In Los Angeles, there’s a man with a cause, Pastor Matthew Barnett of senior pastor of the LA Dream Center and Angelus Temple. You may recognize his last name, his dad is Tommy Barnett, pastor of Phoenix First Assembly. Both father and son are two of the most respected men in ministry. It’s a joy to call Angelus Temple and the LA Dream Center my home church when I moved to southern California, and now an even greater joy to interview Pastor Matthew about his latest book, “The Cause Within You: Finding the One Great Thing You were Created to do in this World.” After reading the interview, enter our giveaway to receive a signed copy of his book that released on February 1.
ImpelMinistry: Your last book, “The Church that Never Sleeps” released 10 years ago in 2000 – why this next book, why now?
Matthew Barnett: The most frequent question that I am asked on a daily basis is “How do I find my cause?” Through my book, I wanted to point the way for anyone searching for hope that God created them for a great cause and give them the tools to find and pursue it. The story of the Los Angeles Dream Center is also one that has never been fully chronicled and the stories of those that have come through the Dream Center and changed their lives is incredibly inspiring and powerful.
IM: What do you hope a reader will take away after reading “The Cause Within You”?
MB: God birthed a cause in me that has not only transformed my life over these years but millions have been reached as a result. God has called us all for a great cause that he wants us to embrace. I hope that after reading “The Cause within You” others will either pursue a cause that has been on their hearts or seek to discover their own great cause.
In my book I share that a transforming cause is never about you-promoting yourself, achieving greater fame or fortune, experiencing more pleasure or comfort, amassing greater power. It is always about using the resources God has given you-skills, relationships, experiences, money, time, intelligence and all the rest to make a positive impact on others. If you live for a cause greater than yourself, you will live a life of peace, joy, passion, and lasting meaning. Proverbs 29:18 reads, “If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; but when they attend to what He reveals, they are most blessed.”
IM: What is your cause?
MB: I grew up in a preacher’s home and knew at sixteen years of age that God had called me to be a Pastor. But, it was after moving to Los Angeles, to help turn around a struggling congregation of Bethel Temple, that I discovered my great cause.
One night, in Los Angeles, God woke me from my sleep and told me to walk to Echo Park. There I was surrounded by crime, gangs, prostitutes, and many homeless who had found the park to be their home. It was then that I heard God speak to me. He told me that He “did not bring me here to build a great church but to build people-these people. You build the people. I’ll build the church. I don’t ever want you to think about success again. Think about being a blessing. Success is obedience to your calling. I have called you to bless people. Love them. Heal them. Help them. Serve them.”
For the past fifteen years, I have now been the Pastor to the Dream Center and Senior Pastor of the historic Angelus Temple that brings in more than 7,000 weekly. The Dream Center is a 400,000 square foot building only a few blocks from Echo Park that runs as a 24-hour hospital and sanctuary, providing free help and counseling, food, clothing, and medical services to those in need. We have worked with literally thousands of people who were addicted, abused, prostituted, abandoned, and disabled. The Dream Center runs more than 200 need-centered ministries, reaching more than 50,000 people each week in Los Angeles alone. Currently, there are over 85 dream centers established throughout the world to model this one.
IM: Do you feel you realized your cause when you came to LA or earlier, prior to leaving Phoenix?
MB: When I was sixteen I was standing outside, looking up at the stars one Sunday night after church. As I was praying, the Lord impressed upon my heart that by the age of twenty I would be pastoring a church in LA. Little did I know what God’s full plan was for me. It wasn’t until I moved to LA 1994 that I realized an even larger cause that the Lord had for me which was to serve, love, bless, and lift up the hurting, the suffering, and needy in the inner cities of Los Angeles.
Connect with Pastor Matthew Barnett on Twitter (he’s a tweeting machine) and on Facebook (he’s maxed out his friend limit…so his Fan Page is here.) Watch services online Sunday’s at 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM PST and Thursday’s at 7:00 PM PST. Check out the video-documentary of his one night on Skid Row.
We’re giving away a FREE SIGNED COPY of Pastor Matthew’s book!! Enter to win in 3 easy steps:
- POST a comment on this post.
- FOLLOW @ImpelMag on Twitter
- RETWEET the giveaway/interview
What is THE CAUSE within you?