and getting smashed.

In 829 Saint Ansgar introduced Christianity to Sweden.

In 1154 Sweden's King Eric introduces Christianity to Finland

In the fifteenth century, through the leadership of Godly men like Martin Luther, history saw Bible translated and printed in most of Europe's major languages. For the first time in the history of Christianity it became available to large numbers of readers. As a result many Christians discovered that masses, confession, and other central features of their religion were not mentioned in the Bible at all.

In 1630 King Charles began to persecute the Reformed Christians. As a result, tens of thousands of them fled to New England from 1630 to 1640, founding Boston and its surrounding towns, and eventually the colonies of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire. In order to assure themselves a reliable supply of ministers, one of the first things the Puritans did was to establish Harvard College in 1636.

In the late nineteenth century Boston also became the center of Christian Science, which stresses healing. Toward the end of the nineteenth century millions of rural Americans began to move to the cities to get manufacturing jobs. Among them were many Methodists, who were shocked by how lax Methodism had become in the cities. To protect their children against the sins of liquor and dancing these people formed the Church of the Nazarene.

In 1900 Eastern Nazarene College was established as a holiness college in Saratoga Springs, New York in 1900, it was relocated to Quincy Massachusetts in 1919.

In 1960’s a group of Godly Men in Greensboro NC decided to plant a church in the outskirts of the city, called Daystar Christian Fellowship.

In September of 2000, an unbelieving no-body who had never met a Christian, Matt Chewning, enrolls at Eastern Nazarene College to play basketball, only to find Christ and feel a call to ministry.

In 2001, Allen Holmes, becomes the pastor of Daystar Christian Fellowship and comes up with the slogan “Whatever it takes to make Christ followers everywhere.”

On October 9th 2007, After serving as a part time youth pastor, I wrote this in my journal while at a conference in Atlanta. “I told Beth about these dreams I am having in Greater Boston, before I told her, I asked her this question, “If God were to send us to plant a church, where would it be? She quickly said Greater Boston.” Is God trying to tell me something? Is he calling us to move and plant a church in Boston? That is crazy,

On December 2, 2008 (My Birthday) Mimi gives me a journal and tells me that she feels that the Lord is calling her to move to Boston, but she’s not going unless she gets $50,000 to get out of debt.

On December 15th, 2008 Just 13 days later Steve got a phone call from a distant relative. One of his aunts died and has left them $75,000 which after taxes is a little more than $50,000. Boston, here we come.

On December 20, 2008 Beth and I got a phonecall from our neighbors that they had something to drop off. They gave us $2500 and said that God had put it on their heart to give us that money for the church plant in Boston. This is Netcasts first check.

August 11th 2009 I waked into work today and started my day doing a devotion. God clearly told me to quit my job. I called Beth and my mentors. They all helped me confirm that this was the call of God.

August 19th 2009 I gave my resignation.

On September 12, 2009 I wrote, “I was ordained todayat Daystar.” I cant believe this is really happening.

September 14th 2010 Its my first day as a church planter / fundraiser. I am in the office and have no idea what I am supposed to be doing. I guess I’ll read my bible and pray.

January 10th 2010 Raised $50,000 so far. God is so gracious.

June 7th 2010 Met this dude Joey Columba online who runs the entire North Shore facebook pages. Seems like a great guy.

June 19th 2010 Tool a trip to the North Shore to look at the different areas and pray about where God wants us to plant. Beth and I fought the entire trip. Experiencing major spiritual warfare.

August 9th 2010 Took a 2nd trip to the North Shore. Experienced MAJOR spiritual warfare. Beth questioned our call and there is only 1 house available in the area we are looking to plant. It’s a terrible house. We committed to live there but only if the owner cleans the house and changes the carpet.

August 12th 2010 Got an email from a dude named Dan Savlon. He came across our website. I’ll meet with him when we move. I wonder is he’s a cool dude.

August 15th 2010 Got a text from Kevin today about one of his youth kids going to Gordon to play Basketball. That is insane. His name is Luke Hamilton

September 1st 2010 Moved to Beverly. The house is under construction and its gonna be great when it is done. Praise God. He is so good.

September 7th 2010 Went to Gordon to meet Luke Hamilton. Met Luke, he’s alright. But….Shaun Roach came up to me. I haven’t seen him in like 10 years. He used to be a pudgy kid, now he’s a skinny baller. What the heck is God doing?

September 9th 2010 Met this guy Josh Sturgeon today for coffee. Awesome man of God. I have no idea why the Lord has put us together. He is a worship leader and a basketball player. Are you serious? I didn’t even know God made those kids of people. Also, while having coffee we met this girl Kristin Oliver who said she was looking for a new church.

September 21st 2010 The North Shore Magazine is interviewing me for a featured story on Netcast.

October 10th 2010 We had our first Vision Party today and 31 people showed up. The highlight of the night is that some random girl, Brooke, showed up because she saw something about us online.

October 23rd 2010 Dan Savlon has committed to the team and Erica Sturgeon wrote a blog about how God has called them to be apart of Netcast. The team is growing much faster than we ever thought.

October 24th 2010 I love my college students. Just took some kids, Sam, out to coffee and he grilled me for an hour to make sure that I sont water the gospel down. Who is this guy? I love this dude.

November 1st 2010 We are going to start meeting together in the morning to pray.

November 21st 2010 As a team, we served Thanksgiving dinner to over 30 people at the YMCA. I love my core team. They are incredible. Also, the YMCA has given me keys to the building.

November 23rd 2010 The magazine article is out and a dude at the YMCA stopped me and said, “you’re that guy in that article.” It freaked me out.

December 12, 2010 40 people gather in my house for the last Netcast Church meeting of 2010. God is building his church.

Quotes I recently heard.

Don't know if you know Bill Johnson or not. He's been a leader in the charismatic movement for years. Honestly, I have read some of his stuff and thought to myself, "I'm just not willing to go there." Other times, I am blown away at his wisdom and closeness to the Spirit. Anyway, here are some quotes that he dropped in a video I just watched. Just Awesome!!!

"It's not about getting people into the walls, its about getting the Kingdom onto the streets."

"Renewing your mind is not quoting a verse to overcome an issue."

"Jesus Christ is perfect theology."

"The clearest manifestation of the nature and character of God is seen only in Jesus Christ."

"How many storms did He bless?"

"Re-Present Christ."

"The Holy Spirit makes powerlessness inexcusable and unacceptable."

"At some point we're gonna have to believe in our own conversion."

Netcast Church in the North Shore Magazine

I told you that I would be sending you a link to the article that was done by the North Shore Magazine. It looks great. The online version, doesn't even do the print version any justice. You will notice on the bottom of the article, we have already been getting some hateful responses. I told you that its a hard place to plant a church. HaHa.

Because of this exposure and some of the growth that we are seeing, we will have to move out of my house and begin to meet on Sunday morning's starting January 23rd. This is almost a year sooner than we originally anticipated. However, we will move as the Lord continues to lead us. We will be meeting at the Downtown YMCA in Beverly MA. 10:30am. Come and join us if you are around.

Last Sunday we fed about 30 people who live in assisted government housing in Downtown Beverly. This was an awesome opportunity for us to serve the community and I was so proud to see our church gather and love these people. We will be looking to do something similar for Christmas.

