Matt Hall: Increase my perspective

Published 9:19 am Friday, September 13, 2019

I’ve been fortunate to have served in my hometown, in my home church for my entire ministry thus far.

We came to Winchester when I was six years old, and over the last 28 years in one place, I’ve been able to keep my eyes and ears open in the community and in the church circles, to see and learn all that can happen in a community of people and believers.

Over the years, I’ve seen enough bad to overwhelm a person. After all, I’m not only a church kid, I’m a P-K (Pastor’s Kid).

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Many of us P-K’s get a bad rap (some rightfully so) because so many of us grow up seeing the worst in church and community, and often run the extreme other direction.

To be fair, I get it.

I’m sure we’ve all found people to be extremely human.

No doubt, the spectrum of human experience is vast and similar at the same time.

Our depravities and failures so often outshine our goodness; our ambitions and self-service outshine our potential. Oftentimes though, those shortcomings creep in and create rifts in families, relationships, and even entire communities of believers. Those scenarios hurt deeply and forever alter relationships.

It happened in the New Testament and it happens today. However, as in the New Testament, there is cause for hope.

The Apostle Paul had some serious issues with people’s humanity within the established church of his day. He and the Apostle Peter had some issues over prejudice and people-pleasing.

Likewise, Paul and John Mark had a falling out because John Mark ran in the face of persecution. That led to a “parting of ways” between Paul and his mentor, Barnabas.

Paul also had strong words concerning Demas, who, in Paul’s words, “loved this present world” over spreading the Gospel.

Paul even had to quell a disagreement between some of his church people who weren’t getting along with those of another Apostle named Apollos.

Paul put it all in perspective by saying, “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.” (1 Corinthians 3:6).

Paul’s perspective is what gives me hope. He was no stranger to controversy, persecution or abandonment.

He wrestled for years against the Judaizers, who were Jewish fundamentalists who trailed behind Paul all over Asia Minor, invoking confusion in the churches he planted.

He’d write very pointed letters to some of those churches; often multiple letters even, admonishing them for their lapses in faith and judgment.

Yet in the scope of it all, his perspective was always on the right thing: God increasing the Kingdom of Heaven in the earth.

I believe God has placed His people all over realms of life and social strata for a purpose. God needs His doctors, lawyers, teachers, factory workers, servers, plumbers, electricians, politicians, parents, etc. to be people whose perspective is not self-first, but Kingdom-first.

God, increase your Kingdom through me at work. Increase it through me at church. Increase it through my kids at their school. Increase the Kingdom through our family wherever we may go.

What would our community and churches look like if we focused on “…thy kingdom come, thy will be done…” instead of our kingdoms being built and our wills being fulfilled?

How different could our schools function if the children of Christians saw God-first life instead of me-first life?

How transformative could the church in Winchester be for those who truly need not a behavioral modification, but life transformation?

This is our opportunity! It’s not easy. It’s not natural to live selflessly with our eyes on higher things.

It’s not easy, but it is Christ-like, and it is effective.
God, increase my perspective so I may be part of increasing your kingdom in the earth.

Matt Hall is the youth pastor and an associate pastor at Church of the Living God on Franklin Avenue. He can be reached at