Whether he’s serving others by planting churches or exercising with his three boys, Fit Pastor Dad on the Street Matthew Peeples lives his life with passion and conviction. Read on to learn about Matt, his favorite family adventures, parenting advice, and more!
Matthew Peeples is a pastor and father of three boys who is passionate about connecting the disconnected and helping people translate the unchanging gospel to an ever-changing world. He is also a CrossFit enthusiast and enjoys exercising with his three boys. Matt lives out his passion through preaching, teaching, and training the next generation of disciple-makers. Matt is also the founder and Director of the Kairos Network and is a Pastor at Bethlehem Lutheran Church. When Matt is not living out his passion, he can be found enjoying the great outdoors with his wife and kids.
Fit Pastor Style
Which two words best describe your style? Casual and comfortable
What are your favorite places to shop? Wherever my wife tells me to shop.
Who’s your favorite style icon? My wife, my brother, and my son Brooks. They have great fashion sense, and I always found it is better to have someone with good fashion sense than to try to figure that out on my own.
What’s your best style advice? Find someone with style and let them help you, but at the end of the day, you have to be comfortable with it. If you are comfortable in what you wear, that’s all that matters.
What trend did you love at the time but now cringe when you see old photos? Jinco jeans freshman year of high school.
Facial hair or clean-shaven? Beard all the way.
Fit Pastor Adventures
What’s your favorite way to spend time with your family? I love hiking, sitting by the fire, or doing activities with the family. I love going to the mountains with the kids. It is one place where you can just let the boys run free and enjoy being boys.
What’s been your best family vacation? Sledding with the boys in the mountains. One year it was just the five of us, and we went to the mountains to work on a little house. It was by a huge sledding hill. Watching those guys fly down that hill and the joy they had on their faces with each run is a memory that will stick with me for a lifetime.
Fit Pastor Family
What’s your favorite family activity? Doing a workout with the boys. My kids have really gotten into working out; some of my favorite moments are doing a workout that they planned for us.
What’s your favorite family restaurant? S.Egidio. It is a little restaurant in Ridgewood, NJ. Amazing wood-fired pizzas, salads, and an amazing Nutella Calzone for dessert. Great for a date with Liza or to take the whole family.
How do you encourage your kids to grow spiritually without forcing them? I try to make it a part of our everyday routine. I know people think it is something complicated and out of the ordinary since I am a pastor, but it is the simple everyday moments that I have found to be a catalyst to my kid’s faith.
We pray together every night, usually the Lord’s prayer. Then I find some time to read the bible, a devotional, or watch a sermon with them. Whatever we do, I always take time after to ask what stuck out to them and how they will live it out—those simple rhythms.
How does fitness factor into your parenting style? I think fitness allows me to keep up with my kids and helps me keep a clear head. With three very high-energy boys, fitness is also a great way to teach them how to use their energy in healthy and productive ways. My favorite is CrossFit. As a Dad of three boys building a nonprofit ministry, it is nice to have one area in my life where I don’t have to make all the decisions. I can just show up and enjoy a hard workout surrounded by a great community.
Parenting Tips, Tricks, and Advice
Best parenting advice: Find ways to figure out who your kids are and what they enjoy doing, and find little ways to encourage them in those things. Every kid is different and needs different things from you. As a parent, it is easy to worry about every little thing and put too much weight on things that aren’t important in the grand scheme.
At the end of the day, your kids are kids, and if they know they are loved and have parents who believe in them, they will try things and take the little risks that will help them become incredible humans. In those moments when you are playing together and just enjoying time with them, that builds a relationship that allows you to speak into their lives for years to come.
Parenting true confession: After 8 pm, I clock out as a parent. That is why all my kids have to be in bed no later than 8 pm.
What’s your dad’s superpower? Taking my kids wherever I go. I found it easier to take three boys with me than to just lay around the house. We have the most fun when we are out on a hike or doing something routine like a trip to Costco.
Fit Pastor Life
What’s your favorite show to binge-watch? Yellowstone.
How has being a pastor affected how you raise children? I try to be more intentional about ensuring my boys realize faith is more than just my job; it is a part of who I am. I love Jesus not because I get a paycheck but because I love Jesus. When I am not pastoring a church, I still ensure we are engaged in worship together as a family.
What’s your favorite sport, and why? CrossFit. I love the challenge and the community. You never know when you go in, whether it will be a workout in your wheelhouse or something that will leave you struggling. But whatever it is, you know you will be surrounded by a great group of people who will help you take on the challenge and ultimately do something you could never do on your own.
If you could hang out with anyone from history, living or deceased, who would it be? The Apostle Paul.
How do you balance caring for and nurturing a church community while being a dad? I was given great advice when I was in seminary. My professor said, “If you die, your church will find another pastor, but your family can’t find another husband and father.”
I really took that advice to heart. While I have not been perfect with that balance, I try to make sure that I keep my family first. Emergencies come up, but it is important to separate what is a real emergency and what is someone’s personal emergency. Caring for a church or a ministry doesn’t have to mean neglecting your family.
What’s your favorite way to unwind after a long day? Hanging out with my wife. Watching a show, sitting by a fire, or just spending time together. Nothing beats hanging out with her after a long day.
More About Matt
We’re big fans of Matt’s commitment to family, faith, and fitness. We also admire the way he prioritizes family time and leads by example. Be sure to follow him on social to stay up-to-date with his latest adventures and words of wisdom. And for more inspiring dads, be sure to check out FamilyApp’s Dad on the Street!