Candace Nassar

Well, welcome, everyone. Moms, do any of these scenarios sound familiar? You catch yourself scrolling through Instagram, looking at other mom’s seemingly perfect vacations, immaculate playrooms or home-cooked meals, and you feel an overwhelming sense of inadequacy? Or do you spend your hours meticulously planning every detail of your child’s activities but end up frustrated by unexpected challenges, like maybe a learning disability or just plain lack of interest. Do you have more “Why God Days” than “Thank You God Days”? Maybe you haven’t thought about it, but all of that focus on yourself actually is pride. And we know that pride is the root of all sin. So as we approach Easter, we’re continuing our theme of humility and sacrifice. Today, my guest, Matt Peacock, is a man of true humility, and you’re going to be so blessed by his story and his heart for serving others. Matt is the founder of Partners in Hope, an Austin-based collaborative ministry focused on eliminating social isolation in Texas. We’re going to have a conversation about how serving others can change our perspective and actually bring us joy and contentment in a way that focusing on ourselves and our own issues never will.

Candace Nassar

I met Matt just a couple months ago when I attended a training he did at my church called Walking with Others. And as he talked about loving others sacrificially through serving them, I just knew I had to have him on the show. He just embodies our theme for the month, Humility and Sacrifice. So welcome, Matt.

Matt Peacock

Thank you so much, Candace. I’m excited to be here and looking forward to this time. I don’t do a lot of podcasts, so this will be fun for me.

Candace Nassar

Yeah, it’s the new thing! So, get on board, right? It’s really good to have you, Matt, and I really appreciate your time today. Before we get started, why don’t you help our listeners just get to know you a little bit. Tell us what you like to do for fun, a little about your family, that sort of thing. How long have you been in ministry? Just a little bit.

Matt Peacock

Sure. Well, I’ve been in ministry about the same length as having a family. My wife and I have been married for 31 years. She didn’t know it, but she was marrying a guy that was getting ready to… God was calling into ministry. About a year after we got married is when that started.

Candace Nassar

Oh, boy.

Matt Peacock

That It’s just been God leading the rest of the way. I didn’t really have that aspiration necessarily, but that’s how God led. I’ve served in churches for 20 years, and then the last 12 years, I’ve been serving in the nonprofit sector. I’ve got two grown kids, and I’ve been in Austin, (this is my third time back to Austin), and I’ve been here since 2002. Okay.

Candace Nassar

I can understand why you keep coming back to Austin. I’ve been here 12 years, and I’ve moved around a lot. I’m hoping to never leave. Good. Very good. Okay, so I was thinking about humility, and I thought it might be good if you shared one of the Bible verses that really speaks to you about humility in serving others, or is there an inspirational verse that you have?

Matt Peacock

Yeah. I I do feel like I need to make a quick caveat. You were making my name synonymous with humility a whole lot, and I’m guaranteeing you that if you look up humility, you won’t see a picture of me anywhere. It’s not something that you achieve. It’s something that you have to make a daily choice and rely upon God for. It’s something that I see is very important, but it also is very much a daily struggle and dependence on God.

Candace Nassar

I will just make that statement. Amen to that. Amen to that for all of us. Yes.

Matt Peacock

Yeah. But as far as a Bible verse, there’s a lot that I could point to. One that I think I could share that God has used with me is the passage about Jesus feeding the 5,000. I’m looking at the one in Mark 6 here in verse 37, where he answers back to the disciples and he says, “But you give them something to eat.” To me, that has been one where realizing that the miracle of the 5,000, to me, was less about 5,000 people getting fed. Certainly, it was a point of seeing the power of Christ and what he is able to do and how he’s able to multiply efforts and those things. But one of the key points, and one that resonates with me, is that Jesus’s real intention was not not just to give his disciples some opportunities to serve, but to develop servants. Humility comes back to embracing that position of God is really trying to create in me a heart to serve, not to count how many times I do serve or see what ways I will serve so much, but ultimately How can I become a servant to Christ? And what does that look like?

Matt Peacock

And humility is at the heart of that.

Candace Nassar

That’s so good. I haven’t actually thought of that verse in that way. So that’s a real insight for me. To think about how Jesus was in that situation and in many others. He was raising them to not look at him, to look to him, but you know what I’m saying. They could do it with his help. And that they could serve others. Sometimes that gets overwhelming for us. That’s really encouraging.

Matt Peacock

Because if you look at that verse, it’s not supposed to necessarily be a model of, “Okay, here’s how you serve 5,000 people”, or, “Hey, here’s the most efficient way to serve”, or, “Here’s da, da, da.” It really was, Jesus always brought everything to a heart issue, and I think it was exactly where he was at this moment as well.

