Noah J. Greer Pastor Matt Round

Noah Greer & Pastor Matt Round

September 29th, 2022

Episode 1 - Part 1

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Introduction - Part 1


Hello everyone, and welcome to Grounded with Matt Round. Today we are starting the introduction with an interview. We're going to get to know Pastor Matt and we're going to dive into some questions about his life. Let's go ahead and get started.

About Pastor Matt

My name is Pastor Matt Round. I'm the pastor of Chapel City Church in Camarillo, CA, and I have been for about the last four years or so. Before that, my family and I were up in Canada, where I pastored for five years, and that's kind of our journey in pastoral ministry so far.


God was really gracious and put me in a Christian home. Growing up I had strong Christian influences from my parents and my grandparents on my dad's side who were close not only physically but spiritually. So those were really strong influences. I was at church all the time. Growing up was one of those families where if the doors were open, we were there and I was in all the kids choirs and the VBS programs. And so I gave my life to Christ at an early age, probably 7 or so, and I was baptized when I was eight years old. It's not a unique story or a particularly exciting story, but kind of, as is typical, I did my own thing. I never largely walked away from the faith was never really outrageously rebellious, but certainly life was centered around me all the way up through high school, even though I was still involved in Awana and whatever choir programs were going on and youth group and leading that Bible study at my high school.

If I were to look at who I was then, again, life was really pretty largely about me. And then in college when I was away from home for the first time, when I was away from my church family that I had grown up with and the church that I had grown up in, that was really kind of that crisis moment where your faith becomes your own. And that was the case for me.

So where was I? When was I saved? Young. But when did God really get a hold of me, and where my faith kind of became my own and I started walking toward maturity intentionally was probably when I was 19 or so and in college.


I'm married to Brandi and that we just celebrated our 20th anniversary and we have 4 kids, 2 girls and 2 boys. Three out of the four of them are teenagers, so we are entering into a whole new life phase of busyness and schedules and personalities and all those things that come along with a family that grows up together.

We still live fairly close to the majority of both of our families. We're semi-close to our parents physically. Brandi's dad passed away about 10 years ago, but her mom lives in Santa Clarita. My parents live about an hour north of Santa Clarita. We have siblings that are in Santa Clarita and Lancaster and Ventura, so we're pretty well localized here in Camarillo and the general area.

Dating and Marriage

So, Brandi and I met a long time ago, especially because we're getting older and older. We actually met the summer before our 7th grade year, so we met after we had both just turned 12 years old. Our moms were involved in a prayer group called Moms in Touch, and that was a group of moms that got together to pray for their kids, to pray for their school, for their teachers, for the administrators, and they decided have a kind of a get together before the school year started.

So a couple weeks before 7th grade kicked off, we met at the association pool for where my wife lived. And you know the first time I saw her, she was a tiny little blonde thing, and I was pretty well attached right away. I knew that I was deeply in like with her. She took a little bit more convincing.

As we went through junior high, we were friends. We became very good friends. We did projects together. We had a ton of classes together and moving into high school I continued to pursue her, although it wasn't very overt, I guess. I just did everything I could to be around her. So she ran cross country and I am not physically built for cross country, but I ran cross country just to be involved with that. She was in choir. I didn't really have any desire to be in choir, but I ended up joining choir, again, just 'cause she was a part of that.

She was actually interested in almost all of my friends at one point. Not at the same time, but kind of one after the other. So it was really more of a war of attrition, and in the end I was just the last guy left standing, I like to say. And we, like I said, we were good friends and best friends, and then we started officially dating I guess our senior year and really that only happened because when we figured out we were planning events with a bunch of people just so we could hang out together, and it was getting more and more obvious to everyone that we were doing it, just to hang out together.

So we started dating a couple of months before the end of my senior year in high school. And as far as how long we dated, that's kind of interesting because in June, right after I graduated, I left for the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. We dated for officially maybe three or four months or so. I think our first official date probably would have been winter formal of our senior year and then dated for a few months and then I left. And so we really had very little time to develop kind of a normal dating relationship before I was gone, and it was the first time that I was out of the house and away from my parents and developing any kind of real independence on my own.

And, you know, I wish that I could say that I handled that really well, fact was that I didn't. And going from home and high school and church life into the military environment was very good and very challenging. You know, there were a lot of things that I really liked a lot of things that were really difficult and we dated long distance for two years. I would write letters or really kind of, more accurately, she would write a lot of letters and I would write some letters back.

We had very long phone calls that were a lot of silence or we just kind of sat, and this was back in the day when there were calling cards and collect calling, so my parents would get these phone bills for several $100 and you know, 20 minutes would be phone calls to them, and the rest of it would be calls to Brandi. That led to some interesting conversations.

