Pastor of the Week: Matt Carder
By: Dezaray Barr
Matt Carder graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2002 with a degree in Christian Ministries. He is currently is the lead and founding pastor of Commonway Church in Muncie, Indiana.
Carder’s time at IWU was truly valuable to him and has heavily impacted his future. “My time at IWU really helped prepare me for vocational ministry,” he said. “The three professors who immediately come to mind are Dr. Drury, Dr. Bence, and Dr. (David) Smith. Fifteen years later, I still think of them.”
Before Carder graduated, he approached Drury for advice. Carder told Drury that he wanted to backpack around the world by himself, and Drury encouraged him to go. “Needless to say, that experience has profoundly shaped my life and ministry,” Carder said. “I’ll always be grateful that Dr. Drury believed in me.”
Commonway Church was planted by Carder, his wife, and a team of volunteers and leaders about six years ago. It is an independent church that meets in a rented space in downtown Muncie. The Church’s mission is to “invite people to find hope in Jesus.”
Commonway Church is involved in the Muncie community and the community of Christ at large. “I love our church’s commitment to serve our community and world,” said Carder. “Whether it’s our Kids Hope mentoring program, hosting a year end party for the school, doing a neighborhood cleanup, or sponsoring a Help Portrait event– our people are ready and willing to serve our community.”
Commonway Church has also partnered with Food for the Hungry in Nicaragua. The congregation has been matched with an impoverished village and is helping empower that community to identify leaders and resources that will help improve their lives and church of Nicaragua. Carder’s church is also sponsoring about 100 children of that village.
Carder remembers that Drury once said that your twenties are an extended preparation for ministry. Despite what current IWU students may feel now, Carder hopes to encourage them to take Drury’s advice seriously. “Your ministry—whatever shape that takes—be it a teacher, nurse, business leader, or pastor, is an ongoing journey,” Carder said. “Your time at IWU will be a huge part in laying the foundation for what God is calling you to do. But really, that’s just the beginning of how God will continue to shape you moving forward.”
Carder has been working for several years on his M. Div. through Asbury Seminary, and he anticipates graduating in May 2018.
Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a junior Strategic Communication and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. At IWU, Dezaray runs both the JWHC Blog and her own blog. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.