Candace Nassar

So good.

Matt Peacock

Yeah. This is to look into your heart. Are you willing to serve them and see that as your primary?

Candace Nassar

Wow. Okay, so that’s a great segue into you telling us about the ministry that you founded called Partners in Hope. Why did you start it? And just share a little bit about it.

Matt Peacock

Yeah, well, it started… This is our 14th year. It started a long… It was going a long time before we knew that we had started anything. Let’s just say that. Which is another, just one of those things of, if you start following Christ, and you’re just following him, you don’t know what all he’s doing. But we were part of a small church plant out in Lake Travis, and we were just trying to do a lot of things in the community. It was like, “Hey, Mrs. Jones could really use some people to mow her grass and do some things around her house. Anybody want to come Saturday and go down and help Mrs. Jones?” That’s how it started. We were doing things like that, and we began to realize that over and over and over, that people that needed help did not have a support system, a support network in their life. That regardless of whether they were a widow or a single parent or people with disability or people with dysfunction or addiction or relationship issues or financial crises or whatever it was, that there was this common denominator that so many of them were facing it alone.

Matt Peacock

If they had people in their life, a lot of times it was negative relationships and not positive. That was just this eye opener for us over time. That didn’t happen the first time. This is years of God just pounding on our heads and saying, Do you see this? Do you see that the real issue is people alone? We had to rethink what we were trying to do and what God was asking us to do to make it more centered on how we begin to help people not be alone? What does that look like?

Candace Nassar

Wow. So I read your book, Unexpected Connections. And what I was so blown away was how you guys just did whatever you needed to do for those people. And as you did that, you found that you were building those relationships. And that’s really what became the focus of your ministry, right?

Matt Peacock

Yeah. I heard Alan Graham speak a few years ago, and he was referencing another author that I can’t remember who it is. So whoever out there, I’m giving you credit. I just don’t know your name, but he was saying, so many times we ask the wrong question. We ask What’s your problem? When we look at people instead of what’s your story? And the whole thing of relationships is knowing that there’s a story, that when we meet people, that who they are is not what we look at and make our instant judgment on people. But what has their life been to that point? Because that’s who they are from day one of their life to today. That’s who they are, not the current situation that we might see them in. Learning that, knowing how they got there, knowing why the things that are going on in their life are going on, knowing what all has led to that, that’s an investment. It’s very easy for us to say, I don’t need to know all that. I don’t care about all that. I want to know all that. But to dive into that, that is looking at people relationally.

Candace Nassar

See, that’s what I’m talking about. That’s the humility that strikes me so much because I tend to judge people. I’m just going to be honest. I do. I see a lot of people who aren’t in those positions, want to look at those people and say, “Well, what’s wrong with you? How did you get here?” And just judge them, and maybe not even help them, but if people do help them, they’re usually one and done, right? So that’s what struck me so much, is how you guys keep going back. And you talked about in your book how people have to sign a contract, which is really not… I mean, it’s not super binding legally, I guess, but it’s more about their heart of commitment to allowing you guys to keep going back into their lives and building relationships so that you can share about Jesus and talk about Jesus and hopefully make an eternal impact.

Matt Peacock

We realized that the issues that we were trying to help people with weren’t crisis issues. We’re not a crisis response ministry. We deal with people in chronic situations. Their issues have piled up over years. That might get revealed through some crisis, but really what we’re dealing with are chronic things that you can’t fix, nobody can fix in a weekend. But we’re so conditioned in our culture to be fixers. We want to fix things. We want to solve problems.

Candace Nassar

For sure.

Matt Peacock

So it’s like, hey, whatever is the quickest path to identifying the problem and just fixing it in a way that now it’s done. But all of that is stuff that doesn’t work with people and that God never designed us to be in the Christian life. God never said, “Hey, I want you to go out and fix people that are messed up so that you don’t ever have to worry about them again.” That was never the goal of who we are as Christians. That’s not following Jesus. That is not loving your neighbor. See if you can fix them so that they don’t have to bother you anymore. That’s not the nature of love. He’s really teaching us other ways, “Hey, number one, Matt, you can’t fix anybody, and nobody wants to be fixed by you.” And guess what? There’s only one fixer. It’s that, right? Amen. And who all needs to be fixed? Oh, everybody.

Matt Peacock

Yeah.

Candace Nassar

Including myself.

Matt Peacock

Yes. So we all need fixing at the deepest levels, and there’s only one that can do that, it’s God. And so as soon as we put ourselves in the fixer role, we’ve already created something that is not by God’s intent or design.

