God, Business and Bow Hunting
Mattew McPherson is the founder of Matthews Bows and McPherson Guitars. He heard God for the first time in 1977 when God said “I am going to prosper you in business so you can be self-sufficient in ministry.” In 1983 he received a literal blueprint from God on how to make a technologically advanced bow. However, it wasn’t until 1992 that the original promise really started to go ‘full throttle.’ How this happened, and his journey of faithfulness in the process is astounding. Read on and be encouraged in your own journey of partnering with God in life.
Often when we hear testimonies of how God did some great and wonderful thing for someone we can feel discouraged that it hasn’t happened for us. This is especially the case when you may have a promise that you have been stewarding for years.
What we don’t realize is, it often takes time for God’s promises to be formed in our lives. There are many unspoken years of faithfulness/waiting/persistence/successes/failures in between a promise and it’s fulfillment.
As we submit our dreams to Him, nothing will be wasted, and He will make our dreams fruitful in their time. The journey itself is as important as the destination. It is in the journey that our relationship with God is being built.
For God, Business and Bow Hunting – a story of faithfulness
Matt McPherson came to know Christ at an early age and continued to seek Him. He told God, “I’m not really interested in being important; I just want to do what’s important.”
In 1977, the nineteen-year-old was praying and asking what God wanted for his life. God responded audibly, “I am going to prosper you in business so you can be self-sufficient in ministry.” Matt was thrilled. “Okay, You want me to be a businessman. You know I’m not a very good beggar and I love to give.”
However, it was still a journey toward that future. After high school, Matt, who had always hated school, joined his dad’s auto body shop before starting his own. In his spare time, he studied metallurgy and engineering for fun.
In 1980, he married Sherry, the pianist for a Christian music group where he played guitar. However, those first years of newlywed life were financially difficult. With interest rates of more than 21 percent in the early 80s, hardly anyone was buying new cars, which meant there were few used cars for Matt’s auto body business.
Vision From God… of a Bow??!
Gradually, Matt began sensing God was moving him toward the archery business. He had been building his own bows for a while and thought he could make it into a business. It was 1983 and he was still looking for God’s promise of business prosperity to come true. While walking around the house one day, he clearly heard God say, “I know every answer to every problem in the world. If men would only ask Me, I’d give them those answers.”
Matt fell to his knees and said, “God, I feel You’re calling me into archery and being a businessman. Because You know how to make better archery bows, I’m asking You for that wisdom. Direct me in a way that’s unique and novel so I can build the best bows in the world, and I’ll honor You with my life.”
About two weeks later, Matt woke up in the middle of the night to a vision of a new bow design. “It was literally like a sheet of notebook paper. And that’s what was funny— it wasn’t just a white sheet of paper, but it was notebook paper hanging in my face.” It took two more years to develop the concept, and then he started McPherson Archery in 1985 with the help of some investors. Later, he sold his controlling interest in 1987 and the rest of it in 1989 because the investors wanted to go in a different direction.
God Knows the Best Bows
In the fall of 1991, he was driving when he had a vision for the single cam bow. In 1992, he started Mathews, Inc. with one employee. The business just exploded as this innovative new design provided the quietest and most accurate bows on the market. From 1992 to 1997, in the span of about five years, Mathews went from the smallest bow company in the world to an Inc. 500 company.
Today, Mathews Inc. is the largest archery manufacturing company in the world. They not only sell volumes of bows; they sell a product of superior design and excellent in craftsmanship. The combination of quantity and quality is a rare blend seen in the business community today. But the commitment of the McPherson family to honor God in all they do has increased the favor of God on all they do.
Surrender, Integrity, & Excellence
As exciting as Matt’s story is, the bigger picture is of a couple who have given themselves completely to God, for His Glory. It is because God found them trustworthy that He entrusted ideas of great worth to them. Matt is the owner of at least 20 patents, with more pending. They have embraced the call to ministry through business. He was inducted into the Bowhunters Hall of Fame in 1998.
Another lesson we can learn from Matt is of integrity, even in tough seasons. As mentioned above, before his breakthrough Matt ran an auto body shop that shared space with another repair shop. One day he observed one of the other tenants deliberately damaging a vehicle, so he could collect more insurance. Matt addressed the situation; the other tenant’s response to Matt was that no one was getting hurt, and that you had to be willing to compromise in that business to make a living. Matt told him he was wrong, and set out to prove that success can come without the loss of personal integrity. Today, as far as Matt knows, that man is still eking out a living while Matt is demonstrating the blessing that comes from honorable living – a wealth that has no sorrow (see Proverbs 10:22).
The same excellence and creativity used for designing and manufacturing archery equipment is also used for making acoustic guitars. As a result of their innovation and quality, their master craftsmen make some of the finest guitars. Many of the industry’s top recording artists play the McPherson guitar. This is yet another testimony of the McPherson story of God’s promised blessing. When Matt once asked God why he was chosen for a particular assignment, he discovered that while he was not God’s first choice, he was the first willing. The assignment was challenging, but successful.
Today Matt and Sherry McPherson are living what God promised many years ago. They are free to do their music ministry, travel, and support the Gospel around the world. They also have discovered the joy of bringing God-ideas to their sphere of influence. As a result, their business is ministry. Countless numbers of people are touched by their love and example in the business world through their integrity, creativity, and excellence.
What is your dream, your promise? What has God spoken to you about your future?
What problems in the world is God waiting for YOU to ask Him about?
How well are you walking in faithfulness on the journey?
Who else comes to mind right now that you could encourage with this story of faithfulness?
Thanks again to Alex of DayofYourPower.org for contributing the original article.