Prepared to Minister in Jesus’ Name

My name is Matt Kanner, and I am from the United States. I am studying at the Christian Leaders Institute to be prepared to minister (Learn more about studying the Bible online, Click Here).

My Story

A Jewish family adopted me as a baby. My grandparents on both sides escaped Hitler. A lot of the discipline I received was a result of that reality. I struggled in school due to a speech impediment, anxiety, and attention disorders. Insecure as a child, I found safety and comfort in eating food and, in later years, excessive exercising. Growing up in New York, I was under pressure to succeed financially. Almost everyone in my class received scholarships or attended a 4-year college.

Then, I developed an eating disorder, and my depression worsened. I felt that I should take care of everyone in my family. While in high school and college, I was in and out of treatment centers to quit drinking and using drugs. I did very well in school on paper; however, I was chasing the wrong things to find fulfillment. My childhood felt absent as I strove to meet unrealistic expectations that were in my mind. I wanted to make my parents and my grandpa proud. However, I didn’t realize that until I found God in 2019.

Turning Point

Sober, for a year and a half, I attended a church. God removed the taste for drugs and alcohol from my life. I went when a new friend invited me to church with him, his wife, and his daughter. He’d been trying to get me to go to his church for a while. I was hesitant, but I agreed.

I will never forget how personal and powerful the sermon was. But then, I wondered if it was a setup. Everything the pastor said sounded like my life. I could relate personally to the thoughts he had in between his points. He referenced growing up Jewish, enjoying sports, music, nutrition, and kingdom promises for adopted people. I sat there compelled. It was like God was telling me to do something.

When church ended, I went to the pastor to ask if he had heard anything from my friend about me. It felt self-centered, as if the message was just for me. However, I was convinced he had somehow heard about my life from my friend! Of course, he looked at me and said he’d never met or heard of me. Then, he asked if I ever gave my life to Jesus. I told him I had not. He disappeared for a few seconds to grab a Bible. Before he returned, I knew that Jesus was with me. It was not just the knowledge that He was; I experienced so much joy in my whole being. The way I saw everything was different! All of a sudden, I saw God in everything.

Made New In Jesus Christ

The pastor led me through prayer, asking Jesus to come into my heart. While I prayed, every word I spoke was so real. So emotional, I realized that Jesus met my every need. Pride was removed. Fear was gone. He replaced past mistakes with loving insights. Jesus showed me where He was in situations I felt alone in. He took away things I never thought I would be free from.

Furthermore, He brought purpose and security that words can not describe. In my heart, I surrendered everything. I was eager to exchange everything for Jesus. In my new Bible, I recorded the date and time Jesus saved me. As I turned to walk back to my seat, my phone rang. It was my babysitter, Joan, from when I was a lot younger and living in my parent’s home. She said, “I just feel like I need to tell you that God loves you, and He accepts you.” I told her that I had given my life to Jesus.

She cried, “I knew God was trying to tell me something!” I had not spoken with her in at least a month and could see how God was moving in ways I never expected. Joan had been witnessing to me since I was three months old. She preached the Word to me for 23 years up to that point.

Spiritual Growth

Since that moment in September 2019, God has moved so powerfully. He has given me a new understanding of who I am in Him. He is my closest friend, my voice of reason, and the one I look to for strength. He’s helped me walk toward life and away from things I felt were impossible to leave behind. The stuff I prayed for that seemed intangible has come true for me.

Recently, I shared with a group of men the prayer requests I wrote down on index cards and saved in a box. I had deep-cleaned my apartment and found it. When I opened the box, I realized God had answered all those prayers. It is another miracle. I want everyone to experience what I have. God has helped me grow.

I also walked away from an anti-Semitic community that demanded I reject my Jewish family and Jesus. The Holy Spirit enabled me to confront the leaders of that community and walk away with wisdom and confidence toward Jesus. Every trial is a setup for God’s plan and purpose. My faith is a fulfillment of my heritage, not negating it.

Getting Prepared to Minister through Classes at CLI

God’s used incredible people to minister to my heart and soul. I have a wife and two stepchildren today. And I am so grateful for them and for what is to come. I pray that Jesus will use my life to bring others closer to Jesus through my future ministry.

That is why I am at the Christian Leaders Institute. I want to be prepared to minister by learning more about the Bible and ministry. The tuition-free online courses are a blessing. I want to be prepared to minister wherever God leads me.

Register a Study Account

Register for a free study account that automatically enrolls you in the Getting Started Class at the Christian Leaders Learning Platform. The Getting Started class will take you less than an hour to complete.

When you log in to the Learning Platform, you will notice that the Getting Started Class automatically appears on your dashboard.    

The Getting Started Class will orientate you to the Christian Leaders Learning Platform, and the Programs offered, including:

  1. Minister Awards, Certificates, and Diplomas with the Christian Leaders Institute.
  2. College Degrees with the CLI’s Leadership Excellence School.
  3. Minister Credentialling (Ordination) with the Christian Leaders Alliance, including local Soul Center registration possibilities. 

Note: You can enroll in tuition-free courses or mini-courses immediately without finishing the getting started class.  

Learn more about ordination at the Christian Leaders Alliance. Interested in a low-cost college degree? Check out the CLI’s Leadership Excellence School.