Candace Nassar

Yeah. So why is it so hard? I think you’re hitting on the core of loving our neighbor as yourself. It’s so hard for us because, again, we judge them and we want them to change or be like us. We want people to be like us. You see that everywhere today, how divided our country is. And yet that’s not love.

Matt Peacock

Yeah. Yeah, exactly. I mean, the New Testament Church, think about the New Testament Church. It was people who had never interacted before, and a lot of times we’re not supposed to or even allowed to, and that God was bringing them together under Christ in a way that they were now supposed to live out love in a way that was beyond anything that anyone had ever seen. That call did not go away. It’s the same call today.

Candace Nassar

Let’s talk about community. You mentioned how people that you guys are reaching don’t have community. They don’t have family. They, for various reasons, have gotten themselves in this socially isolated position. I think that’s where a lot of people today are feeling alone and lonely, and isolated, not just those that have addictions or all this dysfunction. I mean, it’s everywhere because of technology and social media. We could talk about that all day, probably. But what is it about community? You even talked about it in the training that I went to, that’s so important to our health.

Matt Peacock

Yeah, well, God didn’t design us to be alone, did he? He designed the body. You look at 1 Corinthians and Romans 12, and Paul uses the analogy of the body and how critical it is that each one of us have a place and a purpose within the body. If we’re out there separated from that, we can’t live in the way that God and the life that Christ offers to us. It’s not only that there is a place for everybody, it’s also the issue that is the life that Christ intended. You look at Ephesians 4, which is a passage that I love and I’m very challenged by. Ephesians 4:11-16, it talks about another picture of this body and that the way that God works, we really cannot become who he truly is trying to make us in isolation. It requires us to be a part of the body. That is how he grows us and matures us. There’s all kinds of practical reasons today for why we need each other. Every issue that we face in life is exponentially harder if we face it alone. And so these practical things. And then there’s all kinds of data out there today, especially since COVID, there’s so much data today on the physical implications of isolation on us, heart disease, all kinds of stress-related things, if we don’t have that.

Matt Peacock

And yet we live in a culture That basically worships privacy. And so we’ve got these dynamics that are going against each other. God is calling us into community, and yet we live in a culture that says, No, stay Be yourself. Don’t bother anybody. Don’t ask for help. Don’t be a burden to anyone else. Hide your faults. Use image management as much as possible. We’re really in this place where Christians are always called to counterculture, right? True. To follow Jesus is to go a different direction. There’s just no doubt about that. The whole idea of Christian community is just another piece of that. It’s calling us to something that’s counterculture. Yeah.

Candace Nassar

And so what I’m thinking about is, if we’re… So MomQ is about community, coming together and gathering under a mentor mom that has more experience and wisdom that can share that with our moms and be a part of that community. And then, finding something like that, finding within your church something that has those opportunities for Bible studies or mentorship or whatever. But what I really like about our topic today is serving, you can feel alone and then reach out and serve someone. And it’s so funny how we think, well, we need the help so someone can help me. Well, if we help someone else, the joy that we get out of that can fill that need way more than we can imagine. So, can you expand on that a little bit?

Matt Peacock

Well, I don’t know if I can explain it, but I can tell you that, again, it goes back to God’s design. He didn’t design us to be without purpose. A lot of the purpose that he gives us is in loving one another. We can answer, what are the Commandments to love God and to love others? Why does God command that? Maybe it has something to do because it fulfills us in life. It gives us fulfillment of our purpose for being here, right?

Candace Nassar

Yes, absolutely.

Matt Peacock

Do we trust God enough to believe that he wouldn’t command… The reason that he would give us a great commandment is because it’s actually going to be what fulfills us in life, right? I think we have to trust him in that and understand that he works in us. He shapes us through that, and he creates us, informs us as we go out in loving him and loving others.

Candace Nassar

So good. So a lot of our moms are very busy with very little spare time. Volunteering formally, maybe in a ministry like yours might be a little overwhelming. But let’s talk about some ways that they can serve their neighbor without something that’s structured in a more organic way.

Matt Peacock

Yeah. So relationships require time. There’s no doubt about it. But we live in a culture that says everything has to be an event. Everything has to be something Instagram worthy or whatever, right? Where loving others and serving doesn’t have to be an event, doesn’t have to be calendar-driven, doesn’t have to be, Okay, I need to step out of life and go do this serving thing. Instead, how do we just let our life revolve around seeing the people around us, valuing the people around us, responding to the people around us, involving the people around us and interacting, right? And then let the spirit guide us in that time, in those moments. If everybody has to eat lunch, I know there might be a few of you out there that don’t eat lunch, but I think pretty much we eat lunch. Instead of doing that alone, do it with somebody else. That doesn’t mean, Oh, well, we have to go across town to this great restaurant, whatever. Hey, if that’s peanut butter sandwiches on your front porch with somebody, what beauty can God bring out of that.

