I just found out, too, that Matt Maher is doing the exact same concert tonight here in Macon! But not at a Catholic Church, but one of Macon's largest Southern Baptist Churches, Inglside Baptist Church.
Ingleside Baptist Church is not your father's Southern Baptist Church. It is very contemporary and charismatic in style. But it is not very friendly to the theology and teachings of the Catholic Church and in fact I've heard that in some of the sermons there the Catholic Church is not spoken of in endearing ways.
So I am befuddled that this particular Baptist Church in Macon is hosting a well known Catholic artist and we Catholics weren't invited to it directly. You would have thunk that whoever organized it at Inglside would have invited St. Joseph parishioners or our Catholic high school to go.
Am I missing something?
Here is an article on Matt Maher that makes quite explicit his Catholic Faith and devotion:
Unity comes through dialog through relationships
I am a worship leader out of Mesa Arizona. Primarily I work full time at a church. Ive done some touring and traveling over the years, but I work 20 hours a week as a worship leader and 20 hours a week as young adult minister.
I lead a college Bible study. Its a Catholic Church, which kind of surprises a lot of people. The joy that I really feel, as part of my ministry, is that I've been kind of going out more and traveling and working with different people breaking down those stereotypes because people have a lot of Catholic stereotypes. I am just letting them know that there is a generation, now rising, of Catholics who recognize the gift of Salvation thats been given to them and that see the need for a daily relationship with Jesus and pursue it. And pursue Him actively in His Word, and also pursue it in the Sacrament.
Primarily, I think the way that God has been using me to reach out to people is through worship. I think theres kind of a format thats developed. I lead worship every week. I do a Mass every Sunday night at 6 PM at my church, Saint Tims, and on Tuesday nights we do a thing called XLT. Basically what it is is a gathering for high school and college students. Its consistent with about 40 minutes of worship, 20 to 25 minutes of teaching and about 25 to 30 minutes of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
I just got off the phone this morning and found out that I was asked this fall to Atlanta to the NCYC, which is the National Catholic Youth Conference. Its the largest single Catholic youth conference in the world, or maybe its just North America. I mean, theres World Youth Day, but a straight-up conference for high school students, I think this is the largest one in the world.
Were going to do a XLT worship night in an auditorium that seats 15000 people. It will be sometime in November or December. So Im already excited. I've done a lot of work throughout the country with a ministry called Life Teen, which is a parish based youth ministry program thats designed to help provide and develop resources for youth ministers to reach their teens and lead them to Christ.
I've mostly just done music with them. I've also worked with the Franciscan University of Steubenville at the summer youth conferences. I've led worship at a couple of those. So thats kind of what I do. Its kind of a big myriad or a smattering of things.
What I've realized too is that the harvest is plenty, but the laborers are few. The reality is that because of the denominational barriers that exist, there are so few laborers in the Catholic Church. You know, I think its a move that God is doing. Its not about me, its about unity and not just playing at unity by basically saying, Well, well let Catholics come here and hang out with us. Theres a guy that I've been developing a friendship with whose name is J. D. Walt. He's the Dean of Chapel at Asbury Seminary in Kentucky. He's just a phenomenal preacher, a great man, a great husband and loving father. He and I have just been dialoging and he said something really profound. He said that unity comes through dialog through relationships. I was like that. It is really true.