Think about it. . .

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 0 Comments

College students are more interested in thinking than they think they are. For evangelical students, the subculture in which they’ve been raised tends to be strong on worship, devotion, service, maybe even outreach. The missing piece? Biblical/theological grounding. Families, youth ministries and collegiate ministries do a grave injustice to students when we withhold such grounding. We assume young people are …

Speaking “Up”

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 0 Comments

Four letter words fly around the golf course where I play like hundreds of errant tee shots. A river of strong drink disappears into men’s guts. Sometimes they ask me on the 10th hole what I do for work. “I’m in the ministry,” I say. “I travel around the country and tell college students about Jesus.” This usually causes massive …

Out with the Old, in with the Old

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 2 Comments

When I was young I was a rebel and a radical. Now I’m a radical. Or at least I aspire to be so.  The rebel in me went the way of James Dean–dead and buried. The reason? I never had a cause. Well, except to establish myself as a rebel. I suppose my friends and colleagues saw through this thin …

The Contrarian

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 7 Comments

According to Conventional Wisdom, there’s a set of practices and disciplines to which we all must submit. They are mandatory. No exceptions. A short list: Sabbath rest Accountability Prayer and Bible study Local church involvement Boundaries on visual inputs Boundaries with the opposite sex But I’m a contrarian. I work seven days a week because that’s what separates the men …

Mentor on Race

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 2 Comments

Twice in the past year I’ve spoken publicly on the issue of race. Both times I was shaking in my boots. Why? Fear of offending minority audiences by saying the wrong thing. Fear of offending white evangelicals by calling them out. No expertise. Why listen to me? I’m a dang rookie in racial reconciliation stuff. I need a mentor.  Pastor …

Mentor Me

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In my wisest moments I know what I don’t know. In my sanest moments I know I need help. Ergo: recruit three mentors. Mentor #1: Wayne Thyren (TreeHouse Youth Outeach). How he mentors me: Spiritual Director. I have asked him to tell me the naked truth about myself. He has obliged for the past 15 years. Mentor #2: David Clark …

Paying a High Cost

Rick Mattson Uncategorized 2 Comments

An old friend stopped returning my phone calls. My intuition, which is accurate 3/4 of the time, tells me that my clumsy attempts to represent Christ to my old friend finally put him off. Perhaps had I been more straight-forward — a known quantity, things would be different. Perhaps had I been more sensitive — not forcing the conversation, we’d …

Tongue Unleashed

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My life-long friends Kathe and Dave led me in a very specific prayer recently as we cruised in my 2004 Ford Explorer along a country road: Lord, use us. Yes, I’m an evangelist/apologist. I’m trained, skilled, etc. YET, it’s shocking to me how often my fragile ego puts a gag order on my tongue, insisting that Now’s not the time …

Coming and Going

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An impressionable college student from the Midwest attended the 1979 Urbana Mission Convention, and that student was me. I was fortunate to have a talk at the convention with the Rev. Billy Graham in which he looked directly at me and uttered these words, and I paraphrase:  The scriptural pattern for God’s servants has two directions–coming and going. First we …