matt

Hi, I’m Matt DosSantos.

Burleson, TX

Phone Number

(224) 688-3237

Email

mattdossantos.biz@gmail.com

Experience

Grace Church
Student Ministries Intern

Education

The King’s University
Bachelor of Christian Ministries

Church Affiliation

Assemblies of God (AG)

Years In Ministry

5 years

Personality

ENTJ

Skills

Preaching/teaching, leadership development, small group curriculum writing, volunteer recruitment, event/service planning, service production, sound/lighting systems, worship team management, video editing

Tools & Software

Microsoft Office Suite, Planning Center Online, ProPresenter, Google Workspace, Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe Photoshop

Personal

Single

Top 3 Strengths

Leadership0%

Flexible0%

Emotional Intelligence0%

Student Pastor Questionnaire Responses
Personal Info
Please share briefly how you became a Christian.
From birth I grew up in church as a youth pastor’s kid. My entire family was involved in some shape or form in ministry. I never really questioned being a Christian as a kid and must’ve gotten saved a couple dozen times in children’s church “just to be sure”. It wasn’t until I became a teenager when my relationship with God really came alive and he moved me from an angst-filled teenager to the leader He was calling me to be. Since then the Lord has made big moves in my life and taken me in directions I never even could have dreamt of.
How would you describe yourself?
  • Fun
  • Serious
  • Motivational
  • Flexible
  • Loving
  • Organized
Personality Type
Myers Briggs- ENTJ, Enneagram 5
Tell me about some people (i.e. authors, mentors, and ministry leaders) that have had a big impact on you.
  • Jonathan Hill has had a major impact on me in ministry and in life. He has been a mentor, friend, and pastor to me for many years. He gave me a practical foundation for ministry and a vision for the life that I would like to have concerning ministry and family. This is the person who I would most identify with saying “he taught me everything I know”.
  • My dad has also had a major impact on me. Growing up I watched him sacrifice so much for my family and ministry. He taught me the value of being someone who is willing to sacrifice for others.
  • Dr. Boyd Luter was an incredible professor during my time at the King’s University. His teaching on the Scripture and Scripture interpretation has been incredibly influential in my ministry and in how I personally interact with the Word.
  • Pastor Jack Hayford, Robert Morris, Andy Stanley, and Jeanne Mayo have all been influential authors in either informing my view on ministry or my approach to practical ministry and how to preach/teach.
Parents/Volunteers
How do you plan to engage and inform parents or guardians about your ministry objectives and progress?
The most effective way to engage and inform parents/guardians about ministry objectives and progress is to find the most effective mediums to communicate these with them. For many parents it can be as simple as updates on Facebook and Instagram. For others it may require face-to-face communication or a text message about what is going on in the youth. There are many avenues to explore in effectively communicating with parents/guardians. With a team constant communication is essential: larger sit-down meetings when needed, debriefs after events/services, text messages as reminders, etc.
Tell me about a time when you developed a new team of volunteers into a strong working group. What did you do?
I was once tasked with developing a volunteer team for our Sunday morning first service children’s class. This involved everything from a children’s worship team to people to do the check-in. I began by identifying potential recruits who would be a good fit, recruiting them, and then doing a lot of practical training. This involved an “I do, we do, you do” method of teaching, sit-down meetings as a team, and constant communication throughout the process. This resulted in a team that was coherent and effective.
How would you alleviate the confusion when you are communicating with volunteers and it becomes apparent that they don’t understand what you’re saying or vice versa?
This can largely depend on the circumstance. If it is an organizational issue with the whole team, then a sit-down meeting is likely needed to clear things up. If it is a smaller scale issue, then clarity is needed(finding a better way to say it) or I need to find a way to better model myself what is expected. Vice versa if I am struggling to understand, then I will do whatever I can to reach clarity and possibly even involve someone else as a witness and mediator.
Spiritual Growth
Once you lead a student/child to Christ, how do you communicate their decision to their parents? Once a child accepts Christ as their Savior, how do you begin discipling them?