There are a few things that we need since we are moving towards meeting in January. I will list them below in-case you have access to any of this for cheap or the Lord prompts you to give in some way.

1. Laptop (able to run easyworship)
2. Projection Screen
3. Projector
4. Countryman E6 over the ear mic
5. Wireless transmitter and receiver

Faith and Faithfulness

I have been having some awesome and healthy conversations with many different people about the idea of losing ones salvation and works righteousness or Faith vs Faithfulness. While planting Netcast, it is important that we are very clear on where we stand on these issues as a church.

Here's where I get confused on the losing of ones salvation because of their level of faithfulness in the end. If I can lose my salvation based upon the level of my faithfulness, than I can also gain it based upon the level of my faithfulness, and I can also keep my salvation based upon my level of faithfulness. This theology is fully man centered. It is fully based upon my faithfulness to God and not God's faithfulness to us. It is God who has accomplished and paid for our salvation through Christ on the cross and there is no amount of faithfulness that I can strum up to gain it, obtain it or lose it. It is a free gift, given by grace alone through faith (not faithfulness). The faithfulness that we have to Christ comes as a response of gratitude because of what He has accomplished. This faithfulness is not required to keep our salvation but rather offered as a demonstration of our worship.

I am not naive enough to think that there is not much mystery on this topic. Much of the human heart and salvation is a mystery because it is not visible to the human eye but only visible to God alone. Jesus alone knows what is in man's heart; John 2:23-25 So, we do not know who truly is a believer and who is just an unbelieving servant who knows the masters will (Luke 12:41-48). I think there is enough warning in scripture that points to perseverance, hatred of ones own sin and the fruit of the indwelling Holy Spirit as the key to discerning the spiritual condition of the human heart.

"Private Practice" It's just not for me.

I know this may come as an unusual post, especially from me. I tend to be pretty liberal when it comes to the things I watch on TV or listen to on the radio. I'm not typically "that guy" who's like "burn all your DVD's and CD's, their demon possessed.". I still love stand up comedy, sometimes with really bad language. I caught myself laughing hysterical at "Jersey Shore" last week as I watched my 1st episode. I can still jam out to some Eminem, JayZ, and Usher without my spirit feeling overwhelmed with conviction. I say that to prep you for what's coming next.

Last night I got home from an awesome date night with my bride. We watched the 8th inning of the World Series (Boring) and then headed to the bedroom. We turned the TV on because Beth wanted to catch the last 30 minuted of Private Practice. In 30 minutes of Private Practice I was exposed to:

1. Gay men having sex in a car.
2. A married man confessing he is homosexual to his wife
3. A gay man telling his wife and male lover that he is HIV positive.
4. Peter telling Violet that his mom was a slut and murder.
5. A man being told by (Sheldon; the Psychiatrist) that since his wife is a vegetable, that he should find another woman.
6. A man raping his vegetable wife and trying to get her pregnant.
7. A 30 minute quickie agreement between Addison and Sam.
8. Charlotte being beaten and raped.

All that in 30 freakin minutes. I could only imagine what the whole episode was like.

1 Thessalonians 4:3 is very clear and says: "It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality."

We know from God's Word that our maturity in Christ is directly tied to our sexuality. Honestly, this type of exposure to sexual sin is not healthy for any of our sanctification. If we honestly are committed to growing in Christ, I would warn us all to avoid these types of scenes. I am not saying that you have to boycott the show all together or anything like that. However, I am saying that as followers of Christ, we should use wisdom and discernment. If something (such as this) is clearly a hindrance to our sanctification, we should kill it.

Would love to chat more about this blog with my legalists, liberals or anyone else.

You would not believe, even if you were told.

I wanted to share this verse with you as I am praying about what the Lord seems to be up to with Netcast and how he is building our church. I honestly thought that it would take months, even years to develop the type of team that God seems to be building. Today as I read this verse that Steve sent me, I felt the Lord whisper, "You wont believe what I am going to do through you guys, even if you were told." Exciting yet scary!!

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.

If we are right in thinking that the Lord is on the verge of doing big things through Netcast, we need to guard ourselves from the attacks that are guaranteed to come our way. Spiritual warfare is real and there is a battle consistently waging war between our flesh and our spirit. Secret sin, pride, dis-unity, jealousy, envy, sexual sin, demonic forces and other things will begin to pop up if we are not careful and on guard. I am pleading with you to stay connected in community and be authentic about your temptations and sin. If you are on the Netcast core team or even considering it; we are all in this together, therefore we fight together.

Netcast Halloween Trick or Treating

As we continue to build community among the people who God has sent our way, we would love to invite you out to Trick or Treat with us. We'll all meet at 15 1/2 Pierce Ave and head out together. It will be a fun time to just hang and connect with eachother. You can dress up or be cooler than the rest of us and dress normal. Feel free to bring anyone who'd you like to bring with you. Can't wait.

Netcast Halloween Trick or Treating
October 31st 2010 @ 5:30pm
15 1/2 Pierce Ave. Beverly, MA

October Update (Netcast Church)

Just wanted to give an update from Netcast Church. We are almost 2 months into the church plant and never thought that we would already be seeing the hand of God on our ministry like we have been seeing. For months, maybe even years before moving, Beth and I had been praying that God would prepare the hearts of the people who would join us in the planting of Netcast. Now we are here seeing how God has been answering our prayers. We had our first "Netcast Vision Party" on 10/10/10 and over 30 people came out to be a part of it. Our core group is probably somewhere around at least 15 people already.

The stories that we are getting from the people who are committing to be with us are are crazy. I am hoping to get some of the stories on-line through video soon. In the meantime, you can check out a blog of one of the families (Josh and Erica Sturgeon) who have committed to be a part of the Netcast Core. The story is full of God's providence and faithfulness. A must read

If you are in the area tonight, please visit our "2nd Netcast Vision Party" it will be at the house from 5:30pm - 7:00pm. Beth is making a huge Chili dinner. We will have the Pats game on, hang out with the new people who God is sending our way and I will share a some about what we envision the Netcast Community looking like. Can't wait. Also, please join me in praying for our meeting tonight.

I also want to thank those of you who have been supporting us financially and prayerfully over the past year or so. None of this would even be possible with out you guys. Christ is so incredible and He gets all the glory for the fruit we are seeing.

"2nd Netcast Vision Party" Sunday October 24th @ 5:30pm

We will be having our next Necast Vision Party on October 24th @ 5:30pm. The address is 15 1/2 Pierce Ave, Beverly MA 01915. The Pats are playing the Chargers that day, so the game will be on the big-screen. We'll also eat food, hang out and I will share some more things pertaining to our vision and core values. I'd love to spend some time answering questions. If you'd like to post anonymous questions, please leave it as a comment under this blog and we'll answer them on the 24th.
This is such an exciting time in our church as we are beginning to build a Core Team and go from an "idea to a "reality". We'd love for you to join us.

Netcast Church - Lead Pastor

Netcast Vision Party: Tell us your thoughts!!!

I don't know about you, but I sensed the presence of God at my house on Sunday night. The two scriptures that come to mind is in Matthew 26 where Jesus says "I will resurrect and go ahead of you." and in Nehemiah 2 where Nehemiah says, "The hand of the good God is upon me and given me favor." It is evident that as Beth and I were praying for you, before we even knew who most of you were; God had been at work. He had gone before us preparing your hearts and situations for this ministry. Having talked to many of you, it is clear that the hand of God is upon Netcast. He has placed YOU, where YOU are, on the North Shore in October 2010, in the situation that YOU are in, so that "Man would seek God and perhaps find Him"; like we talked about out of Acts 17.