All in all, it became very clear over that time that neither of us were really ready to pursue a serious relationship, and certainly more of that was falling on me as I was developing again this independent idea of what my faith was and what that looked like and how I was going to follow Christ and as I was wrestling with that and not doing a great job of it, our relationship was suffering and that's that's only natural. You can only really draw close to someone after you're drawing close to God, and as that suffered, our relationship suffered, and I ended up breaking up with her, the day before her birthday, over the phone while I was at the Academy. Which for those of you looking for it, is not spectacular relationship advice.

So that happened after my first year at the Academy; we dated for less than a year and a half and then we broke up and we were broken up for a year; after two years, I came home and started pursuing her again and we started dating again after sometime after that relationship got built back up and dated for seven months or so after that and then was engaged for a year and we've been married for 20 years since, so it's an interesting thing to ask how long we've been dating, because we dated and then we weren't, and then we came back and so that's kind of how that process looked.


Yeah, I'd say that when I was growing up, my parents again, solid spiritual influences. Especially in the sense that they really helped my siblings and I understand that normal Christian life meant being involved with the church and not just the building, but the people. They served in their Sunday school classes, they got together with people. They made sure that we were involved with people, so to me it just felt very, very normal to be an active and engaged part of the church. They made sure that we were serving in the church. So I mean, I remember doing first grade Sunday school with Mr. Hand from the time that I was in middle school. But one of those things that I think that I probably took for granted for a long time, but when you talk about mentors and real spiritual influences, one of the really, really helpful things that they did was they made church normal. It wasn't an event. It wasn't something we did when we could squeeze it in or when we had time for it. It was a part of not what our family did, it was a part of who our family was.

And then I mentioned my grandparents. They lived right around the corner from us for my whole life growing up. And my grandpa was a huge spiritual influence, just a guy who loved God and loved the church and loved His Word word and loved studying and teaching. And he was a tremendous influence for how he made a relationship with God something that was easy to see lived out. Certainly not perfectly, but he was just a great picture of faithfulness and then as you look farther down people that are still involved in my life now.

My best friend, Jason Beals is a professor at the Master’s University and he's been a tremendous influence. I'm not great at friendships in that I'm not especially quick to open up, and I remember one of our first interactions after we'd been serving in the same ministry for some time with him pulling me aside and saying, "You know why don't you want to be my friend? Because, this is what a friendship looks like," and I just remember how helpful that was to have somebody who would be willing to challenge me on how I interacted with people. And since then, again, he's my best friend. We talk regularly, but really, he's the guy that taught me how to practically do a lot of ministry things. He taught me, essentially, how to look through a passage and how to teach it. He taught me how to help people that were different than me. How to love them, how to encourage them, how to structure a ministry. He was a great example of how to deal with a leadership team with a lot of different personalities, so a ton of who I am in ministry is a result of his friendship and encouragement and involvement.

And then on the other side of that, the church that we started going to in 2005 in Santa Clarita Church of the Canyons, the pastor was a guy named Bob, Bob Childress. And he became a mentor to me. The last six months of seminary, basically he met with me every couple of weeks to take me through all the practical side of ministry that doesn't get covered in a classroom. He taught me how to do marriage counseling. He taught me how to do weddings and funerals. He taught me what to look out for as a pastor and how to kind of shepherd and care for your soul as you care for the souls of others. He was a great example of what it looked like to preach faithfully and expositionally and he continues to be someone who I go through for advice and who I check in with and who really has been, like every sense of the word, mentor. In my life, in ministry.


So I grew up in Santa Clarita and I went to Canyon High School and graduated there in 1998. And then as soon as I graduated, like I said, I went to the Air Force Academy, that was kind of the whole go from when I was in 7th grade all the way up through my senior year, that was kind of the one place that I wanted to be. I wanted to graduate, I wanted to go into the Air Force Academy, I wanted to fly jets, and that was the whole goal and direction. And purpose of my life, it guided what clubs I was a part of and extracurricular activities and involvement and a ton of things.

So after I graduated, I went to: they had their boot camp over the summer, your freshman year, and then I was right into the Academy. And again, like I said before, there were a lot of things that I really loved. I loved the uniform. I loved being a part of something bigger than me. I loved the structure. I am not a structured person; I am not a neat person. I would clean out my car sometimes in high school and just have trash bags that overflowed with the stuff that would just get left in there, and having that imposed structure was really helpful.

