Show me a thriving church, and I’ll show you a number of volunteers whose faithful service goes virtually unnoticed. Without these unsung heroes, much of the church’s ministry – and maybe the church itself – would fall flat. These servant-hearted individuals are not motivated by recognition; they’re driven by their love for God and others.
These service spotlights are designed to affirm and encourage all of our volunteers – especially those who work behind the scenes – and to express gratitude for your selfless ministry. We see you, we honor you, and we thank God for you!
This month’s service spotlight is on Matt Nowka.
Matt is a husband, a father to 3 boys, and a civil engineer by trade. Off and on over the past decade, Matt has served several terms as a deacon. But his level of commitment and service never depends on the role or office he holds. Matt serves because he enjoys seeing lives touched by Jesus.
It’s hard to summarize what Matt does because, frankly, Matt’s willing to do just about anything to improve the lives of others. Long before Sundays roll around, he can be found cruising the aisles of the local Sam’s Club, making sure the church is stocked with basic necessities like coffee, cream cheese, utensils, paper goods, and batteries. Most Sundays, he’s one of the first to arrive, and one of the last to leave. Whether unloading the trailer, breaking down tables and chairs, brewing a pot of coffee, or crawling around on his hands and knees to assemble foam puzzles for infants and toddlers, Matt can always be found looking for the next thing that needs done to create a welcoming, worshipful environment for others.
Over the years, Matt has also modeled a serious commitment to both local and global missions projects. Whether setting up a 700-pound inflatable slide for a community night at Founders Green, pushing an aerator to raise funds for Living Water International, or using his engineering background to help a Christian camp in Arizona or a group of abused women in the Dominican Republic, Matt’s consistently using his God-given abilities to share the Gospel through word and deed.
Those who’ve worked closely with Matt, particularly as a deacon, admire his calm and thoughtful demeanor. Matt is a man of few words – often listening to a long exchange before offering a few words of wisdom that reveal both a discerning mind and a tender heart.
Matt is often one of the first to recognize that someone near him is hurting or struggling and one of the first to stop and pray – right then and there – for that person or situation.
Friends describe Matt as “constant, steady, faithful, reliable, loyal, and all in.” Many view him as one of the most humble, selfless people they’ve ever met. Several said his kindness stands out to them, and all mentioned how he goes about his tasks always looking out for and thanking others. A number of friends mentioned how often Matt includes his boys in ministering to others, thereby serving as a Christlike role model for them to follow. Everyone who’s been around Matt notices how he fun loving he is: he serves with joy in his heart and a smile on his face – often goofing off and cracking jokes, so that working with Matt doesn’t really feel like work.
One anecdote stands out and captures Matt’s unselfish character in a nutshell. Year after year, Matt volunteers to provide childcare during the Christmas and Easter services so that others are free to enjoy the special celebrations while he misses out.
A friend who’s served with Matt for over a decade summed up his faith and character this way: “He just lets God work through who he is.”
Matt, we love you and we praise the Lord for you!