I'd love if everyone would share something (even if its just sentence). Please ask questions, share a thought about Sunday, or poke fun at how I talk to much; haha.

The first 30 days for Netcast (Vision Party)

We are finally getting all settled into our new home in Beverly. It has been amazing to see all the neat stuff that God is already doing. The small article that the North Shore Magazine was doing on us has now turned into the "Featured Article" of the magazine and includes photo's on the front cover. CRAZY!!! Not to mention that this is the most distributed local magazine on the North Shore.

We also have been meeting so many people. Beth and I have gotten to know some awesome people who have similar visions pertaining to the local church. We'll be having our 1st Netcast Vision Party; This Sunday 10/10/10 @ 5:30pm - 7:00pm. We'll provide dinner, a chill atmosphere and I'll share the vision of Netcast for about 20 minutes. I'll give info on where and when we'll begin meeting as well as some upcoming events. We will be meeting at our new home and would love anyone who is local to visit with us.

The address is:
15 1/2 Pierce Ave
Beverly, MA

Please spend 10 seconds as you read this and ask the Lord to do big things this Sunday night. Looking forward to seeing who shows up and what happens.

Matt Chewning
Netcast Church - Lead Pastor

Christ will Build His Church!! (Crazy Things that are happening.)

We can already still see the hand of God on our ministry and we feel like we have barely started.

I got an email from the YMCA this week about getting creative in order to use their facility as a meeting place. The woman who I am working with over there is so awesome. She isn't a believer but wants to work with us to help us get into the building as cheap as possible. She offered to hire me part time for about 6 hours a week to work in the after-school program which will do a number of things to help us. 1. It will allow us to get our foot into the community and meet kids, parents, people, etc. 2. It will give our family a super cheap YMCA membership. 3. It will make me a staff person so that when we start to meet as a church, they won't need to staff someone for the building and it will keep our facility cost way down.

I went to pick up Daniel from school one day this week and his teacher comes up to me and literally whispers these words into my ears, "Are you a Christian?" I was like "Yeah. Are you?" She said that when Beth went to drop Daniel off on the first day of school, The Spirit whispered to her that our family was Christian. How cool is that? We had been praying for her before we ever moved. And, God provided with a teacher who is filled with the Holy Spirit. That is just amazing.

A few weeks back, I was a camp pastor at a youth missions camp in NC. One of the students of the leader of the camp is a freshman at Gordon College which is in Beverly MA. His name is Luke and was recruited to play basketball there. So, I went to go and play pick-up with the team earlier in the week and when I got there a young man came up to me and said, "Are you Matt?" And I was like, "Yeah." he was like, "Its me, Shaun Roach." Now here is the back story to that. I have known Shaun since he was a little kid in like 5th grade. His dad, Kevin, was probably one of the most spiritually influential men in my life during college. Besides that, I was Shaun's camp councilor at basketball camps for years in college. His dad was like a father to me and I convinced my coach during my senior year to contact him to be an assistant coach. Which he did. Crazy!!! Turns out that Shaun is like best buds with this dude Luke. They are probably the only 2 freshman students fighting for minutes this year. Plus, Shaun has known that we were coming out to plant Netcast but had no idea we were going to be in his town.

Yesterday, I had lunch with the coach of the Gordon College basketball team. He is a great dude and is just in his 2nd year. After some awesome conversations and connecting, he asked me if I'd like to help out his program as an assistant coach or team pastor. Knowing that I don't want to commit to too much, I turned down the idea of assistant coach, but totally love the idea of being some sort of team pastor or team chaplain. I will conduct bible-studies with the team, do a chapel before every home game, and meet with the players for one on one discipleship. What an awesome opportunity to invest in young people and get connected with the community.

Last night, we went to an Ice Cream social at Daniel's school. We met a family there that are believers and live about 9 houses down from us. They go to North Shore Community Baptist but feel like God may be leading there somewhere else. Crazy!! No idea what may come of that, but it seems like a God thing to me. If nothing else, we may have some new friends.

We're also getting to know our neighbors. We have met almost everybody on the block and cant wait to get into our house so we can start having people over. I think that most people get confused when they meet us. Being a young church planter, with 4 kids and a wife that stays at home just about throws everyone for a loop out here. Then add on top of that, that we seem normal, really makes them wonder. Pray for our neighborhood, we really want to pour our lives into this community and serve them in ways that they have never seen before.

On Thursday, I had coffee with a guy who was a worship leader at a thriving church here on the North Shore. He's a young dude who's recently married and seems great. We totally connected right off the bat. Recently, he felt that the Lord was leading him out of his church which we was a part when it was planted 2 years ago. That night, I went to a pastors meeting where he led worship and he is a gifted young man. I have no idea what God has for our future, however, I know that I met a new friend who is like minded in ministry and has a real heart for Christ.

Most of you know and have been praying for Steve and Karen Shomo, my inlaws and executive pastor. They were needing their house to sell or lease so that they can move to be a part of what God is doing out here through Netcast. Their real-estate agent said that with the market the way that it is, there is no telling how things will work out. It could take a year to get them out of Greensboro. However, we plan our way but Christ directs our paths. The very first people to come and look at the house want to lease it for 2 years. They have already signed a contract and will be moving in October 1st. My inlaws are looking to rent the vacant apartment in the house that our unit is. Literally a door away. What a blessing that would be.

None of these things could have been planned. Actually, in my finite mind, I couldn't have even dreamt these things up. These are all divine things that are happening in only our first 2 weeks being here. Christ tells us clearly that He will build his church and not even Hell itself can get in the way. Please continue to pray for me as I seek God as we are planting Netcast. Pray that God grants me a humble spirit and anoints me with supernatural wisdom and courage to do what he is calling us to do. To Christ be all of the glory.

Divine Order: Christ has gone ahead of us.

Hello Everyone from Greater Boston.

We have arrived safe and sound. There is so much to tell and just by writing this to you, it is not enough to get across the excitement and joy that we have already. In Matthew 26 Jesus says this; "But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you" and we have seen the evidence of this grace since the minute we got here.

Before we were even able to begin unloading the truck we had a divine appointment with a man at Panera Bread. This man began telling us how he and his wife just lost their son who was only 6 weeks old. We had a opportunity to pray with him in Panera Bread. Then the next day I was emailed by someone who has been following me on Facebook and Twitter. He said that he was assigned the Christmas Issue for the North Shore Magazine and wanted to do a piece on us and Netcast Church. He said that he doesn't understand why someone would pack up their family and move to the most liberal and pagan area of the United States to start a christian church. Christ has gone ahead of us.

Last week we went to eat breakfast at a local spot and Beth started talking to the lady sitting at the table next to us. Turns out that her little daughter and Abby have the same Kindergarten teacher and she wants to get the kids together for play-dates. She is a single mother who just moved from LA with her 2 adopted children. Beth and her exchanged email addresses. Christ has gone ahead of us.

