Thursday, August 22, 2013

the low down on matt pitt

I've tried to write this post four times since Friday. I've shared a news story or two on my facebook page and I've received more than my fair share of hate messages of people defending Matt Pitt. I figured since it's SUCH a huge news story in Alabama, and since so many people HAVE asked my opinions, I'd give them.
 
DISCLAIMER RIGHT NOW: THESE ARE MY THOUGHTS. You can't be hateful or rude or "want to kill me" for posting my thoughts. So, here we go:
 
I went to the Basement for the first time in May 2009. The first night I went is still a blur to me. It's a blur because there was SO much to take in. The lights, the security guards, the police, the show, the music and Matt. Matt spoke about having a summer that would "change your life." He spouted off more Bible verses than I could- and I had been saved since I was five. At this point, the Basement was gaining momentum. It was meeting at Cathedral of the Cross, a whooping 45 minutes from my house. I was home for the summer from college and I went every Tuesday night. My friend, Jordaan, would come with me most Tuesdays, but I can remember three or four Tuesdays where I straight up went alone.
 
It was captivating. I'm southern Baptist. We sing hymns and we preach. We don't jump or spin or raise hands or ANYTHING. It was amazing and equally scary to me to see people worshiping the way the people at the Basement did. It also changed my life.
 
Like I said earlier, I accepted Christ when I was five years old. You can question or challenge that decision if you want, but I know that Christ was knocking at my heart's door that day. The day I accepted Christ changed who I was. I was still young and I never turned to drugs or alcohol or partying or boys for fulfillment, I was always fulfilled by Christ.
 
I decided to move home to be a part of the "leadership team" of the Basement in January 2010. My entire first semester of my sophomore year of college, I would drive from Montgomery to Birmingham every Tuesday night to be a part of it. I stepped down from being Vice President of my sorority, Secretary of SGA, and a full scholarship to be a part of this ministry. It did change my life.
 
I started meeting SO many new people at the Basement each month. I would leave and before I could get home, I would have 30-40 friend requests every week from people I was meeting. It was so fun to meet so many people who loved God. It rocked me.
 
A lot of the "leaders" and people really involved with the Basement met Jesus there. They weren't a little Baptist girl who came into the middle of the ministry. These people were literally set free in the Basement of Matt Pitt's house. Incredible.
 
Jesus used Matt Pitt and the Basement to teach me a new way to worship and introduced me to a deeper and more intimate relationship with God. Matt Pitt didn't change my heart but God DID use Matt Pitt to draw me closer to him.
 
Matt was/is a public figure. He's a celebrity. In the height of me attending the Basement, he was the ticket to Christianity. One summer, he would do two or three festivals a week where he spoke. It was incredible. There was one summer where I want to say he lead over 100,000 people to Christ.
I was a part of leadership for almost two years. I went on Basement trips, Christmas parties, girls nights, etc. If it was Basement related, you could bet I would be there.
 
Here is what happened with me and the Basement: I (me, myself, no one else) started to put the Basement and their events above my own family events and sometimes about the events in my own life. I missed every one of my brother's football games for two years. I would skip class sometimes to "hang out." I spent over 100 dollars A WEEK on fruit trays, monster energy drinks and gas. I let a ministry overtake my life. It was no one's fault but my own.
 
I started to feel like I was growing in a different direction than the Basement was. My last service I attended was the record holding service where we all marched in front of City Hall in downtown Birmingham. I just felt like my calling wasn't to be a part of a mega ministry anymore. I felt like God wanted me with my family, pouring my new found excitement for worship into my local church.
 
I lost touch with everyone after I left. It was so much easier to be "friends" with all the girls when I literally saw them 3-4 times a week. Everyone was so far away it was hard.
 
But, while I was a part of the ministry and was under Matt's "leadership," I've still never heard a man preach with more passion and fire for the Lord. When we were having weekly leadership meetings, Matt would preach so hard. He told stories of the disciples and Jonah and David that I remember to this day. He always told everyone "thank you" and he was always the last one to leave the venue. He prayed for us. He watched out and over for us. He loved us.
 
Jesus used him to change me for the better. At a Christmas party one year, when we were all taking pictures, and it was my turn, I just remember him saying "thank you" to everyone. He was so grateful and humble and real. He was genuine. He lived his life the way I wanted my future spouse to live.
 
He's a husband. He's a brother. He's a son. He's a friend. And, while I don't know the entire story of what was/is happening, I do know that the 12 minute video that NBC posted of him is not the Matt Pitt I knew. He looked tired and defeated and sad. And, for that, I'm praying for him.
 
I'm praying for his family, his friends and everyone still involved with the Basement. Judging Matt Pitt for whatever he has done doesn't make me a better Christian. And, it doesn't make you a better Christian, either.
Yes, he is in the public eye, and yes, he is held to a higher standard. But, maybe instead of logging on and making assumptions about what has/has not happened, maybe we should just close the screen and pray. Really and truly pray on his behalf. Because, whether or not everything that everyone is posting is true or false, he is still sitting in a jail cell right now probably scared for his life. And I would be too. And I know that I wouldn't want to wonder about what everyone on the other side of the jail walls were saying and doing. I would want to be confident that my brothers and sisters in Christ were praying for me.
 
