Experiencing revival is something that all of us wish for. But how often do we stop to think that before a true revival, a time of darkness must take place?
Matt Stuemky had to go through his dark times before experiencing revival in his soul. Though he was raised in the church, his ideas of Jesus were more about fear than love. More about forced obedience than loving submission. This fear-based understanding of God resulted in plummeting into sin when he was a teenager.
But God’s grace is always enough. He knew where Matt was the whole time, and when he was ready, God brought him back into His grace. After experiencing revival in his soul, Matt was even given a ministry calling to fulfill! Now, Matt serves with his wife as a Care Pastor in his church.
Knowing Light, Pain of Darkness, and Experiencing Revival to Love and Light… If I could summarize my life, this first sentence would be the overview.
Hello to my fellow Brothers and Sisters in Christ. My name is Matt Stuemky and I live in Weatherford, OK, United States. I grew up in church and accepted Christ as my personal Savior at the young age of 7 years old.
Growing up in a very strict, and highly ‘religious’ environment (legalistic), my understanding of God’s love was less about relationship and more so based on fear of hell. I grew up in an environment where I fully understood how the slightest sin separated me from God, but I didn’t truly know God’s grace, mercy, and life-altering love for me. As I grew older and made mistakes many other teens made, I dealt with separation from God due to an immense amount of guilt. Although God never moved, I moved away from him due to a growing sense of being unworthy of His love.
Over an 8-year period, I dove head first into a sinful lifestyle. “If you can’t beat them, join them”, seemed to be a standard for me in that dark time of my life. I tried to fill the void left by a lack of relationship with God with meaningless physical encounters, alcohol and other recreational drugs common to late teens and young adults. Nothing helped.
Finally, a year after marrying the one bright spot in my life (Annie), I relented and begged God for a relationship. Through all of the bad times, I developed a new understanding of just how important a relationship with God was, and just how valuable grace and mercy were to a sinner like me.
That rough patch in my life made me less judgmental of others and their shortcomings and encouraged me to love people right where they are in life. My wife and I eventually were invited into a small group leader role at a local church and God used that environment to groom us into the pastoral role we hold today. 13 years later we operate as Care Pastors at our local church. We love to love people. Good people, bad people, messy people…we love them all. Our dream is to see every Christ follower engaged in meaningful community together (small groups / “LIFEgroups”). I love to raise up, mentor, and train small group pastors that can provide intimate and safe environments for people to be real and vulnerable. Environments where real change can take place, real accountability is embraced, and where the Holy Spirit is free to move.
Another area of ministry heavy on my heart is men’s ministry. We live in Western Oklahoma where men take pride in a hard day’s work from sun up to sun down. We live in oilfield country where money is readily available to a hard worker. There’s no need for a college education to earn six figures here. These elements create a culture of spiritual apathy among men due to a combination of ‘wealth’ and exhaustion. They are often exhausted when they get home and it’s easier to disengage than to engage with their own wife and kids. I want them to experience a call to action to re-engage and to reprioritize where they spend their time, money, and energy. We need men to be leaders in their own homes again.
The Bible says people perish for a lack of knowledge. CLI will help me increase my knowledge and understanding. Combining that knowledge with the school of hard knocks I’ve lived through will help me be a better pastor to people around me. It will allow me to impart that same wisdom and knowledge to the leaders I help mentor and, in turn, to the people they mentor. I also love the fact I gain a network of fellow leaders to help me with resources, encouragement, and accountability.
Having the ability to earn a scholarship and further my knowledge is an incredible blessing. With a young and active family, affordability has been a key obstacle preventing me from furthering my formal education in ministry. Having the ability to complete this type of training for free is an absolute answer to prayers.
If there is any prayer I could request, it would be for me to more fully understand the wholeness of God’s love through a deeper daily relationship with Him. As that relationship grows in depth, I will become a better vessel for God to operate through and He can be glorified more easily and more often as I interact with the people around me. I also ask to be lifted up in my ability to remain focused on sticking to a daily spiritual routine.
There are hundreds – maybe even thousands – who are experiencing revival in the world today! Many of them are finding that God has an urgent calling for their lives. They’re finding that they need quality ministry training. If you’re looking for quality ministry training, click here to learn more about Christian Leaders Institute’s certificates and diplomas. Or you can click here t0 enroll in our first class right away!