Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday Flashback: Friend in Ministry: The Paul in my life

Here at USCEROCK.COM I had the idea to start on the Friday Flashback....

I want to talk about a great friend in my life who I have looked up to for over 20 years.  His name is Matt Jennings...Matt is two years older and has always been a great friend.  My earliest memory of Matt was at a JR MYF lock-in back in 1989 where I remember trading him for a 1989 Donruss John Smoltz Rookie Card which I still have...funny how you remember those things.  Over the years Matt was like a big brother to me.  He always looked out for me and always encouraged me.   During High School He led our guys high school Bible Study.  We would meet at the church of Saturday mornings and have Bible Study and then we would go get Little Caesar's Pizza and every Saturday we would watch and quote "Tommy Boy".   Our group had a great bond and Matt was a great student leader.  Matt was always on top of the newest and best Christian Music.  Matt introduced me to groups like Skillet, Third Day, Jars of Clay,  and many others.  Matt always kept us all accountable.  He always checked in on all of us guys and followed up when we going through tough times.

When Matt was a freshman in college he took a part time Youth Ministry job in Augusta.  Even though he had his own group, he still kept up with us.   Around this time is when I also was accepting my calling into youth ministry.  I learned a lot from Matt during his time there.  I remember going over to his office and also helping him reorganize his youth room.  I'm sure he didn't know then or does he know he's most likely reading this how much an impact he had on my life.
I think back to the car rides after school, the talks at Marvin UMC, him inviting us into his parents house, him inviting us over to his first place and making us breakfast, talks at Awanita, skits at Awanita, many retreats, River of Life, Chrysalis, the countless WCW pay-per-views with his best friend Gordon, our taking over at Augusta State University and making the GWO, being part of his wedding as a groomsman, and now keeping up with him on Facebook, his blog, and twitter.   You don't find friends like this too often.

Mattee, you were like Paul to me.  I thank God everyday for our friendship, even though we don't talk that often.  But know that you made a huge impact in my life and many others.   I would not be the person in ministry today without the guidance you helped give me in middle school and high school.

To my blog followers....Who was Paul to you in your walk with Christ?  Who encouraged you?

By: Matt Jennings

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