Contributors
Rev. Matthew's church

Church at the Mission, Yonge Street Mission
Toronto, *Province/Other M5A 2G7
416-929-9614

About Rev. Matthew
  • Education: I studied Jazz at Humber College in Toronto and I have a degree in music (classical flute performance) from Toronto’s York University. I also have a Masters of Theological Studies from Wycliffe College/Toronto School of Theology/University of Toronto.
  • Experience: I have been a pastor since 1994, serving first as Assistant Pastor at Church on the Street, a church planted for Street youth in Toronto, and then as Associate Pastor from 1996 to 2007 at Church at the Mission, a branch of Yonge Street Mission in downtown Toronto. Since 2007 I have served as the Lead Pastor/Director of Church at the Mission, The Yonge Street Mission.
  • Comment to those looking at my sermons: You are brave. I hope they are a blessing to you.
  • Sermon or series that made a difference: The biggest influence on my life in terms of preaching was Rev. Dr. Winston Nunes who pastored in downtown Toronto until his death in 1999. As well, Dr. Rick Tobias, former President and CEO of Yonge Street Mission and current Mission Community Advocate, has had quite an impact on my understanding of Scripture as relates to ministry to the poor.
  • Family: I come from a long line of atheists and horse-thieves. Although raised an atheist, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour on the ides of March in the year of our Lord 1980. I am married to a beautiful and talented woman who I met at Yonge Street Mission in 1986, Barbara Parker. We have two remarkable children: Jared Lemuel Lewis born 1991 and Elia Margaret Ruth Parker, born 1993.
  • What my parents think of my sermons: My parents, although atheist/agnostic, were always supportive of my ministry, I think in part because it is to the poor in the inner city. Although miffed by my worldview that differed so much from their own, they were quite remarkably invested in what I do. I miss them dearly.
  • What my spouse (really) thinks of my sermons: Barbara is very supportive as is the congregation.
  • Best advice given to me about preaching: Preach Christ! Always ask the question when preparing a sermon: 1. What? 2. So What? 3. Now What? 1. What? What’s the issue. Demonstrate that there’s some value in staying awake for the sermon. 2. So what? How does this issue matter to the congregation. 3. Now What? If I’ve convinced you that the issue is important, that it is relevant, what clear direction can we now undertake to apply what we’ve learned.
  • Books that have had an impact: Tim Keller, C.S Lewis and Henri Nouwen have impacted my thinking most deeply in matters of faith and ministry.
  • Hobbies: I am a jazz musician, multi-instrumentalist (I'm always learning a new instrument) and avid spender of time with my wife.
  • What I want on my tombstone: I told you I was sick.
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Newest Sermons

  • What Love Is

    Contributed on Jul 22, 2018
     | 318 views

    The heart of the gospel is love - God's love expressed through the willing sacrifice of Jesus on the cross four our sins. When embraced, this leads to us living lives of love.

    July 22, 2018 Sermon - What Love is - 1 John 3:11-24 There’s a dual purpose to today’s service, and also to my message today. Today we’re continuing in our study of the Letter of 1st John, and it has a lot to say about relationships and about love. And of course the main reason we ...read more

  • The Community Of The Beloved

    Contributed on Jun 17, 2018
     | 644 views

    The journey of following Jesus happens in large part within the community of the beloved, the church.

    The Community of the Beloved - 1 John 2:3-11 - June 17 Sermon I’m going to start by asking you to use your memory. Think for a moment of yourself when you first began to follow Jesus. Think about what you were like. Think about how you acted, how you spent your time, and maybe even of how ...read more

  • Jesus, Our Atoning Sacrifice

    Contributed on Jun 10, 2018
     | 383 views

    This message asks: "What's the big deal about sin? Why does God care about what comes naturally to us?" And this message looks at the hope and joy we have because we trust that Jesus is our atoning sacrifice.

    June 10/18 Sermon - 1 John 2:1-2 Today is the third in a series where we are looking at the book of first John. Pastor Bill Ryan did an excellent introduction to the book 2 weeks ago, and Pastor Arleen spoke on the balance of chapter 1 last week. If you missed those messages, and you want ...read more

  • Lead The Way

    Contributed on Jun 7, 2018
     | 180 views

    This is a brief message given at an inner-city ministry called Bridges, which focuses on helping adults living with poverty to develop the soft skills they need to succeed in life.

    People love giving advice. “Oh, you’re going out with so-and-so? Well let me tell you what you should be careful about“. “Oh, you just got a new phone. Let me tell you this or tell you that“. “Oh you voteed Liberal...or conservative...or NDP. Well let me tell you about what’s bad about who ...read more

  • Suiting Up For The Armour Of God

    Contributed on May 20, 2018
     | 2,393 views

    God calls us to be strong (do those things that contribute to being strong) and to put on the armour He provides for the battle.

    May 20, 2018 Sermon - The Armour of God - Ephesians 6:10-18 At the beginning of world war II, France believed they had a solution to a potential German invasion. They built what was called the Maginot line. The Maginot line was a defensive line built in the 1930’s that stretched for over ...read more

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Newest Sermon Series

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Newest Sermon Illustrations

  • What's Wrong With Slandering Someone?

    Contributed on Aug 29, 2014
     | 1,525 views

    I was speaking with someone this past week who has spent a great deal of his life travelling around the world, much of it for a mission agency. He spoke of a time when he visited an extremely remote, forested part of India where people live very primitively. He stayed there for a while. This fellow ...read more

  • Joy In The Midst Of Rough Waters

    Contributed on Feb 13, 2011
     | 1,067 views

    JOY IN THE MIDST OF ROUGH WATERS I’ve spent a fair bit of time in recent weeks doing funeral pre-planning for my parents. Making decisions about final disposition of the remains of people you have loved all your life is not any fun at all. It can be overwhelmingly sad. After spending hours ...read more

  • Then We Have The Symbol Of Being Under Water. I ...

    Contributed on May 23, 2010
     | 1,051 views

    Then we have the symbol of being under water. I tell some of the baptismal candidates when meeting with them ahead of time that once they are under the water, the congregation votes how long they should stay under water. The voting process ...read more

  • My Daughter Elia Has Given Me Permission To Tell ...

    Contributed on Jan 11, 2009
     | 441 views

    My daughter Elia has given me permission to tell this story. Elia faced a huge dilemma in high school when her best friends from junior high days started hanging out with a rough crowd, starting smoking and crossing all sorts of boundaries. In order to keep the friendships she would have to start ...read more

  • A Friend Of Mine Pastors In The Bloor West ...

    Contributed on Nov 2, 2008
    based on 2 ratings
     | 916 views

    A friend of mine pastors in the Bloor West village in Toronto and runs a "God at the Pub" where he holds open discussions on the Christian faith in a bar setting. He told me the other day that he has all sorts of people there who are not people of faith, but who have told him they want to model ...read more