Matthew Johnson

LEAD PASTOR

When I look back on my life, one thing is obvious to me:  I’ve lived a blessed life.  I grew up in Detroit with two godly parents who loved my brothers and me. My parents pastored a church that I loved being a part of and still have some of my fondest memories there.

From my earliest memories, I can remember knowing that God was real and that I loved Him and He loved me.  I literally can’t remember a time when this wasn’t true.  God has always been real to me but that doesn’t mean I always understood His love for me.  Though God placed a calling on my life early on, it was my own guilt of sin that kept me from fully pursuing Him.  The thought that continually went through my mind was that I loved God so much I didn’t want to shame His name by being an imperfect Christian.  For years I tried to serve God, but when I failed, I pulled back.  I just didn’t understand His grace.

When I was in high school, there were two things that summarized who I was:  I played sports and I dated Mary Bulat.  I loved both sports and Mary, and I dedicated my life to them.  Though I loved God, I didn’t serve Him with my life.  Though I never did the “big” sins of sex, drugs and alcohol, my sins were just as destructive and addicting.  I was arrogant, selfish and rebellious.

The turning point for me was after high school.  Mary broke up with me because of some poor decisions I made.  I was devastated.  Then one day my mom came into my room with a box of trophies and medals and asked me what I wanted her to do with them.  I told her to set them on the ground and when she left, I felt God say to me as I stared at the box, “Was it worth it?  Where are the crowds now?”  I didn’t feel like God was condemning me at all. I felt like He was kindly pointing out the error of my path of life.  In that one moment, everything changed.  I said to God, “If you will use me, I will dedicate my life to you.”  I sat on the ground between my dresser and wall and just cried.  I didn’t feel worthy, but I knew I couldn’t escape the call of God on my life.

From that point on, God led me down a path I would never expect.  Mary graciously took me back about six months later (the longest six months of my life!).  I went to Bible college and then took a position at my dad’s church.  I was youth pastor there for five years and then God called me to Lancaster Community Church to start their youth ministry. That position developed into Executive Pastor and then I eventually became the Lead Pastor on March 6, 2011.

Over the years there has been many ups and downs but I unquestionably know that I am blessed. My wife is my best friend and the person I want to be around the most.  I wish she could just hang out in my office as I work.  We have four beautiful children who make me laugh non-stop.  Our church is the most loving, sincere and dedicated group of Jesus followers. Like I said, I am blessed.

My Hope For Lancaster Community Church

My prayer for LCC is that the hunger for God that motivates us all will grow stronger every year. I know that hunger is one that God will always honor.  It is that hunger that will transform every heart, every relationship, every family and our church.  I can’t wait to see what God does in our future.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” -Matthew 5:6