Commissional Corner: October 2021

Matthew Johnston and family

The MAGL Program prepares a person for many different fields, all through God's leading. For Matthew Johnston, God let him to be an ESL teacher, mentor for refugees, and immigrants, and a trainer for others who wish to do the same. Matthew and his wife currently serve part-time with Forefront Experience. They lead a group that studies God's Word and seeks to apply it in a neighborhood, consisting mostly of refugees from around the globe. Additionally, they also partner with others to do a weekly prayer outreach. Matthew has a passion for sharing the Gospel especially with refugees and immigrants who do not know the Lord.

Matthew attended his undergraduate at Wayland Baptist University and later pursued his masters here at DBU. He studied in the MAGL program with a specialization in TESOL. Throughout his time at DBU, he made connections with those who had served in China as ESL teachers. After graduating, Matthew and his wife spent two years in China teaching English. When he returned to Dallas, he taught ESL through Catholic Charities and Dallas College. Matthew shared how the MAGL program taught his family how to navigate the ups and downs of life overseas, "The MAGL degree prepared me for both the mission field and my profession."

The MAGL program taught Matthew the importance of prayer and partnerships, both of which are very foundational to ministry and to his own life. His studies broadened his view of the church and his understanding of God's mission in the world. He began to recognize what God is doing around the world and how He is moving. Matthew later recalled, "It is strategic and Kingdom-minded to seek to share the Good News of God's love with people here, just as it is strategic to move overseas."

As for current MAGL students, Matthew recommends trying to find a balance in theology and ministry. There's a difference between studying God's Word and actually doing His Word, so finding that balance is paramount to avoid getting burnt out. Another tip he mentioned was that graduates should not limit themselves to overseas mission work or to only meeting spiritual needs. He says, "God may give you passions and skills in a secular field or with a particular place or people group. Pursue those things for which God has given you a passion, even if it's not what you first suspected."

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.