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Matt Heard

Matt is a husband, father, and friend. He's also a pastor, speaker, writer, teacher, leader, and consultant. He has been involved in leadership and pastoral ministry for three decades and trying to figure out what it means to be a human being for a bit longer.

He is Lead Pastor for Northland Church in Orlando (northlandchurch.net) and the Founder and Principal of THRIVE – a speaking, teaching, and consulting ministry that focuses on engaging men and women to be fully alive to the glory of God in every arena of their life, journey, and culture. His work with THRIVE includes roles such as speaking in a variety of churches, organizations, and conferences; consulting with leaders and ministries; coaching individuals and teams about the core components of what it means to flourish and thrive for God's glory and our fulfillment; and writing – he is the author of Life with a Capital L: Embracing Your God-Given Humanity and is beginning work on a second book. 

He is on the Board of Directors of Reach Beyond (formerly HCJB Global; (reachbeyond.org) and the International Arts Movement (internationalartsmovement.org) with Mako Fujimura (fujimurainstitute.org). He is also a member of the faculty and Board of Reference for Summit Ministries (summit.org). 

He was the President of The Gathering USA, a ministry headquartered in Orlando and, before that, the Senior Pastor of Woodmen Valley Chapel in Colorado Springs for twelve years until 2014. During that time, the church took innovative steps in establishing a multisite approach to ministry, embracing the arts and cultivating creativity, and also launched groundbreaking initiatives toward community involvement through forging partnerships with local government, nonprofits, and other churches to serve the homeless, those in need, and the oppressed – locally and also around the world.

His past vocational roles have included being the pastor of single adults and evangelism at Moody Church in Chicago, the founding pastor of Park Community Church in Chicago, the senior pastor of Sunshine Community Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the President of Vantage Point Forum in Grand Rapids. He also was the first Executive Director of the Greater Orlando Leadership Foundation (now Lifework Leadership).  

Originally from Monroeville, Alabama, Matt has a Bachelor of Arts from Wheaton College, a Master of Divinity from Reformed Theological Seminary, and has also studied at Wheaton Graduate School in Illinois, L'Abri Fellowship in Switzerland, Fackelbararnas Bible Institute in Sweden, Capernwray Bible School in England, and two years of undergrad Pre-Law at Samford University in Birmingam, Alabama.

Matt and his wife, Arlene, are the privileged parents of three amazing adult sons — Andrew, Joel, and Stephen — and an incredible daughter-in-law named Mary Rachel who is married to Joel. He and Arlene travel extensively and share their home base between Orlando and Colorado Springs. 

As a speaker, Matt seeks to articulate — in a comfortable, clear and compelling manner — truth that doesn’t just inform but fuels and motivates Life-giving transformation in practical ways. 

As a writer, he wants his words to engage a person on both a head and heart level as they grapple with real-life, daily experiences of Truth, Beauty and Goodness.  He desires to invite a reader to linger with his or her own thoughts about what it means to understand their purpose, potential and calling, and thrive as a human being created in God’s image.

As a teacher, he has a passion to move beyond religious and spiritual games and engage with the core of Christ's Gospel message and God's Life-giving Word in ways that are both authentic and substantive - rooted in the historical faith while also aimed at our Monday morning realities.

As a leader, consultant, mentor, and coach, he enjoys serving with his big-picture and leadership skills by listening to peoples’ individual and corporate journeys — whether in business or ministry settings — reminding them of their core values, synthesizing pivotal issues and opportunities, and then dreaming strategically about paths of personal and organizational change. 

As a human being, Matt appreciates great friends and meals, books and art, music and movies. He’s a sports nut, a passion that includes golf, Scuba diving, and being a diehard fan (he loves the Denver Broncos and Auburn Tigers, and, after the 2016 World Series, finally completed a long-term-counseling situation due to being a fan of the Chicago Cubs). He enjoys fly-fishing, skiing, and hunting in the Rocky Mountains and also loves to ride — either a horse or his Harley.  

And whether standing in front of people with a microphone or in a trout stream with a fly rod, whether sitting around a dinner table with friends or serving a need in his city, he — most of all — loves exploring and experiencing Christ as Way and Truth but also as Life, and inviting other people into the Journey.  


Matt is on Facebook (  https://www.facebook.com/matt.heard.315  and LifeWithACapitalLBook ) and his sons wonder if he'll ever get serious about Twitter ( @mattbheard ).