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Student to watch: Matt Kearney ’13

Posted: Dec 14, 2012

2012-12-14MattKearneyAfrica
Matt Kearney receiving a warm greeting from the children of Tanzania during summer 2012 evangelism festival (Photo submitted by Matt Kearney)
Matt Kearney ’13
Associate evangelist with On the Go Ministries, an interdenominational ministry based in Nashville, Tenn.
Hometown: Marion, Iowa
Major: Communication studies with a minor in religion


What motivates you to preach God’s Word?
God has always loved me no matter what, and I want to love Him in return by making the name of Jesus famous. When I was in high school, God called me to be an itinerant preacher, to proclaim the Good News around the world, and to disciple and preach revival to believers everywhere. That’s my calling. I’m part of Olivet’s Preaching Ambassadors program because I want to preach. Several weekends each year, I have that opportunity at churches in the Midwest.

What opportunities to preach has God given you recently?
In summer 2012, I saw the New Testament come alive when I led an eight-day city festival in Masama, Tanzania, near Mount Kilimanjaro, with Proclamation Evangelism Network (PEN). The nearest place for Internet access was a 45-minute drive, and the nearest hospital was a two-hour drive away.

I preached the Gospel every night with the help of a translator. We had 1,500 to 2,000 coming every night. One night, a young Muslim boy came forward and accepted Christ. He wanted to be baptized, and there were no streams or water nearby. We baptized him by pouring a bottle of water on him! The crowd roared with excitement! People were jumping and hollering, singing and dancing.

That week, PEN reached more than 128,000 people in Tanzania with more than 16,000 of them accepting Christ!

With your hectic schedule, how do you make sure you stay close to God?
Each day, I try the “glory challenge.” It’s based on 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” The challenge reminds me to stay in constant prayer and to give God praise in everything I do. Sometimes I recognize certain things that won’t bring glory to God. If it doesn’t glorify God, I won’t do it. It’s tough, but by His grace I’m growing in this.

How are you living out your faith while you are a student at Olivet?
God is at work here at Olivet, and I believe a revival is meant for this place at this time. But my desire is that I would be a man of revival, that I would let God have His way in me. I want people to see Jesus when they see me. I’m praying more and taking more time to talk with others about spiritual issues.

What is the most important thing for you to remember about your ministry?
As an evangelist, I’d love to see thousands come to Christ at every outreach event. But I have to remember that sometimes, God is using me just to plant the seed. Sometimes I’m there to teach others how to share God’s Word or to spark a revival in their churches and communities. One reward for me is to see the love of Christ genuinely change a person from the inside out.
 
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Acres of Olivet's beautiful, park-like campus in Bourbonnais, Ill.