Commissional Corner: September 2021

Three people reading the Bible

A new semester brings with it an overwhelming sense of opportunity and responsibility. With the addition of every new class comes the chance to meet and intermingle with like-minded scholars who hold very different talents and yet share a singular passion for ministry. For any Master of Arts in Global Leadership student taking any one of our MAGL courses this fall, this passion drives him or her forward toward a deeper understanding of what it truly means to minister cross-culturally.

Preparing for cross-cultural interactions and ministry is a sacred mission. For many MAGL students, this mission requires shaping and molding the mind to understand and empathize with other cultures and customs. Living cross-culturally thrusts one into an entirely different arena where sharing the Gospel requires different tools and reasoning processes in order to be successful. As Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 9:22b-23: "I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings."

The MAGL classes being offered this semester embody this idea. Dr. Mark Alexander, who teaches classes such as MAGL 5331 Cross Cultural Living and Ministry, elaborated: "Making disciples is at its core building relationships; it is investing time, effort, and interest in another person. It is creating a bond, a bridge over which the gospel can be communicated, understood, accepted, and spread."

To be all things to all people is to, by nature, be empathetic. MAGL students are taught throughout their courses not only the Biblical foundation of reaching out to and engaging with other cultures in the name of Christ but also the practical implications of doing so. Dr. Brent Thomason, director of the MAGL program, contemplated the role that MAGL courses has on its students: "Our MAGL courses aid in the spiritual transformation of turning students into cross-cultural missionaries. While some courses lay a firm foundation in Biblical doctrine, others teach cultural intelligence. Together these courses cultivate contextualized leaders in a global world that desperately needs Jesus."

A new semester, indeed, brings with it opportunity and responsibility: an opportunity to learn to be all things to all people and a responsibility to live it out.

Written by The Graduate School of Ministry

The Graduate School of Ministry provides training for individuals who sense God's call to ministry. The mission of the Graduate School of Ministry integrates foundations of Christian faith and values with professional academic studies.