Having to live and think independently was really helpful in a lot of ways, but like I said, it was also really challenging. The church on the base there at the academy served a really wide range of people from a lot of different backgrounds and you had the Catholic Church, the Protestant church, the Jewish gathering and then the All-Faiths room and that was it. There wasn't your particular brand that you were comfortable with, and as a result, I never got deeply plugged into the church there like I was at home and when you do that, your faith starts to shrink it. We don't naturally drift toward maturity, and without being surrounded by other believers, we really take steps back. And I took a lot of steps back and or maybe it was less steps back then. It stripped away some of the assumption of maturity that I think was there before. That was really just a sense of habit and obligation to people who expected things.

So I think it took away all the context for all the comfort and all those things that were propping me up, and maybe it just exposed the real weakness of my faith. And after two years there, my grandpa died during that time, which was difficult to process, more so because I was separated by distance and didn't. I never got that chance to say goodbye or really see that process. I was miserable. I was angry. I was frustrated. I was lonely. I didn't know what I wanted to do. I found out that I had a heart murmur, so I wasn't going to be able to fly and do the things that I went in for so at the close of the two years, I was wrestling with, well, what does my future look like? This is everything that I've worked for and a whole bunch of it is not what I thought I wanted.

I didn't see myself developing into anything that honored God, and certainly that is not the military’s fault. That's not to say that it couldn't have happened where it was, but as far as my growth and where I was, it wasn't good. I wasn't who I needed to be. And I didn't know what I wanted to do.

So, I left the Academy after two years there and as far as schooling went, came back home and went to CSUN with the understanding that I was getting really close to finishing my degree at Cal State Northridge and then found out at the last minute that I didn't have all the classes that I need and so got really frustrated and pulled out there.

Fast forward several years to having a wife and having kids, starting to feel the pull into ministry and ended up finishing my undergrad at the Master’s College through their degree completion programs or taking night classes and got my degree in Christian ministries in 2007 and then enrolled in seminary that fall and finished seminary in 2013 with my M.Div. also from Masters.


Yeah, it's not what I had planned on. I loved the church and I loved God's Word. But there was never any sense kind of growing up where I saw a vocational ministry as something that I was going to pursue and I think sometimes what sometimes a lot of people wrestle with the idea of calling and what does it mean to be called into something? Particularly, what does it mean to be called into ministry, I think there's a lot of ways we try to convince ourselves of what God is calling us to do, and the way that I like to think about it, and really the way that it lined up for me is calling winds up being this mixture of gifting, opportunity, and desire, and where those line up is what God has called us to do.

And so what that looked like for me was as I came home from the Academy, getting resettled in the local church and going, not just because I was back home and not just because my parents were there and expected me to, but because I wanted to. And kind of finding that foundation of my faith again and in doing that, getting involved in serving again and in serving God, opening opportunities for you to use the gifts for him, for me to use, the gifts that he had given me. And so I served in High School Ministry for a while and in College ministry for a while and as I did that, I was given various opportunities to teach in small group settings and kind of increasingly in front of groups, and as I did that, not only did I find that I enjoyed it, but there was some gifting there and then that gifting gets affirmed by other people and developed by other people as they kind of speak into: "Hey you, you are able to do this, God is giving you the ability to do this. Here's some ways that you can sharpen that," and that led to you know further opportunity and further desire to do it, and eventually just came to the point where this was what the desire became. This is what I wanted to do and if I did want to be involved in ministry, if I did want to teach God's word to people, then I needed to be better equipped for it.

My favorite thing became seeing kind of the lights come on when when a spiritual reality kind of takes root in peoples lives, when the spirit opens their eyes to some, not only some truth, but to how it applies to them, that that became the greatest thing for me to see and I wanted to see that all the time, and one of the ways that I could do that was moving into vocational ministry, into full-time ministry. And so, like I said, that meant that I needed to be equipped. And so that meant that I needed to finish my studies in that and so, again through the loving and helping support of my wife and God opening doors, went back and finished my degree in Christian Ministry and in continuing to serve, realizing that if I wanted to be in pastoral ministry, which is where again the desire of my heart and gifting seemed to be lining up and people were affirming that.

That became clearer and clearer, and so I needed additional training. There were things that I wanted to be able to do better, I wanted to understand more. I wanted to be able to equip others in a more helpful way, and seminary was the way to do that, and so that led me to pursuing my seminary degree. And that's kind of what led me to Masters.

Fun Questions

How many times have you read the Bible?

Well, if you're talking about front to back, like inner rows starting in Genesis ending in revelation, then I think the answer is 4 or five. If you add it all up through assignments and personal study and kind of going here or there, I don't know, probably closer to 10 or 12. Through just regular reading and preaching and kind of rabbit trails that I get myself on to try and look something up when something kind of strikes my curiosity. I probably get through it once every year and a half or so. Obviously, there are some things that I read way more often than others. Whatever book I'm preaching in gets read a whole bunch, some of the sections not quite as frequently.

Continued Next Episode

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