Pertaining to our housing. Last month was probably the hardest month that we've had since starting to plan for the church plant. We couldn't find a spot to live that was suitable to our family and in the area we felt that God wanted us to plant Netcast. Literally, the only spot available was a disgusting 4 bedroom apartment in which was so nasty, that one of the contractors recently told us that he would frequently have to take breaks from cleaning the house out because the maggots were making him nauseous. Not to mention that the asking price was way out of our price range. It didn't seem like much of an option as we walked through the house as Beth cried just thinking of having to raise the kids there.

If you read Nehemiah 1 and 2 you will see how God puts it on the Kings heart to help Nehemiah in rebuilding the walls of Jeresulem. The King sent workers and funded the whole mission as well as leaving Nehemiah in charge of managing the project. It seems something similar is going on here with our landlord. He has spent about $50,000 in remodeling the new unit. On top of that, Beth was able to pick out the flooring, all appliances, all paint, etc. Since he lives in LA, he has put me in charge of working with the General Contractor and managing the project. Plus, we are getting the unit for significantly less per month and it includes all utilities, cable and internet; which is an absolute steal here. Then on Friday, we were eating Chinese food and had our landlord over and he said "I dont know why, but I am happy to do all of this work for you because I feel like you are family." Christ has gone ahead of us.

On Saturday, we went to the YMCA to get a tour and talk about getting our family signed up. The woman giving us the tour asked why we just moved so I was able to explain it to her. She asked where our church was going to meet when we begin to gather. She was very excited about the idea of us meeting at the downtown Beverly YMCA which is a prime location. She said she would be very negotiable on any pricing. We are scheduled to meet with her on Wednesday morning to take a tour of the building. Christ has gone ahead of us.

Keep up to date with us. We love you and are so thankful for your faithfulness in following along with Netcast Church.

Extravagant Worship

One thing that I am pretty passionate about is that, as a church, we are on the cutting edge of modern day worship music. Lately, I have fallen in love with some older hymns and I don't mind playing older style music, as long as it has flavor that is conducive to the people at our church. I envision Netcast Music to be Christ saturated and focused on the Gospel. With me as the senior pastor, we will be mostly reaching people between the ages of 17-37 years old. The rule of thumb is about 10 years older and younger than the lead guy. Unless God does something very unusual, statistics show that will be the case. Because of that, we will want our music to be engaging to that demographic. Some may disagree and that is OK.

Honestly, in my sin, I am pretty critical of worship sets. I hate bad transitions, a worship leader who feels the need to crack jokes or preach, and the worse is when a leader is more interested in doing a concert than he is of leading God's people. The worship leader is a key player during the corporate gathering. He's responsible for leading the group into an engaging experience with the Lord. That takes preparation and a gifted team. I honestly long for the day at Netcast, where unbelievers come into a worship set and God saves them without a preacher ever saying anything. Where people are healed and set free during a worship set. I long for the day where the presence of God in worship is so thick and real that even the unbelievers wont want to stop. Things like this are happening overseas everyday; why not now?

This is just my opinion and what God has placed on my heart pertaining to corporate worship. I am not saying that it is right, I am only saying that this is my heart. I thank Christ for the churches who are different than what I described above and in no way am I trying to put my preference above anyone else's. You're open to disagree.

Moving (Netcast Update)

Wow, where do I start? Between looking at about 30 properties, Jacob falling down the stairs, lots of headache and lots of tears; we finally signed a lease. We will be moving to Beverly, MA in about 2 weeks. Can you believe it is here? We have been planning this for about 3 years now, and our move day is just around the corner. I wanted to send this out as a thank you to all who have sent us encouraging notes, gifts, funding, and other support. You have no idea how much your friendship has meant to our family.

There is so much to tell but I wont bore you with details. Just know that we are headed out. We are so excited about this transition. We have been receiving emails just about weekly from random people who are interested to know more about what we are doing and the possibility of partnering with us. It is humbling to me to watch God bring all of this together and plant Netcast Church.

Please stay in touch with us and keep up to date. I will be posting things on Facebook, our website and twitter. My goal is to help you share in our progress. I have no idea what the next year holds for our family, but I do know that it exciting to be exactly where God wants us.

Keep in touch,
Matt, Beth and the Kids.

"Confessions of a Pastor" Q&A Video Series

So Far we have 11 video's online at

In this video series called "Confessions of a Pastor" we take some of the top questions that we have been asked from people in Greater Boston, and seek to answer them. The questions are:

1. Can you trust the bible?
2. Why are Christians such hypocrites?
3. Is sex a bad thing?
4. What is sin?
5. What do I do to become a Christian?
6. Why do churches want my money?
7. Why another church in the Boston area?
8. What? No sex outside of marriage?
9. Who is this dude, Jesus?
10. Does God hate some of us?
11. Why do Christians think they're better than everyone else

Check it out.

Because I cannot....Colossians 1:9

Colossians 1:9 says it all.

As I am getting very close to moving to Beverly, MA; I am just overwhelmed with both joy and anxiety as I seek to begin to do what the Lord is calling me to do. If you would have asked me 2 years ago as we were starting to think through the church plant and all that we envisioned, my thoughts about this would have been totally different. I honestly used to think that I could do this. I used to think that, "if I just preach good enough" or "if I am just funny enough" or "if our music is just anointed enough" or "if our welcome team is just nice enough".........etc etc etc; then we will have a great church plant. I now recognize that I am nothing; just a pawn in the hands of a loving and gracious God.

The past 2 years of my life have literally been life altering. I want to thank dudes like Wagoner, Gene, Dave P, TJ, Pearce, my team and board, my A29 assessment team, and the many others who have come around me to both encourage me and rebuke me. Most importantly I want to thank my wife and kids who have loved me so well though all of the transition and have modeled Christs love so well through this.

As I was with the Lord this morning, I came across a verse that I have probably read 100 times, but today it hit me hard. Colossians 1:9 says "since he day we heard of you we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding."

Paul gets it and sadly I have not gotten it. Theologically I understood it, but my heart was deceived to think that I was more than I am.

As I am moving to a dark area of our world, where sin and paganism, idolatry and wickedness, unbelief and doubt, are all the norm; the only way to fight this is prayer that "God" not "Matt", will fill people with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. So, today I am praying as I type, as I read and as I drink my coffee. Lord, for those who I meet in Greater Boston and have an opportunity to love and tell about Christ; fill them with the knowledge of your will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.....because I cannot.


Rescue Theology

When our heart stops beating, there is absolutely nothing that we can do to rescue ourselves. We are dead. We cannot play a part in helping those who are trying to resuscitate us. In the same way, spiritually, the human heart is dead. There is nothing that the human can do except for rely on the one can rescue us. We play no part in being rescued. The Father who sent the Son who gives the Holy Spirit is fully responsible for it. This is why Colossians 1:13 says "For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves." This should not anger us, rather it should lead us into worship. Deep Worship.

Is irresistible grace really that important?

My good friend Elliot got some heat because he said on his FB page that being a Christian has NOTHING to do with what you DO or what you DON'T do, but has ONLY to do what what you BELIEVE. After watching some responses I realized that the conversation turned into a Theology discussion, primarily in dealing with Irresistible Grace. Although I am not a hyper-Calvinist, this doctrine is biblical and most true to the gospel. When we move away from this doctrine, we get messed up with faith and works. That is why it is such a big deal to the gospel.

