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2009 Conversations

2008 Conversations

2007 Conversations

2006 Conversations

2005 Conversations

2004 Conversations

Alicia Chole: The truth about joy (12/28/03)

Cookies and Christmas: A roundtable discussion (12/21/03)

John Tesh: In pursuit of passion (12/14/03)

AGWM's L. John Bueno: Bread of life (11/23/03)

Teen Challenge's John Castellani: Christ breaks addictions (11/16/03)

Christian humorist Justin Fennell: Justifiably funny (10/19/03)

Representative Marilyn Musgrave: The role of Christians in government (10/12/03)

Dennis Gaylor: Fifty more campuses (9/28/03)

Kathy Troccoli: A message of hope (9/21/03)

Kristy Starling: Dreams come true (9/14/03)

CeCe Winans Love: Of Gospel and Grammies (8/31/03)

Gary Heavin: Faith and fitness (8/24/03)

Gracia Burnham: Grace in the jungle (8/17/03)

Seattle Mariner John Olerud: Hope when your health fails (8/10/03)

Chris Maxwell: Pastor recovering from memory loss (7/27/03)

Wayne Warner: Today’s Pentecostal Evangel: a historical view (7/20/03)

Paul Drost: Every church a parent or a partner (7/13/03)

Dr. J. Calvin Holsinger: What can be learned from history? (6/29/03)

Ron Drye: Ministering to the whole person (6/22/03)

Matt McPherson: Doing business by the Golden Rule (6/15/03)

The difference (6/8/03)

Fory VandenEinde: Fulfilling the Great Commission (5/25/03)

Tom Greene: The church's new generation (5/18/03)

Lisa Whelchel: Former sitcom star now an advocate for moms (5/11/03)

Tony Lamarque: Warden speaks about unconditional love (4/27/03)

Ann Graham Lotz: Just give her more of Jesus (4/20/03)

Lee Strobel: The case for Christ (4/13/03)

Randall K. Barton: Extravagant stewardship (3/30/03)

Bishop Gilbert Patterson: Bringing people together under Christ (3/23/03)

Pat Boone: A unique celebrity speaks out (3/16/03)

St. Clair Mitchell: God in Washington, D.C. (3/9/03)

Kay Gross: Ministry by women, ministry to women (2/23/03)

Thomas E. Trask: A historic General Council (2/16/03)

Denise Jones: Girls of Grace (2/9/03)

Doug Greengard: Beyond the NFL (1/26/03)

Three pro-life advocates call the church to action (1/19/03)

Chaplain Charles Marvin: The gospel in uniform (1/12/03)

2002 Conversations

2001 Conversations


Doing business by the Golden Rule

Matt McPherson is founder and CEO of Mathews Inc. and McPherson Guitars. Mathews has become a premier producer of compound bows and is internationally recognized in the archery world. McPherson Guitars creates high-end acoustic instruments praised by a growing number of professional musicians. But for McPherson, no professional accomplishment can overshadow the priority of his relationship with Jesus Christ; no corporate title can compare with simply being called “Dad.” He spoke with Editor in Chief Hal Donaldson about what is truly important in his life.

EVANGEL: You have stated that your faith is the foundation for everything you have accomplished. When did you give your heart to the Lord?

MCPHERSON: I was introduced to Christ at a very early age. My father was an Assemblies of God minister. As far back as I can remember my mom prayed the prayer of salvation with us. I was around 4 when I accepted Christ as my Savior.

EVANGEL: The success of Mathews Inc., your parent company, has been phenomenal. How did you become involved in creating bows?

MCPHERSON: My father became an archer shortly after my parents were married because my mom wasn’t comfortable with guns. Dad introduced my brother, Randy, and me to bow hunting. Money was tight and if you wanted something badly enough you made it. So I cut down small saplings on my parents’ property and started building bows very young. Dad ended up buying Randy and me 20-pound yellow fiberglass Ben Pearson bows. Those were our first serious bows. We got more involved in archery as we got into junior high and high school. Randy and I talked to the shop teacher and asked if we could manufacture bows. So we started making bows at that time.

