Matthew Robinson


Always. Moving. Forward.

Matthew Robinson is the Executive Pastor of City Church in Tallahassee, Florida. Originally from Tampa, he's married to Rachel, was a college professor, is a baking genius, and loves spreadsheets.

What Got Us Here Won’t Keep Us Here

Five years ago when City Church started meeting as The Well at First Christian Church on Sunday nights we had no real clue what we were doing.

I’m not sure we have a clue now, but five years later, it’s been an amazing ride.
The past decade of my life has seen Tallahassee become my home.
And the past year of my life has been pretty wild.

A new wife.  A new house.  A new-ish way of approaching my job without having two of them.

I’m learning.  Constantly and continually.

And be it at home, where for so many years I lived on my own, what I was doing doesn’t work like it did.

Or at school, where I was hired to help come up with a new approach to how we were structuring our courses, that’s now being revamped and changed into version 2.0.

And at church, the conversation of the day is realizing that what got us here won’t keep us here.  What we came up with, worked.  And we can cling to it.  We can settle. 

Or we can grow.

We’re going to always be moving forward.

I’m going to always be moving forward.

Welcome back to my insights on it all!

We Ran Out of Room

This is what 461 people in what only started out with 450 seats look like in a warehouse auditorium.

Thank God we’ve got 200 new chairs to set up and a wall coming down this week.

Un.  Real.

Why Not Tallahassee?

We have a good problem at City Church.  We’re out of space.  And in the short term we need to be able to grow to 650 seats.

To do that we’re tearing down our current lobby wall to extend the auditorium and leasing a warehouse unit to our side for a new lobby and entrance.

We’ve got four weeks to raise $20,000, and our generous friend and family at and of City Church have already responded.

Check out the progress.  And be a part of it!


I’m in Fort Worth for some meetings with the National University Technology Network.

At a keynote address this morning, the speaker pointed out two things…

This quote which I’m mulling over:

"Gain a modest reputation for being unreliable and you will never be asked to do a thing." (Paul Theroux)

and this anecdote on if we’ve changed or evolved to meet today’s needs:

"If Little House on the Prairie’s Laure Ingalls Wilder saw a cell phone today or walked into a Target, she’d squeal with delights and ask "what is that!?"  If she walked into a 5th grade classroom, though, she’d say "Oh, a school!"

I immediately thought: What would she say if she walked into a church?

Everything’s Bigger In…

Texas!  We’re here for a few days for work and to visit some of Rachel’s family.

We missed the State Fair by a week,

and some real Friday Night Lights by an evening!

Giving Up

I had a conversation with someone who was interested in what (and how) I do at City Church and they asked me to reflect on how my mindset as a leader has changed in the past few years.

The biggest shift in thinking has occurred through asking myself “can someone else do what I’m doing?”

In the early days I (and we) did whatever “it all” means. As we’ve gained some experience, recognizing that just because I get fulfillment out of completing a task does not mean that I need to continue to be the one who completes that task.

Because of that shifting mindset, we’ve

hired a Production Director who has excelled in his role with authority and responsibility,

we’ve brought on board two incredible pastors’ assistants and ministry leaders who take the ball and run with it,

we’ve seen dozens of volunteers in setup crews, parking lot crews, and First Impressions teams find a place to volunteer and serve,

and we’ve been able to stop always reacting so that we can proactively look forward, develop systems and strategies, and have more people take ownership.

I’m not talking about a culture of abandoning my responsibilities;

My job is as easy or as figured out as it will ever be yesterday.

Each new day that passes there’s more to be done to reach people.

But empowering others, managing and leading them, and generating new leaders is a huge part of the “glue” aspect in my job description.

In many ways, the more I’ve let go of actually doing, the more (and better) has actually gotten done.

It’s not my nature, but it’s made me a better leader, my church healthier, and many others more invested.

Support and Resource

I try weekly to make sure I ask our staff at City Church how I can support and resource what they’re doing.  It’s one of the biggest parts of my “job.”

I don’t want to be a team’s thought leader.

I don’t want to be the team’s member relationship leader.

My sweet spot is enabling others.  What I think of as supporting and resourcing.

It’s a hands on, hands off approach for me.

What can I bring to you…my analytical, strategic, logistics oriented, big vision thinking, small mind unpacking brain…to help you accomplish what you want to accomplsh?

I’ve always worked best as the man behind the man or woman.  The producer.  The architect.  The chief of staff.  I know I’m at my best when I’m helping someone (whom I believe in) do something they can’t figure out how to accomplish (which I also believe in) so that they can accomplish what they dream up.

My ministry is freeing up people to do their best ministry without having to sweat what I’m best at.

It’s leading from a different dimension, so that others can lead.

And the more I practice it, the greater results I see from me and from those that I support and resource.

Left Behind

After class got over one day this summer I posted this:

In class exchange today…

Me: What’s that?
Student 1: Oh it’s just my ankle monitor that fell off this morning
Student 2: I’ve got one too! (as she pulls up her pant leg)

My little angels…

Well student 1signed up for the next course in the developmental math sequence with me this Fall.  He’s a good kid.  Has had a rough life.  Made some bad decisions.  You know the story…

Last week I was in Chicago and had a sub cover my Thursday 11:35 class.  Student 1 came in late, by about 20 minutes I’ve been told, and wanted to sign in at the front table.  The sub said he’d have to wait until class was over.  I’ve also been told Student 1 made a scene and pitched a fit, stormed out and slammed the door behind him.

Only to re-enter the room about 10 seconds later.

And revisit that front table where he’d tried to sign in,

To pick up his tracking monitor he’d left in his fit of rage.

I’m told the laughter was pretty loud.

Oh to have been a fly on the wall…


Happy Anniversary, Cosby Style

I have very vivid memories of watching this…and loving it with my family.  One of my most favorite tv moments!  Happy Tuesday!