If it is a student whose family is involved in the church, then it is easy to approach the parent and communicate this to them. A parent who is not involved and the student attends youth on their own accord is much more difficult and will likely need to be a decision communicated by the student. Taking next steps after salvation are essential in continuation of spiritual growth for students. Pushing them to get involved in the youth(small groups, fellowships, consistent attendance, etc.) is important in their continued growth. Additionally, teaching them on baptism and encouraging them to participate in it is also an important step in their spiritual growth.
As the spiritual leader of the children’s ministry, how are you going to help volunteers grow in their faith?
First, volunteering in it of itself is a huge step in spiritual growth. Learning to serve one another and doing ministry work is important in becoming more like Christ. Beyond that, pastoring them, being there for them, caring for them, praying with them, etc. are all good steps towards their growth. Teaching them about practical ways to serve in their area(investing in them) and pushing them to invest in students’ lives are also ways to help them grow in their faith.
Ministry Growth
What is your philosophy of ministry?
Ministry is a sacrifice. It is not for personal gain or to make myself feel better about myself. It is to serve God and serve His people by applying my skills and gifts for the expansion of His Kingdom and discipleship of His people.
What was the most creative idea you introduced in your last ministry role? What steps did you take to implement that idea with leadership, volunteers, and families if applicable?
One of the most creative ideas I presented in my previous ministry role was to create a teen-led children’s church worship team. For well over a year our children’s ministry had been watching lyric videos for worship time with kids making up motions on the stage. The worst part was that it was the same three songs every week. I decided that we needed to take it to the next level and recruited four teenage girls and taught them how to lead worship for 1st-5th graders. We implemented lights, several new songs through the use of MultiTracks, custom lyric videos to go with the tracks, and began to teach kids how to really enter into a time of worship.
How would you evaluate systems and structures to see if there could be improvement?
This comes through a lot of observation, asking around, and pushing ourselves to the limit in the scope and ambition of what we do. I love it whenever we have a bad day or something goes wrong because to me we are one step closer to being the best that we can be. The next part of this is to actually do something about it and make it better.
Give an example of a successful outreach program or event that you put together.
I have been involved in developing several successful outreach events. A massive one for our youth ministry is our annual “the Big Event”. We hold this a few weeks into the new school week. We have sand volleyball, gaga ball, Nerf Wars, nine square, free chick-fil-a, awesome worship, and a great message. We do this to make it easy for students to invite their friends to church and once they come we hook them and make sure our students are intentional in inviting friends back the next week. We have seen hundreds of lives changed through this and have grown the core of our youth group considerably.
How would you deal with a teenager in trouble?
I am interpreting this question as a teenager who is in trouble while at youth rather than a teenager who is going through a hard time in life. There are certainly levels of discipline to consider. Different situations require different reactions. The goal is always to redirect students rather than to “get them in trouble. In events where that is not possible, then a serious conversation with the students and likely even the parents is necessary. Then we will take it from there.
What goals have you set in the past for your ministry area. Did you accomplish them and if so, how did you accomplish them?
A major goal for our ministry is that we do not have a single student who arrives at our church who does not get talked to and invited back. This takes a lot of intentionality. A major step we have taken to accomplish this is as leaders to do it ourselves and to recruit teenagers to the “Connect Crew” who’s sole focus is to connect to new students. This has been the backbone to the success of our youth ministry.
What do you do to stay current with the culture of young adults today?
As a young adult I certainly have a leg up on this one! This comes from browsing social media and YouTube for probably longer than I should. Keeping up with new movie releases, playing new video games, and giving trending songs at least one listen. Also, simply talking to people that age and looking to connect with will give more than enough information on what is current.
What do you see as some of the biggest problems plaguing youth currently?
