Three tips and one big question were the message Fresno Deputy Mayor Matthew Grundy brought to the Fresno Pacific University Leadership Forum 2022 March 30.

About 250 business and non-profit leaders, FPU students and faculty gathered for breakfast in the Special Events Center on the main FPU campus, 1717 S. Chestnut Ave., Fresno, where Grundy came off with the power of a morning cup of coffee as keynote speaker, sharing principles learned from his personal and professional journey.

There are three kinds of assignments, according to Grundy—good, godly and God. “Sometimes we can do good things, even godly things, but it’s not God’s assignment,” he said. “A God assignment sent me to Fresno.”

Grundy came to Fresno to lead the local Habitat for Humanity, where his vision for growth attracted national attention and opened the door for him to assist with the strategic vision for 1,200 Habitat operations across the United States. He joined the City of Fresno after Jerry Dyer was elected mayor in 2020 following 18 years as city police chief.

God’s hand was clear to Grundy when Dyer called him to have coffee and talk about a position. Grundy, who didn’t really know Dyer, showed him a year-old text from his wife saying God told her the police chief would be elected mayor and offer Grundy a job. Dyer said, “I didn’t even know I was going to run for mayor a year ago,” Grundy reported.

Concerned he lacked political experience, Grundy focused on the one question worth asking: “Is it God’s assignment?”

Throughout his career, Grundy has developed and relied upon three principals for leadership:

  • Love Never Fails

Grundy’s education is in entrepreneurial leadership. “I’ve had more failed businesses than successful ones,” he said. He’s seen business plans fail, and big ideas fail. “What I know is love never fails. Love is a foolproof plan for leadership,” he said.   

  • Humility is the Path for Promotion

Rather than flexing or beating his chest, Jesus washed his followers’ feet. “This is leadership,” Grundy said. “A friend once told me: Never let a gift take you to a place your character can’t keep you.” We’ve all seen gifted people rise fast and fall the same way. “We need more foot washing,” he said.

  • Keep Perspective—Life Doesn’t Follow your Plan

In Acts 16, Paul wanted to go to Asia. God sent him to Macedonia, where he and Silas were captured and thrown into the innermost part of the prison. They became testimonies to the other prisoners and the guard. “If God loves you and made you in his image, why would he put you in darkness? It’s obvious—to shine!” Grundy said.

Whatever challenge you go through is meant to make you a stronger person and a better leader. “Moments of challenge forge you to be the person you were meant to be,” Grundy said. “Your mess is meant to be your message. Your test is meant to be your testimony.”

Leadership Forum 2022 was hosted by the FPU Advancement Office and overseen by Steven Redekop, director of the FPU Foundation development and legacy gifts. Many prominent organizations sponsored the event:

  • Leadership Sponsor
    • Legacy Construction
  • Character Sponsor
    • Wells Fargo
  • Integrity Sponsors
    • Summa Development Group
    • Camarena Health
    • Johanson Transportation Service
    • Fresno Pacific University School of Education
  • Influence Sponsor
    • CBMC (Christian Business Men’s Connection)


Wayne Steffen
Associate Director of Publications and Media Relations