The doctrine of irresistible grace recognizes that the Bible describes natural man as “dead in his trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1; Ephesians 2:5; Colossians 2:13) and because man is spiritually dead he must first be made alive or regenerated in order to understand and respond to the Gospel message.

The reason this doctrine is called “irresistible” grace is because it always results in the intended outcome, the salvation of the person it is given to. It is important to realize that the act of being regenerated or “born again” cannot be separated from the act of believing the Gospel. Ephesians 2:1-10 makes this clear. There is a clear connection between the act of being made alive by God (Ephesians 2:1,5) and the result of being saved by grace. (Ephesians 2:5,8). This is because everything pertaining to salvation, including the faith to believe, is an act of God’s grace.

So, that means that when one receives Christ and becomes a Christian it is not the person who is doing anything. Rather it is the person and work of the Holy Spirit who is giving someone grace to receive. Therefore, God gets all the credit and we get none. If we are dead in our sin but yet can make ourselves alive enough to grab hold of Christ, than we get credit. The scriptures give all credit to Christ. Romans 3 is clear that no person ever seeks after God. It is only the Holy Spirit who seeks after man. Therefore, we cannot accept what we are not looking for, but rather Christ, by grace, grants us salvation which makes us a Christian.

Therefore, in scripture you never see some accepting Christ, but rather receiving Christ.

All that said, we are correct to believe that true faith leads to action. However, that was not what Elliot was chatting about, he was saying that no matter how hard you work or what you do, none of that will make you a Christian. I know many good people, most who are more generous than me, love better than me, serve better than me, and may be better husbands and fathers than me......however they are not Christians, because being a Christian has NOTHING to do with what you DO or what you DON'T do, but has ONLY to do what what you BELIEVE. (as put by my friend Elliot which caused me to write this. )

Thank You Netcast Partners

I just wanted to drop you a note and say Thank You for helping us move forward.

This past year has been an incredible journey for Beth and I. We have finished up our internship at 1.21 Church in Winston Salem and are in the process of moving to North Shore Boston to plant Netcast Church. Of all that we learned and been through this year, none of it would have been possible without you. You believed enough in what Christ was doing in us and financially supported us in a generous way so that we would be most prepared for this challenge. Thank you for that.

As we move forward to the future I am sure that there will be more needs. Currently, for the next year, we already have over 50% of our budget committed by some of our financial partners, so we are off to a great start. Right now, I am not asking for anything specific until we actually move and have more of an idea what our needs are. Most church plants take 2-3 years before they are able to support themselves without any outside income.

Thank you for all that you have sacrificed to help us. I will share with you a great section of scripture that Paul wrote to those who financially supported him.

Philippians 4:18-19 "I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."
Thank you for being a partner with us in this journey. You may not feel as much of a part of our progress as you are, but let me assure you that without you, none of this would be possible. We love you dearly.

Matt and Beth

Final Update from Greensboro, NC

Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to give an update to everyone on what the latest news is with Netcast Church. This is probably the last email that I will be sending out from Greensboro, as we are all set to move in the beginning of August. The past month we have seen some unbelievable things pertaining to the church plant. We have had an amazing family commit to fund 1/2 of our 1st years budget and we have found a home on the North Shore of Boston. Beth and I spent a week in Boston last month, preaching and finishing up the assessment with the North American Mission Board.

In all, Beth and I are doing well emotionally. We are excited to get moved and settled in. Beth is excited to get the kids all set up for school as this is Abby's first year in public school and Daniel will be in 1st grade.

Please keep us in yoru prayers as we give our lives to spreading the wonderful news of Christ to the Greater Boston area. I would recommend that you check out where we have 9 video's in which we answer some of the main questions that Bostonians are asking us. The questions were polled from non-church people on the North Shore. Enjoy.

To Christ be all credit and glory.
Matt Chewning
Lead Pastor of Netcast Church

Wesleyan/Holiness Camp to Reformed Movement

Thoughts from a friend who has grown up with major inflence from the Wesleyan camp and now is a part of the Reformed movement.


As I think about the reformed position, it seems to me the issue has more to do with how Wesleyans and Reformed Christians view sin. Growing up, I was taught that ALL sin separates us from God and is cause for judgment. Therefore, we must live HOLY SINLESS lives. This makes it difficult for folks in this tradition to acknowledge sin in their lives because to do so would, for them, would mean their salvation is in jeopardy. It also creates enormous confusion because we all know we are not perfect. So many struggle honestly with what Christian Perfection looks like. Terms like, carnality and living in the flesh were substituted for a believers faults.

The Reformed Christians don't seem to struggle with this simply because they can acknowledge their sin is covered by the blood of Christ. (THE GOSPEL) They understand this doesn't mean "we go on sinning so that grace my increase" but see it as working out our salvation with fear and trembling. Since my sin is not counted against me, I'm more free to confess it and be healed. Obviously, my sin will hurt me and others. Certainly unconfessed sin is the most damaging, but true believers, in the reformed camp, don't see Christs work on the cross STOPPING as a result of their sin.

Tim Keller's 3 Church Planting Questions

1. What do you see God doing in the city?

2. What are the needs of the city?

3. What do you think a church can do to fill the needs of the city? become a fan.

Netcast Church Vision and Mission

Netcast Church Mission and Vision
Engaging the world with the hope of Jesus.

A diverse community pursuing intimacy with Christ and influence in the city.

It is intentionally short and simple. Vision and Mission statements are not called to be theologically sound, the church is called to be theologically sound. The purpose for these are to quickly communicate what we are about and can be easily regurgitated by others.

The four things we wanted to get across are:

1. Diverse. The gospel is the most diverse message ever told.

2. Community. We are called to do life together in community and not alone.

3. Intimacy. We can intimately know the creator of the universe.

4. Influence. We are to be on mission at all times in all places for the glory of God.

Study Through Acts 1:6-11

"Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?"
As I am looking into this part of Acts, I am confronted with my own confusion. Here is the reality; even when are sure that we know what God is doing, we could be way off. Here we are in Acts, Jesus is with his people after the resurrection and they are confident that he has come back to restore Israel as the military and political powerhouse of the world. This thought didn't come out of left field somewhere because you see it being done over and over again in the OT. However, although everything looked as if that was the case, they couldn't have been more wrong. That was not the plan at all.

So, now that we know what the plan is not, we have to figure what the plan actually is. Jesus tells his people 2 very important things here. These two things are the essence of the Christian mission. Often, we think of the mission of God is to be a sanctified Holy people who are reverent and intimate with Christ. Although that is part of the Kingdom, that is not the mission. Here are the 2 things that Christ tells his people.

1. You will spread my message to the entire world.
2. I will be with you the entire time through God the Holy Spirit.

Note the purpose of Jesus sending God the Holy Spirit. Often times we think that the Holy Spirit is here for us and to do a mighty work in us. However, if we believe Acts 1, than we see that the Holy Spirit is not given to us for us at all. The Holy Spirit is given to us for the world. The purpose of Jesus sending us the Holy Spirit is so that God will spread his Gospel through his people.

The primary way that Jesus equipped his people was the promise of the Holy Spirit. The result of the Holy Spirit coming on them was propelling them into mission. If you have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, you are a christian missionary. No questions asked!!

