3-Week Series: Double Blessing

Rev. Matthew's church

Church at the Mission, Yonge Street Mission
Toronto, *Province/Other M5A 2G7

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

  • Listening And Doing

    Contributed on Jan 26, 2020

    Acting on faith waters faith. Listening to sermons and reading the Bible and doing nothing in response leads to...nothing. God wants way more than nothing for His people. So He's given us the gift and calling of being doers of the Word and not only hearers.

    Sermon for January 26, 2020 - Listening and Doing [I am thankful to William Barclay's exposition of James chapter 1, which influences much of this message directly and indirectly.] Did you know that God truly cares about every aspect of your life? Sometimes people say that God is too big or ...read more

  • How To Have Thriving, Healthy Relationships

    Contributed on Jan 22, 2020

    This was a short talk (10 minutes) given at an inner city mission before dinner. It is directed at people who struggle with their relationships, and this struggle contributes to them being 'stuck' in life

    Thriving, Healthy Relationships Who was your best friend with you were 10 years old? What was his or her name? My best friend was also named Matthew and our friendship lasted maybe 4-5 years. More than most things in our lives, friendships matter a great deal. Story of fellow who got job in ...read more

  • Following The One With 20/20 Vision

    Contributed on Jan 5, 2020

    We're blind to the future, never knowing what's coming apart from prophesy. But Jesus knows it all and sees with 20/20 perfection. Cleave to Jesus to be sure.

    Sermon for CATM - January 5, 2020 - “Following the One with 2020 Vision” Welcome to the year 2020 AD. We made it! And we have so much to be thankful for. It’s the first Sunday of the first year of a new decade. And it’s not a bad time to give God thanks for his love and faithfulness to us for ...read more

  • A New Heaven And A New Earth

    Contributed on Nov 24, 2019

    A lot of our focus is the here and now, because we want to serve Jesus faithfully here and now. But John's picture of our future in Revelation 21 inspires us to keep the faith and fight the good fight, because we know what tomorrow brings!

    November 24 Sermon - Revelation 21:1-8 - New Heaven and New Earth If you’ve been here for the past number of weeks I hope you’ve enjoyed the look we’ve had at the churches of the book of Revelation. I’ve done a quick rat-a-tat-tat practical overview of the lessons to those churches and to ...read more

  • The Importance Of Healthy Relationships

    Contributed on Nov 21, 2019

    Our relationships shape who we become. Choose your friends wisely. Your best friend is God, Jesus Christ Who loves us with equivocating love.

    This is a brief message given at an inner-city mission in downtown Toronto, to a mixed group. What is one thing you look for in a new friend? One quality? Honesty, gentleness, kindness, humor? What is one thing you try to be when you are in a friendship? Open, honest, kind, trustworthy? Yes, we ...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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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