Matt and Linda Lutz
Linda and I began our journey together in 1991. I was an actor, singer dancer in Huntington Beach, Ca and Linda was hosting Karaoke shows in Los Angeles. One night, after one of my shows, I stopped by a local restaurant and bar to wind down. Linda was there hosting one of her Karaoke shows and we struck up a conversation. 8 weeks later, we were married.
We continued to run the entertainment company that Linda started until we had an encounter with God that couldn’t be denied. I had been “called” into the ministry some years earlier and was trying my best to ignore it. It was like God was giving me some latitude to run knowing that I would run smack dab into Him once I connected with Linda. He was very clear when He said, “Go back and finish what you started” referring to my calling back in North Carolina. We sold the successful entertainment business and just about everything we owned and moved to North Carolina.
It was there that we connected with a traveling missions organization that toured the US and Russia doing children’s evangelical musicals. We thought we had found our calling as we could combine our gifts and talents of being entertainers and see people touched by God all over the world. Eventually, we landed back in Raleigh, NC and settled in a little town outside of Raleigh.
“Go back and finish what you started”
“They asked us to preach on Sundays just until they could find a replacement for their Pastor”
What next? Well…we thought for sure that we would start a ministry that would allow us to continue to use our talents and love of travel. An evangelist it would be or so we thought. While in this transition, we connected with a small church congregation whose pastor was retiring. They asked us to preach on Sundays just until they could find a replacement for their Pastor.
21 years later, I finally found them a Pastor to replace the one they lost as it was time for Linda and I to “retire”. God had given us a mandate to “go back and finish what you started” and, when it was all said and done, I was called into ministry in a small Baptist church in Cary, NC and the church that we “finished” is located within 1 mile from there.
Pastoring a church for 21 years takes a toll on you but you don’t realize it until you step away from it. The ins and outs, the ups and downs, the overs and the unders and everything in between has a positive and a negative effect on you both mentally and physically. It took some time to get used to a “normal” lifestyle like actually being with family during a holiday. It took about 6 months for us to begin to dream again about the next season of our lives.
During that time, we started a business helping everyday people learn how to live ExtraOrdinary Lives. ExtraOrdinary Life Academy began to thrive and we began to get the itch again to travel. (and preach) I had never gone more than 2 weeks without preaching a message over the last 21 years and I began to search for an outlet for the messages God was placing in my spirit. Is there such a thing as retirement for preachers? Nawww!
“It took some time to get used to a ‘normal’ lifestyle like actually being with family during a holiday”
“All those years of leading and growing a church absolutely prepared us for the next season of our lives”
HERE WE GO AGAIN
I can’t tell you the actual date of conception. It must have been immaculate because, just about 9 months after we “retired”, we realized that an old yearning was being re-activated in us. Remember when we wanted combine our talents and love of travel and use it to see people touched by God all over the world? It’s amazing how God can prepare you for a ministry you thought you left behind to pursue other options. All those years of leading and growing a church absolutely prepared us for the next season of our lives. Even before we pastored a church, we were the confidant for every pastor in every church we were part of. Our love for the body of Christ and those who lead it is the very fuel that has us , once again, selling just about everything we own and traveling to only “God knows where” and we can’t wait!
Son of Papa God, Loving Husband, Doting Father
Spoiled Daughter, Hottest Wife, Best Mother Ever