EVANGEL: What about McPherson Guitars?

MCPHERSON: I started playing acoustic guitar probably around 1975. Dad and Randy were guitar players as well. Dad would buy a guitar and handcraft some changes on it and listen to it. Around 1980 he came up with a design that had three sound holes and he was pretty pleased with that. He contacted me and said he felt this was a guitar that needed to be produced. I had always wanted to build guitars. So I got some books on how to build guitars and used the new direction that Dad wanted to take and melded the old technology with the new.

EVANGEL: With two corporations and numerous other projects, how do you manage to keep business, family and faith in balance?

MCPHERSON: It’s not easy, especially at first when you are starting something out and there is a tremendous amount of effort to actually get the momentum that you need to make a company successful. But it’s like eating ice cream. I like ice cream; but if all I eat is ice cream, I’m going to get sick. It’s the same thing with the business world. If all I do is business, I’m going to end up having a marriage that is not successful. My life doesn’t revolve around my business. It revolves around, first of all, my personal relationship with God, and second of all, my wife and my family. There were definitely a lot of hours to put in the first years of the company, but there was always a way to set aside time for my family. Now, God has blessed and I’m able to spend a lot more time with my wife and three sons.

EVANGEL: What about fathering principles? Are there any things that you could share with other businessmen?

MCPHERSON: It is very important to a man that he provides for his family. But my advice is, if you want to keep that in balance with relating to your family, listen to your wife. Sherry would periodically call and say, “Honey, I need you home.” And I would say, “I’ve got to get this thing done.” And she would say, “Honey, I need you home. You haven’t spent enough time with the kids and I need you home.” And I realized she was serious. I would put everything down and go home. Husbands can get too focused. Wives look at the whole picture.

EVANGEL: What are some principles that serve as a foundation for how you do business?

MCPHERSON: The old saying “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is by far the simplest and most practical form of doing business that I can possibly imagine. When I do business in a way that I would like to have somebody do business with me, it is always a winner. When I’m going to market a product, I look at it from the points of view of the retailers who sell it and the consumers who buy it. If you give product value to everybody involved in the process, including your company, it is always successful. I’ve never seen it not successful. My goal is to see everyone along the line get treated fairly.

EVANGEL: What would you say to a person who claims that you can’t get ahead in business if you limit yourself to biblical principles?

MCPHERSON: I’d say, first of all, if the industry you are in can only succeed by being untruthful, you have to get a new career. I refuse to lie. I remember a long time ago we had a problem with shipping our product. I told our people to always be straight up with our customers. If they called, we needed to admit we messed up on this. We thought we could get it out but we weren’t able to on time. I have found that when you are honest it may take longer sometimes, but when you are done you don’t have a house that is built upon sand. You have a house that is built upon a rock.

I once had someone tell me that a little dishonesty never hurt anybody and that I would never get ahead unless I was willing to compromise. I told that person, “If it is the last thing I do, I hope to prove that wrong.” As far as I know, that person is still eking out a living while God has wonderfully blessed our people. There are a lot of people in the industry who know that if I tell them something it doesn’t have to be on paper. And that’s worth something in the business world.

EVANGEL: Have there ever been times where you faced crises and you had to rely entirely on God?

MCPHERSON: Many times, but here’s just one example. There was a new model bow I had built one year. Throughout all the cycle testing that I did, it held up and everything looked fine. But there was an issue that came up in the actual production of this bow that was a serious problem if I couldn’t fix it. “God,” I prayed, “this could really hurt us if I can’t figure out how to bring this to market. I can’t ship these bows until I work this out, and we’ve got orders for them.” God helped me find the solution the same day. It was amazing. I was able to design the part that I needed and have it manufactured. We proved that it worked and we were up and running within a week. I was very fortunate.

EVANGEL: Is there anything else that is on your heart that you want to add?

MCPHERSON: If your heart truly is to serve God and you are doing things with integrity, then God will bless. I believe you will be able to reach more people for Christ than you ever dreamed possible.

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