Not making excuses, not spreading gossip, not crucifying me,
 
BUT PRAYING FOR ME.
 
And I think that's what we all need to do. I don't want to see any more news stories about it. I don't want to read another status about it. I don't want to KNOW anymore about it. I just want to pray for him. I am grateful for the time I spent at the Basement. I'm grateful that Matt Pitt was an unashamed preacher of the gospel that helped light a brighter fire for me in my soul. I don't think that anything that I was a part of when I was involved was fake.
 
Matt Pitt was real. He was loving. He was genuine. He would lead us in worship well past midnight many nights. If there was a problem, he would address it. He didn't brush things off, he always made sure everyone was okay and happy. He was fun. He had a light in his eyes that everyone talked about.
 
I'm not saying that any of the above mentioned is gone. I do think that he is tired. For whatever reason. If I was in his position, regardless of guilty/innocent status, I know that I'd be tired of defending myself. I'd be tired mentally, spiritually and emotionally. So, again, I think instead of crucifying him, we need to pray for him.
 
Just pray! :)

5 comments :

  1. I'm from Alabama too and I had always heard great things about the basement but I never had a chance to attend a service! I really enjoyed reading this and hearing your experience with the basement. I think people are getting so caught up on Matt and forgetting that we are all human. He isn't perfect but I think since he is in the spotlight, he gets judged more than the rest of us. I do agree that we all need to pray for him and remember that yes Matt founded the Basement but God is the foundation of the basement!
    -Brooke Dean

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is so well written. I actually never attended the basement, but living in Birmingham, I heard a lot about it (I was actually a student at Alabama living in Tuscaloosa at the height of the basement popularity). I know very little about Matt Pitt other than what I have read on Facebook (now and in years past) and what I have heard on the news. I have no right to judge him, and I don't judge him. I completely agree that the only thing we can do it pray for him. There is an obvious underlying issue that he is dealing with. I pray for comfort, clarity, healing, and understanding.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I couldn't have said it better! I love Matt Pitt like a son and will continue to pray that God will restore everthing in his life!

    ReplyDelete
  4. AS you can tell, I'm getting' Katelyn's blog fix" tonight. :) Scrolling through your archives Matt's name caught my eye. Oh, girl! We don't watch TV…and it's been a while since I've looked anything up bout the basement. But this absolutely breaks my heart! I loved your stand. And I stand with you. With him. Let me share just a little about what the Basement means to me and my family. 3 or 4 years ago, I stumbled on the Basement online. I was thrilled to find a ministry that went so hard for the youth of this nation. And others! I was rounding up a bunch of teens here in "small-town" Texas in a street ministry. Most of the kids were what some would call rejects. But they were extreme! And directing that extremity towards Jesus was my goal. God laid it on me to taken as many as I could to Alabama. We started doing fundraisers and worked our butts off for 3 or 4 months to fund the trip. It was just a few kids, but we made enough to bring a bus and van loaded with kids right off the street. We made the trip! One vehicle broke down on the way, so we had to rent one and just flat left the van with an unknown tow truck guy! Hahaha! We got to lead him to the Lord and pray for him to be healed..That's a whole other story…I'll shorten it to say he got his miracle! :) Anyways, let me tell you, Katleyn, that was a WILD trip! Most of these kids knew nothing about the real Jesus! I just knew, in my spirit, that this trip was destiny for some of us. And it was. It would take paragraphs to share all the testimonies, all the seed that was planted and has grown from it. One girl is a missionary now. Another boy is preaching at a nearby teen ministry. A few of us adults came back later in the year to attend training and it changed our whole perspective on so much! Brad sent us CDs a couple times and we used them when we'd meet. To this day, I'm still loaning out Basement CDs. To this day, I'm still playing them in my living room for people we minister to. My baby girl, who is now 11, will be in there watching Matt preach any given evening. She loves Matt! :) She wants a husband just like that! We have supported the ministry, and we support Matt. Whatever the "deal" is. It is where I met you!!! :) :) :) The souls that I personally have seen saved by the Word coming out of the Basement Ministry are something I will be eternally grateful for. I will also always be grateful for the timing we both had so our paths would cross. And now, myself and the leaders who went to training with me, still hold you up as an example to the girls we are privileged to speak into. Like ANY SOUL SAVING ministry, I feel strongly that the Basement, or Matt-specifically, is under attack. It's what the enemy does. Ok, I'll stop or my comment will be longer than your post! lol! Just HAD to share since I feel so strongly about this one. I love you VERY much, girl! And thank God for you, for Matt, Brad, and so many others that I can't recall names tonight. Me and my own kids will be praying fervently. They appreciate Matt too. We're all sad over this news, but we are CONFIDANT that God is gonna fix this…Ok, Ok, stopping…Much love, prayer, and faith….Nelda...

    ReplyDelete