When people ask me what do you do, I really don’t like telling them what I do.
Why? Because the short answer is “I’m a pastor”. This is usually the end to what could have been an awesome conversation about life and things in common. It quickly ends that conversation and/or starts a super boring one about Christiany things. (yes, I like to make up words)
What I would really like to tell people instead is:
I lead an awesome organization of some really talented and incredible staff and volunteers who love making a difference in the city/community where we are. I communicate for a living by casting vision, challenging the status quo, and working through difficult cultural shifts that personally affect the people in our city and in our organization. I coach and counsel men, women, marriages, parents and singles (or single agains) and help them get unstuck by giving them tools to reframe their problems and concerns.
What I really want people to hear and know about me is:
I just want to help people live with freedom and purpose while struggling with the tension between life and faith. Everyone struggles with questions about life… Everyone struggles with questions about faith… and I believe the tension that exists because of those questions is where we find amazing freedom in our faith and unshakeable purpose in our lives. The vast majority of folks with questions have been made to feel that having those questions is wrong. I want people to fully embrace the questions of life and know that this is exactly what God intended for us!
I’m Matt Dawson. As you can probably tell – I love people. Its part of my personality (I’m an “I” and a “D” on the DISC profile) so I either want to party with you or build a kick butt organization with you – while still having a great time! I love my family, my church, and my city. I live in the “burbs” just north of Charlotte, NC near a huge lake (although I don’t fish and hardly ever get out on the lake). I’m not impressive to look at outside of my height (6’4”) – I’m a slightly overweight man who is working on his health, yet craves CHEESE like you couldn’t imagine! I also love making up words to try and cover the fact that I spell worse than my 5th grader. I struggle with arrogance and over-confidence because my mom says I’m handsome and my wife thinks I’m funny – and that’s all I need to convince myself that I’m not nothing short of awesome!
*For those that need a formal list of credentials: I’ve served in full time vocational ministry as a pastor for 15 years, I lead an incredible church/organization that currently owns 4 local businesses in our community, my formal education is in Mortuary Science (look it up…it’s exactly what it sounds like), and I’ve worked in the marketplace (prior to the church) for 10 years as a salesman, manager, and entrepreneur.
I agree, tension is an interesting word to build a conversation around. The majority of people I know avoid tension. Many folks I’ve encountered think that tension in life means there is a problem. Tension is used most often to identify negative emotions or struggles and usually assumes there is no answer to the questions or no resolve to that situation. This is probably how YOU also view tension.
However, I believe that tension in life is unavoidable and therefore must be a necessary building block to something that is beneficial. I believe that tension in our faith exists because God intended for it to exist. WHY? Because the TENSION that exists as a result of hard questions we struggle with is where the POWER for our LIVES and FAITH comes from.
Take a rubber band and toss it at your face. Not very powerful… No big deal, right?
Now place one end of the rubber band at your face with one hand and take the other hand and stretch the band away from your face as far as you can…. and let go of it towards your face. (be careful not to take out your eye) TENSION is where the POWER IS!
As I’ve spent many years coaching and counseling inside and outside the church, I’ve realized that the missing piece for most of my friends and clients is the ability to embrace the questions they struggle with and understand that this TENSION they feel is meant to be a FUEL for their lives and faith – not something that shuts them down.
Families and friends have convinced their loved ones that questions and doubts about life should be treated negatively and possibly even medicated! If this describes your life… your family and friends were wrong! The TENSION that comes from your questions and doubts are FUEL that when properly directed can PROPEL you towards an unshakable purpose in life!
Churches and Christiany organizations have tried to convince parishioners and attenders that the questions and doubts they have about faith should be silenced, blindly surrendered, and treated negatively. If this describes your faith… the church was wrong! The TENSION that comes from your questions and doubts is something that GOD intended as a FUEL that when properly directed can PROPEL you towards an amazing freedom in your faith!
How Can I Help?
The purpose of this site is simple. I want to spend time discussing the TENSIONS that YOU struggle with and help REDIRECT them to be a FUEL towards unshakable purpose and an amazing faith!
There are several ways I intend to do this.
- Blog : I want to share resources with you that I hope will be helpful in reframing your questions about life and faith. Pick up your free gift to start this journey together – (Free Your Mind: Overcoming Fear, Anxiety, and Regret in Life) Get Your Free E-Book Today!
- Podcast : “The Tension is Real” Podcast is now LIVE. You can search for it on iTunes or paste this RSS feed into your podcast player. The podcast is dedicated to real discussion about the TENSION that exists between Life and Faith. To ask questions that others are fearful to ask and find the answers together. These questions will come from our Facebook and Twitter community as well as common questions asked within the cultural intersection of life and faith. You can also EMAIL US ANY OF YOUR QUESTIONS HERE.
- Resources : (Coming Soon) Visit my Resource Page some of my products and additional books and websites that I feel will be helpful on this journey.
- Coaching Courses : (Coming Soon) I intend to release 2 coaching course per year that will address several aspects of TENSION in our lives and faith. The first course will be offered this fall called “Your Journey from Hopeless to Fearless”. For more information on this course – Sign Up Here.