The constant bombardment and normalization of sinful behavior through the media is a huge issue for youth today. Unless you are extremely intentional and willing to make some sacrifices it is impossible to avoid. It goes in the eyes and ears, then into the heart, and what the heart is full of, is what comes out of the mouth. Another recent issue in the last decade has been the “hyper-politization” of everything. Nearly everything, no matter how innocuous it may seem, is politicized in some way. Often people become villainized for their opinions and biblical viewpoints. Since it is everywhere, teens often feel the pressure to take non-Christian views so that they will not be ostracized. On the flip side, Christian teens who do invest heavily into this political culture struggle to be Christians first and [insert whatever political view here] second. This hurts their witness and confuses their purpose as Christians. (To be clear there is nothing wrong with teenagers being politically active. Political confusion and over politicization seems to have become a recent issue with youth.)
Describe what a weekend student ministry experience would look like. What multimedia components would be used to create a learning experience that makes the Bible relevant?
I believe that the ideal student ministry service would begin with a hangout time(ex. Doors open at 7:00, service starts at 7:30 type thing). This is a time for students to fellowship with another and a great time for new students to connect and get invited to sit down with other students during the service. After that, a 1-minute countdown video begins, telling students to get to their seats, the lights dim, the worship team takes the platform, and light fog pours onto the stage. The countdown ends, the worship leader welcomes students to stand and worship, and worship begins. A fun, upbeat worship song plays, lights flash, and students get comfortable with the fun experience. Soon we enter into a time of more intimate worship. A student comes up on stage and prays/transitions us into this time. Students worship the Lord and push into Him. The worship time ends and a student comes up to the stage to transition us out of it and make a few announcements. A cool transition bumper plays and we then jump right into the preaching/teaching time. This can consist of videos, a TV for the speaker to interact with, and several methods to illustrate the point. Finally, we end with a brief time of worship and prayer partners available to anyone who needs prayer. Students can hangout some more after the service is over. This service would be in conjunction to a fellowship event(movie night, small groups, gym/game night, nerf wars, etc.) on another day.
Describe the diversity of some of the ministries with which you’ve worked. How did you go about learning and educating yourself in order to effectively reach your community?
I have served in a diverse area of ministries including youth ministry, children’s ministry, young adult ministry, tech team, and more. I have had the opportunity to lead and serve in all of these areas at various levels. I am always deliberate in communicating with those who have already been involved in the ministry about what it takes to effectively reach. I also do plenty of reading and research on the different age groups or areas of ministry that I am involved in so that I can better engage them.
Is there a process that you go through when choosing a platform for screening volunteers, curriculum choices?
In choosing a platform to screen volunteers and curriculum it is important to keep in mind functionality. If it is not practical, functional, and easy to use then it is often not a good screening platform.
What have you done in the past to ensure your church has a safe environment, including emergency procedures.
I have pushed for creating safe environments for students several times. This has taken plenty of volunteer training, setting clear expectations, and keeping one another accountable. My goal is to always create environments for students that are safe, spiritual, and fun whilst making it all engaging. Safety is a top priority. I have had to have my fair share of conversations with volunteers to ensure that they are maintaining our expectations for safety. We even have a volunteer in the youth who is a trained nurse able to carry out any emergency procedures.
How would you describe the ideal relationship between senior/lead pastor and student pastor?
My ideal between a senior/lead pastor would be that of trust, accountability, and mentorship. I want to be under a senior/lead pastor who not only can I trust him but that he can trust me to do what is needed to create an excellent student ministry. A relationship where I will not feel as if I am being micromanaged. Though I do not want a relationship that lacks accountability. When I am doing a poor job or there is something that is not right, I want to be held accountable and be graciously called out by my senior/lead pastor so that I can be corrected. On top of all that, I desire a relationship of mentorship so that I can really learn from the senior/lead pastor how to better lead and walk my Christian walk. I desire to always be learning and never be stagnant.

References

Jonathan Hill || (817) 233-7524 || jonathan-hill@live.com
Robert Eby || (224) 577-9204 || ebyr@evangel.edu
Sherial Urbanek || (817) 229-6985 || sherialu@yahoo.com
Kathy Wiley || (817) 202-2500 || wyliek@joshuaisd.org

Favorite Bible Story

The story of King David

Favorite Scripture

Galatians 6:9