Study Through Acts 1:1-5

As a believer and a pastor-to-be; I have been plagued with this question, "What makes you feel equipped to carry out Jesus' ministry on earth?" This is a big question, because your answer reveals a lot about yourself. If deep down you feel that you are equipped because you are gifted, smart, intelligent, or you have some other natural characteristic that has equipped you, than most likely you are driven from pride or arrogance that in the end will kill your personal ministry. Jesus is responsible for building his church, not our giftedness. I didn't always think this way, it probably wasn't until about 1 1/2 years ago that God began to put me around people who saw my gifts and realized that I relied on my own talents and not the Holy Spirit which is literally God inside us.

Lets dive into Acts 1:1-5 and learn more about this.

In what ways did Jesus prep and equip his apostles to continue his ministry and life on earth? The first thing to notice is that Christ was clear to go and wait for the Holy Spirit before beginning the process of carrying out the mission of God. This is vital to us today. How many pastors or Christians do we know today who have very little Holy Spirit power or authority when they speak or begin to carry out the mission of God. It is most necessary that we are spending time in prayer and solitude, waiting for the Holy Spirit to come upon us in order to continue Christ's ministry. Over the course of the last three years of Christs life, he walked, talked, taught, and modeled a Spirit filled life to the apostles. This was part of him prepping his people to carry out his mission.

So, if this text is true, we have to ask the question; "what is the significance of the fact that Jesus showed himself to the apostles and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive?" In the text we learn that Jesus presented himself alive to the apostles and many others after his sufferings and death. This is key to the Christian faith. Without the resurrection of Christ we do not have Christianity. Like Paul says, "if Christ did not rise from the dead, than there is no gospel (good news) because we are still stuck in our sin and have no atonement." Christ rose to claim victory over death, sin, and Satan. He then promises to send us the same Holy Spirit that rose him in order that we may one day rise in defeat of death. Christ showing himself alive builds our confidence in the fact that we serve a God who is alive and well and promises to never leave us or forsake us. In scripture, Christ promises that as we go to fulfill the mission of God, he will not only be with us as we go, but he has also gone ahead of us. We need to remember the resurrection as we engage people at work, on airplanes, in restaurants, as we preach, as we lead our families. Everything hinges on the resurrection.

Lets think through this thought together; How would the apostles ministry be affected by the fact that Jesus chose, commissioned, and instructed them? How will our lives be affected if we believe the same about ourselves? I cant even imagine what it would be like to have a moment with Christ like these apostles had. Can you imagine Christ showing up at your house and telling you that you are responsible for taking his message to your city and beyond? A real life encounter with the living Christ.....God, I want that. Imagine the confidence and brotherhood that these apostles would have had. Imagine the desire that they would have to carry out the mission with Christ. I couldn't think of anything that could stop them. Not sufferings, persecutions, not even death itself would have the power to get in the way of them carrying out the mission. Paul put it like this when thinking about his personal encounter and walk with Christ, "to live is Christ and to die is gain." These are the type of crazy things we say when we believe that we have encountered the living Messiah, Christ the Lord. I am begging God to have an encounter with him like this.

clarification of last email and blog

My wording was not clear and after you're response, I noticed how it would be taken from someone reading my email. What I was specifically talking about was not that there are no evangelical churches who are being faithful in spreading the incredible news of Jesus Christ, but instead that evangelicalism from a percentage standpoint, is lower in this region of the country than any other. This information was given to me from the BCNE last week. Less than 1% of the population attends an evangelical church, thus there is virtually no evangelical presence. In no way do I desire to diminish the laboring of those faithful saints in the North Shore area. I am extremely grateful for their service to the Kingdom and am humbled that Christ is calling me to serve along side of them.

In my next email blast, I hope to clear that up. In the mean time, I pray that these men know how grateful I am for their lives.

I pray that I can repent well, look to the cross and beg Christ to humble me.


We're Getting Close. Netcast Church Update

So here is the latest.

The past couple of weeks have been extremely exciting in our journey to plant Netcast Church. Every day is a day closer to moving and bringing the gospel to the greater Boston area.

Last week I was in Orlando and met a group from New England. They were at a church plant conference that Beth and I were attending. After meeting them, they were blown away that we were moving to the North Shore to plant, specifically the Beverly, Danvers, Peabody area. They had been praying for a year that God would send someone to that area. There is virtually no evangelical presence in that area of New England. They asked me if I would be willing to visit with them in Boston and learn about what they are doing with the possibility of partnering with them and allowing them to help fund us. Next thing I know, I was on a plane to Boston for 4 days. I learned so much about the culture, networked with like minded pastors, saw 5 students come to faith in Christ and explained the Gospel to a couple people on the plane ride home. In all, it was an incredible trip.

We have nailed down where we are looking to move. Danvers, MA is bout 15 miles north of the city of Boston and is at the center of 5 surrounding cities. It is an extremely diverse area of the North Shore which fits right in to our desire to build a diverse community. There is just about no evangelical presence in this area. According to the BCNE, missiologists show this region to be the 3rd hardest area to plant a church behind a region in China and Russia. Christ help us. We find our hope in the promise given to us through John and Matthew; that Christ has gone before us and will be with us wherever we go.

The progression with the Acts 29 Network is moving along as well. 1.21 Church, which is our sending church, is a part of the Acts 29 Network and is confident about planting us. We are extremely grateful to this church and love our family there.
Please be praying for us about the following things.

1. We are looking to build our core group team. Pray that God would send us passionate people to partner withs as we seek to plant the gospel in Danvers, MA.

2. Pray that our family would be protected from all who want to lead us astray and destroy the plans that God has for us. We firmly believe that this journey is spiritual and ungodly forces are seeking to stop it.

3. Pray for our funding. We have to raise about $80K for our first year. So far we raised enough to finish my internship at 1.21 Church but now need to raise the funding for Boston. Pray that God would be generous to us and people would not just give of their excess but also of their poverty.

4. Please pray that God sells our home. We are excited to leave but have to wait for the house to sell. Pray that God sells the home quickly and with no problems.

Its all for Christ and his Kingdom. Thank you for being a part of what God is doing and reading our updates.

Matt Chewning

Netcast Church / Pastor

4604 Ridgefall Rd Greensboro, NC 27410


Netcast Update (Moving Soon)

Hi Everyone,

Wow, this has been a crazy few months. I was in Haiti in early March which was amazing. A very Godly family who is a Netcast supporter asked me if I’d be willing to go to Haiti if they fronted the bill. Beth and I talked it over and though that God was opening up an opportunity that we couldn’t turn down. Needless to say, it was a mind-blowing trip. The destruction, the people, the chaos, the poverty…..all of it, opened my eyes to things that I have never seen before. I am so grateful to have been able to go and be a missionary in a land that desperately needs Christ. God graced me with the opportunity of leading a few Voodoo worshippers to Christ. That was an amazing story and if you want more details, just ask and I’ll tell you all about it.

Our house has been on the market for 18 days so far and we have had some good activity with people coming to look at it. No offers yet, but I am sure that when God wants it to sell, it will sell. We’re trusting Christ with the timing and moving process. We plan on being out of here right after the kids get out of school which is early June. However, we’re more committed to God’s timeline and being obedient as God leads us, than we are our own.

We are still praying about exactly where to move on the North Shore of Boston. If you get a minute, please pray that Christ will bring Beth and I clarity with that. Also, having been fully funded while I have been going through the Acts 29 Internship and conditions process; I am now starting my fundraising for our time in Boston. Please pray that God will stir people’s hearts to commit to being financial partners. I hate asking for money, but this is what God is calling us to do and I refuse to let fear dictate our direction.

