Seven Questions with Tem Mattox – California Southern Baptist Convention
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7 Questions with Tem Mattox

Tem Mattox
Director of Missions for the Kern County Association and Pastor of Northside Community Church in Bakersfield
Allow us to introduce Tem Mattox who serves as Interim Director of Missions for the Kern County Association and Pastor of Northside Community Church in Bakersfield. Mattox has seen a lot of the world through his professional, educational, and personal expeditions. He served in the United States Marine Corps, and Navy as a Chaplain. He credits much of his Christian upbringing and influence to his grandmother who played an active role in the development of Grand Canyon University. Mattox is an extremely avid reader and skier (he LOVES the snow) from his early days growing up in Durando, Colorado. He enjoys a good jam session on his guitar and serenading his wife Karen ---citing “it keeps the house interesting!”

What podcast are you listening to right now?

One of my favorites, -and I’m not biased at all- is my son Jordan’s podcast called, “Fresno’s Best.” Some others that I enjoy are: “Reformed Pastor,” “First Things,” and “Tim Keller Sermons” by Gospel in Life. I’m sad to see him go.

In-N-Out or Chick-fil-A?

I’d have to go with In-N-Out. I have to be truthful. I go to In-N-Out more because our Chick-fil-A is always too busy. We are actually getting a new Chick-fil-A down the street from our church. But it all started at Cal Baptist when I had my first burger!

What has been an evangelistic tactic that has worked best for you?

Preaching a hot gospel. If you do it steadily you can save people. I don’t care who you are. People will get saved. You, of course, have to get people there first. Once you’ve got that, you share the gospel and tell them what it all really means. You can’t beat that!

Tell us something that nobody knows about you.

I’m a total hacker guitar player. Total hack! But I love it. I don’t play in the church band anymore. I play for myself and my wife. She digs it.

Tell us your best, ministry horror story.

At one point we had a punk band ministry. We had hundreds of kids coming, and we started a mosh pit. One night, we thought we might have killed a kid. An ambulance had to come and get him. He lived, and we weren’t sued. We had a lot of punk rock type kids in the Bakersfield area. It was a great outreach. The kids loved it! The lesson, however –don’t have mosh pits at your church!

What is one piece of advice you would give to your younger self?

I guess because of our context; spiritual advice would be to relax a little more. Be a lot more patient with people and yourself. I was a church planter, and so you’re trying to grow something big and fast. I would have slowed down and worked harder on my spiritual formation.

When you think through all the names of Christ, what name resonates with you right now and why?

Leader. I’m going to have to quote Dallas Willard here, but I kind of take the approach of allowing Christ to live my life as though He were me. I think of being in the Interim DOM role; I experienced needing to be radically more dependent on Him to do the next task. Jesus, He is the smartest man that ever lived and can do the thing that I need. He is leading my life, leading me, strengthening me to be me.

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