Natural Next Steps
Natural Next Steps
“Honestly, I don’t think that I really mapped it all out or made many considerations-I simply resigned from my position with nothing to go to. There was simply this deep internal ‘gut reaction’ to move on. It had been with me for over a year to the point that I could no longer ignore it,” comments Matthew Eckert [MTS 2006, DMin 2012] when asked why he left his career in banking after eleven years.
The career had offered him fulfilling challenges and allowed him to have a “frontline ministry.” Matthew would arrive early at work. “I would spend twenty minutes in Scripture and walk the hallways and pray for people I knew at work.” Despite the professional and spiritual fulfillment, he just felt “a sense that this season of life was over and that there was something new for me to take on.”
Holding a bachelor’s degree in science and a master’s in business, Matthew truly enjoys education. Since he was very involved with his church, Matthew saw a theological degree as a natural next step. He “felt a deep sense to just go to seminary” and in December 2003 he began driving from his home in Guelph to study in the MTS program at Tyndale.
At this time Matthew worked in the consulting industry, he “wasn’t even thinking of being a pastor.” It was in February 2004 that his career path started to look a little different. A friend heard about a pastoral position at North Park Community Church in London and told Matthew he should apply for the position. “I was intrigued that he would do this and that he believed in me to take on this role.”
“He calls them, tells them that a friend of his will be applying and they should take me. Then he told me that he actually applied for me. I remember driving to the church and having a conversation with the one pastor who was doing the hiring…we talked for two hours and at the end of the conversation almost like a light bulb went on saying ‘that’s your next step, that’s why you began your master’s degree' and the rest is history. I started in May that year.”
Once again, for Matthew, “it just seemed like the next thing to do and it was validated by many family and friends. The transition to being a pastor and the physical move to a new city all felt natural and good; there were never any doubts for both me and my family.”
More than eight years later Matthew is still at North Park, currently serving as the Pastor of Adult Discipleship.