I hope you enjoyed the update. I love you all and many of you have helped us turn this vision and calling into a reality. Thank you! You are all evidence of God’s grace in my life and the life of my family.

Matt Chewning

Haiti Update

Hi guys,

Just wanted to let everyone know that i am doing Ok. Things are going fine in Haiti. I am seeing a ton of crazy stuff. It is pretty safe right now. My group was able to feed 3500 people with rice and beans yesterday. The food we bought them will last about 5 days. Isn't that awesome. You cant imagine the conditions that these people live in. It is crazy. Nobody is living in homes due to fear that they home will fall or the home has already fallen.

Keep praying for me. I have been asked to preach on Sunday. I will be telling about the glory of Christ to the Haitians using a translator.

Haiti Trip and Update

This week I will be going to Haiti to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ and do relief work. This is a last minute trip; in which a dear friend offered to pay for me to go. The past few months have been absolutely incredible. By God's grace, doors have opened up for me to learn a ton about church planting, how to disciple people, and how amazing Gospel Community is.

Last week another friend of mine brought me with him on a trip where we spent 3 days learning how to systematically walk people through a process to help them understand the Gospel, the Church, and the importance of community and serving. This was an incredible time as I visited a church in Birmingham, AL named Church of The Highlands.

I am so thankful for how people have supported us over the past few months. I am striving to work as hard as possible, by His grace for Christ's glory, so that I am best prepared when we move in June.

Please be praying for my trip to Haiti. People who are desperate will do almost anything to survive. Sanitary conditions can be deadly. There's no government intervention. People are fending for themselves. The prisons and jails also collapsed. Criminals are roaming around trying to survive.Pray that we always have a way out of every situation. Buildings are not safe, bathrooms don't exist, fresh water can be hard to find, medical care is scarce and death is everywhere. Roads are not safe and telecommunications may not be working. When the sun goes down since there are no street lights, paved roads or guard rails to guide you to safety. All that being said, pray mostly that I represent the love of Christ and His Kingdom while I am out there.

Also, please pray for my family while I am away from them.


April Fools in February

In Florida, an atheist created a case against the upcoming Easter and Passover Holy days. He hired an attorney to bring a discrimination case against Christians and Jews and observances of their holy days. The argument was that it was unfair that atheists had no such recognized days.

The case was brought before a judge. After listening to the passionate presentation by the lawyer, the judge banged his gavel declaring, "Case dismissed!"
The lawyer immediately stood objecting to the ruling saying, "Your honor, How can you possibly dismiss this case? The Christians have Christmas, Easter and others. The Jews have Passover, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah, yet my client and all other atheists have no such holidays.."
The judge leaned forward in his chair saying, "But you do. Your client, counsel, is woefully ignorant."

The lawyer said, "Your Honor, we are unaware of any special observance or holiday for atheists."

The judge said, "The calendar says April 1st is April Fools Day. Psalm 14:1 states, 'The fool says in his heart, there is no God.' Thus, it is the opinion of this court, that, if your client says there is no God, then he is a fool. Therefore, April 1st is his day. Court is adjourned."

You gotta love a Judge that knows his scripture!

Valentines Day with Beth and Why I love her !!!

It is unusual for Beth and I to not do something big for Valentines Day. This year would be no different. Since this is our first year on a really tight budget we were able to get pretty creative with our night. To start we got all dresses up. When Beth came downstairs, I had our living room in a new design. We had a fire in the fireplace, with a table for 2 set up. rather than going out for dinner, I made some steaks with a potato and green beans. There was also bread with the meal. It was like eating out, only better because it was less than 1/2 the price and we didn't have to worry about other people being around. Then we set the couch up right in front of our new TV and watched Couples Retreat.

Here are some Pics.


This is what I love about you. The way you stand by my side. How you always find a new way to "WOW" me. When I'm sad, you take the pain away with a joke or by calling me a Fag (I know, it’s a term of Endearment). How you always look deep into my eyes. How you can make my heart melt with your big soft lips. The way you hold my hand so tight. How you always watch out for me. They way you make sure I have everything I need. How you always know what to say. How you say the cutest things over and over and never gets old.

I love the way you stare at me as if I am the most handsome guy in the world! The smile you give after I'm done kissing you The way you act like a dork but make me laugh. The way your still embarrassed to say or do things in front of me. How you can just defend me and not be scared. How you lift your hands during worship. They way you walk when you get sad!! For how you think every cough, fall, bump, cut, scratch, short nail, bug bite, choke, or scream may lead to a fatality of you or one of the kids. The way you sing to be all cheesy even though you have a great voice. How you always finish my sentences. How it is so easy to see evidences of Gods grace in you. How your the only one who thinks I’m NOT weird (sometimes). How you teach our kids the bible.

Its funny but, I love the way we play stupid games w/ stupid incentives, and your stupid butt usually wins. How you tell me long stories that have no meaning, but you know I'll listen anyway, but if I don’t listen, you’ll still tell the story, and then ask me what you just said. How you always want to teach me about what God is showing you after a women's study or time with a friend. How your mind can be thinking of 100 things at 1 time. How you forgive me when I do wrong. How we like to match our PJ’s. How you can just speak your mind. How you’re not afraid to tell me your feelings. How you can cry in front of me. How you make me feel when I think I'm nothing. The way you inspire me with your thoughts and emotions!!!! How when you pray it is always from the heart and not a show.

And of course…….The way you encourage me with the Gospel to be every bit of a man, husband, and father that God wants me to be.

I love you more than I could ever explain. God has been so gracious to me.

The Cup....

A little known fact....

The first testicular guard "Cup" was used in Hockey in 1874
and the first helmet was used in 1974.

That means it took 100 years for men to realize
that their brain is also important.

blahhhhh. Funny!

Dangers with misunderstanding Justification and Sanctification

This was an email conversation that I had with a guy in NY who I knew from my Nazarene days. He continually makes negative comments on my twitter/facebook status and recently when I asked the twitter/facebook world what the gospel was, he commented "you need help."

Here's the thread. I want to thank Gene Schlesinger, Pastor of Theological Development for 1.21 Church in Winston Salem, for helping me think through the drastic issues we run into when we confuse sanctification and justification. I've been studying these 2 doctrines along with Sin and Grace while I prepare to move and plant.


Matt Chewning January 25 at 8:44am
When I posed the question; "What is the gospel?" you mentioned that I needed help. I am assuming you meant what you said, so I am curious to understand what area you think I may need help in? With the mentioning of the "good book" I'm assuming that you are speaking of the bible; are you thinking that I am not pursuing a scriptural outlook? Maybe you can shine some light on that for me. Just some thoughts, matt

Name Unknown January 25 at 12:27pm Report
When you say what is the Gospel that poses alot of different views,and alot of personalities come into play,my quick version to what is the Gospel is JESUS ,He sums it up for me,Bill was close to being on the money with this and my remarks put some light on your question for others to shed some wisdom,on another note try to watch what you say on facebook,teachers are held to a higher accounting,Blessings brother.