Candace Nassar

That’s so true. I recently had one of our volunteers over just to have some leftover soup that I had made back in, I think it was December. She was just so touched by that. It was not a formal event. It certainly wasn’t anything I might have taken a photo of, but it was a really special time. I understand. I love what you’re saying about being aware and connecting with people. We can serve others by talking to them in the grocery store line. If you see someone who looks hurried or that looks upset or stressed, or sometimes even the grocery store clerk, I will try to tell them Jesus loves them or something like that. I mean, that’s part of loving our neighbor and serving others. There’s lots of ways.

Matt Peacock

Yeah. We’re really not as important as we think we are. If we can get that, we can see that God can use us in ways that we never thought. If we will just say, “God, you know what? My little to-do list over here, it feels so important to me, like so important, but I’m going to just let you have the opportunity today to divert me when you want to and to make me more aware of what’s going on around me for opportunities that you want me to enter into.”

Candace Nassar

Yeah. And that’s, again, getting the focus off ourselves. That’s humility. Humility is the quote. I love the quote. It’s not thinking less of ourselves. It’s thinking of ourselves less. And God knows that that’s what we need to do to be fulfilled, honestly. And so those are the types of things that he’s asking us to do for those purposes. So that’s so good. Yes. How have you been changed? Changed by this ministry that you’re in and serving others the way you do?

Matt Peacock

It’s made me realize a few things. One is that it’s through relationships that God really does his work in us. You can study, you can do every study out there. But God really does his deep work in our relationships with others. That’s where the real hard stuff happens and the real life change stuff happens. And that God amazes us with people. We think we’re so different from some people when really we’re so similar in that we’re all before God. We’re all in his hands. We’re all needing his touch. We’re all needing his shaping in our life. We can find people all around us who can bring such great beauty and truth and joy into our life if we’re willing to step in there and get to know them. So Those are some of the things. Yesterday, I found out about a lady who passed away about a week ago, and it was heartbreaking to me because I’m pretty sure, I don’t know, I’m still trying to get some details, but my guess is, and I hope I find out I’m wrong, that she died alone, that she died in hospital with probably nobody else being there or had been there, maybe even to visit her while she was in the hospital.

Matt Peacock

And so I just don’t want that to be a reality. I mean, that’s right here in our community. You know? And so that’s something that I think God has done in my heart, is to put that concern in me. It’s something that I’m thankful for.

Candace Nassar

That’s so, so beautiful. And yeah, I mean That’s a reality in our community and many communities. And your whole purpose of your ministry is to end social isolation. And I think that is so important, whether it is when you’re sick or even when you’re healthy and you’re just at home with kids or wherever you feel alone or isolated, we need to reach out. We need to connect through our local church, maybe in volunteering, finding ways. There’s all kinds of ways that you can look for opportunities. You can Google them. You can go on your church’s website. And then, like we said, just be aware as you’re going through your daily life and ask God to open your eyes and give you those opportunities to love others through just encouragement or sharing something, a word or a compliment or whatever it is, just to make someone’s day a little brighter. And so, as we close, I’m thinking about just a couple of weeks from Easter and the sacrifice that we will be recognizing that Jesus made for us, and obviously, conquering death and enabling us to have eternal life. And so I just encourage our listeners to really think about how we can make some sacrifices to love and serve others in this season and going forward, maybe make some action steps in our life.

Candace Nassar

Anything else you would like to encourage our listeners with today, Matt?

Matt Peacock

Yeah, just know that people are all around you, and God can use you in very simple ways to be impactful. So let’s honor Christ that way as we go through the day.

Candace Nassar

Matt, would you close us in prayer?

Matt Peacock

Sure. Father, we’re going to praise you. As Candace said, where you get to celebrate the death, the perfect sacrifice of your son and the resurrection, the promise of new life and the fulfillment of that in Christ, and that we can trust him and receive that in our life. And so, Lord, let us embrace that new life. Let us receive that if we haven’t. And if we have, let us live in that new life. Let us live in that life where Christ truly is, our strength and our joy and our peace, and that we can take that into the world day by day. So Lord, help us in that, strengthen us, cover us in your grace. We ask this all in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Candace Nassar

Amen. Thank you so much, Matt.

What's your mom superpower? Take our short quiz and find out your greatest strength as a mom.

X