Matt Chewning February 1 at 11:04am
The Gospel is Jesus. We'll I guess that makes some sense. Since Gospel means "good news" I am assuming that you feel that the Gospel is the Good news of Jesus. I would agree with that. I guess what I was trying to figure out is if a non-believing friend asked you what the gospel was, how would you respond? Also, how do you explain the gospel without just telling someone to be more moral and lose their bad habits. How do we explain the gospel without just trying to do behavior modifications? Anyway, these are the things that I am trying to think through. I'm learning that Christianity has nothing to do with morality or behavior, and everything to do with Sin, Grace and Justification. Morality and Behavior is a part of sanctification which is a crawl and not a sprint. Sanctification is the promised fruit through salvation and justification. In the church we tend to try and do behavior modifications by giving people the list of things that Christians should and shouldn't do; rather than consistently exhorting people with the Gospel and teaching them what it means to walk with Christ. BIG DIFFERENCE.

I would like to know how you deal with that. Pertaining to my face-book status; I appreciate your willingness to chat with me about that. I want to be careful to be honest with myself about where I am at with Christ and not pretend that I am more Holy or sanctified than I really am. At times I may tweet or face-book about my liberties (sex with my wife, a beer, watching a rated R movie). I'll also tweet or face-book about my sin (anger, pride, lack of discipline) I don't see my liberties as sin or a stumbling block for people out there on the Internet world, that's just where I am at. I'd rather be honest than a Pharisee. Maybe it's immaturity or maybe it's just who I am in Christ. I am not sure. Anyway, this is where I'm at. A response is welcomed. Matt

Name Unknown February 1 at 1:07pm Report
Answer: If JESUS was sitting next to you or standing next to you.would you say things ? Do things? or put things on the net?None of us are perfect or sinless but again when we were saved we became born again and are told to put off our old selves and become a new creation. This means watching what we say,what we do and what we watch.If we cause one little one to stumble it would be better if we were to tie a millstone around our neck and be tossed into the sea.Leaders lead by example, chose your words wisely,and be careful to try and not cause someone to stumble.Remember that we are going to be held accountable for every spoken word and deed.And like I said those who are teachers of the word will be held more accountable.I have been learning to keep it simple and not complicate GODS word I plant the seed and GOD sends someone to water it.John 3:16 does sum it all up. HIS SON DIED FOR US. (JESUS) No name is greater.

Matt Chewning February 1 at 5:01pm
Thanks for you're reply. I do think that you may be misunderstanding some very important orthodox Christian doctrines. The first would be justification. You mentioned "when we were saved we became born again and are told to put off our old selves and become a new creation. This means watching what we say,what we do and what we watch." That isn't a biblical statement, close but not at all accurate. I am assuming that you are trying to quote from 2 Corinthians 5:17. The problem is that you are not accurately quoting that verse, and if you read it in context, you're missing the point. In context it says, (vs 14-18)

"For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself."

See the last line. "All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself." In your note you're saying that we are now told to put off our old self and become a new creation. That is wrong. The bible is actually saying that "Christ has turned us into a new creation." There is nothing that we have to do in order to become this new creation; Christ did it all and continues to do it all in us. Becoming a new creation does not mean "watching what we say,what we do and what we watch." Becoming a new creation means that God takes our heart of stone and turns it into a heart of flesh Ezekiel 36:26. This is not based upon our hard work or our doing, but instead of Christ's doing and his grace. Ephesians 3:8-10 says For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

You have a misunderstanding of justification and sanctification and when you confuse those two, you run the risk of becoming a legalistic bigit. When you think that you are justified because of "what we say,what we do and what we watch." than you cannot help but to boast in your efforts. However, we are never to boast in our efforts, but only boast in the cross. Paul says to the Galatians in chapter 6 "May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul considers himself a fool for boasting in his doings (17In this self-confident boasting I am not talking as the Lord would, but as a fool.) In other words, it is foolish for us to boast in our doings because it is not even our doings. Rather, it is Christ who works in us both to will and to do (Philippians 2:13).

Point being.....Christianity is not a bunch of well meaning people running around trying to do good for the name of Jesus. Rather it is a bunch of wicked hearted people who have been purchased by the blood of Christ through faith alone. It is the love of Christ that compels us to do good; not our desire to be loved by Christ. We are loved because of what Christ has done, not because of what we do. We are saved because of who He is and not because of who we are.

Now onto progressive sanctification. This theology can be primarily explained out of Philippians 1:3-6 which says "I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." We are promised that Christ will continue to mold us into his image as we continue to trust in the Gospel as our means for salvation. As you can also see in the text, sanctification is not received by trying hard or moralism, but rather a continual looking and partnering in the gospel. This sanctification is a crawl rather than a sprint. The problem is that typically when someone becomes a new believer, we try and sanctify them by telling them all the right rules to follow rather than teach them to dwell in the gospel and pursue Christ daily. This is a distortion of scripture; it is Christ who progressively sanctifies, not man.
In some conversion experiences there are things that the Lord may choose to take away immediately and then their are other things that take time to overcome. For example, in my life, when I was saved, immediately my vulgar language was supernaturally taken away but things like sex before marriage or cheating on college exams took time for me. Other people I know were alcoholics or wife-beaters before conversion and God took those things away immediately but other areas in their lives like anger, vindictive sarcasm, etc took more time.

The last thing I want to hit on is this idea of "causing one to stumble." I get confused about this because its hard to understand contextually what Jesus is speaking about in Matthew 18, Mark 9 and Luke 17. One thing that we can be sure about is that it is obvious that he is speaking to his disciples about pride and their thinking of "who is the greatest in the Kingdom". He is not talking about liberties and freedoms in Christ. I guess it is just hard for me to believe that if I'm at Chili's with my family and decide to have a beer, that 1/2 of the people eating will fall into alcoholism. Or if Beth and I are out with our fiends and I make some smart comment about how I am hoping for a romantic night with my bride, that the other guys in the group will struggle with lust that night. I think that at times Christians are overly careful to the point of not being themselves. Just this past week a buddy and I went to a local bar earlier than our crew got there and had a brew for the sole purpose of meeting unbelievers and telling them about Christ. Last year Beth went to a gay bar with 3 girlfriends in D.C. and had a chance to share Christ in one of the most hedonistic environments.

That being said, I do take 1 Corinthians 10:23 very seriously. "Everything is permissible"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"—but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others." If I'm out with a couple and know that the guy is a porn addict, I am going to make sure my wife is extremely modest that night. Or if I'm out with an alcoholic I'm probably going to order a coke and lemon. Same is true with my language; I'd probably be more careful with the words I'd use if I am around a person I don't know than if I am around people I do know.

I'd recommend to you to be careful with throwing bible verses around. Don't just quote stuff because you think it will plead your case. Read it in its context and discern its real meaning. Be careful not to feminize Christ like he is some Good ol' boy with a long perm and perfect nails holding doors for everyone and careful not to get his hands dirty. I can assure you he is not. Scripture points to Him being a loving and humble man who's more like a strong construction worker than a hair dresser, a guy who hangs with the wrong crowd (Luke 19), hates religion (Matthew 23), and isn't afraid to whip a guy when necessary (John 2, Revelation 19), all with a beer or glass of wine in his hand (John 2). If you recognize me writing something inappropriate on Facebook or Twitter. You have the full right to confront me on those issues. Hebrews 3 says to exhort one another as long as the day is today. Just be completely humble, gentle, patient and bearing with one another in love (Ephesians 4).

With Love, Until all have heard. matt