We’re on our third introduction for the Center for Great Commission Studies. If you missed the Introduction to the CGCS or to our director, Dr. Hildreth, we encourage to read those following this.
Today, meet Dr. Greg Mathias. Dr. Mathias serves as the Associate Director of the Center for Great Commission Studies. His primary area of focus is cross-cultural missions. as he spent time overseas with his family for a time in the Middle East. Keep reading below to learn more.
How did God call you into ministry and into the vocation of teaching?
My calling is littered with the impact and influence of many prayers and tons of people. I will mention two of those influences: one was a book by David Bryant entitled In the Gap. God used this book, along with being immersed in the Scriptures, to begin to give me a global vision. Another influence in my life was a bi-vocational pastor that mentored me in my early years of college campus ministry. He demonstrated how someone could love God with their mind as well as with their heart, soul, and strength. These influences, along with a strong sense of wanting to equip others, led me into the teaching ministry.
How did you arrive at SEBTS?
I could say I arrived at SEBTS dragging my feet. At the time, I was not completely convinced about my need for formal theological training, but I did know that my family and I were committed to a lifetime of ministry. The thought of doing that in an unprepared manner scared me, and I knew that pursuing my MDiv at a place like SEBTS was a valuable opportunity. The Lord used my time at SEBTS to prepare me beyond what I could have imagined. Serving now as the Associate Director of the CGCS and a Global Studies Professor is in no small way connected to my time of preparation at SEBTS.
What excites you most about the CGCS?
The CGCS is at the heartbeat of all we are called to do at Southeastern. Working here allows me the opportunity to influence and impact students headed all over this nation and all around the world. It is overwhelming to think about the number of people who have heard the gospel, as well as the churches that have been planted and the missionaries and ministers who have been trained through our center. We are serving in a unique time and in a special place as students go out to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission.
What advice would you give to new students at SEBTS?
Take this time of training seriously. In doing so, remember that this is a season of ministry preparation for a lifetime, so invest well in your studies, the lost, and don’t lose that sense of calling while you are here. Outside of the classroom, connect and go deep with a local church. It is in the local church that much of what you are learning in the classroom will be fleshed out for you. Ministry preparation should cultivate your love of God and neighbor. Your time here is designed to be an environment and a catalyst in these areas no matter where the Lord uses you in the future. Embrace this opportunity for training and equipping.
Who’s your favorite missionary and/or favorite missions quote?
“We must be global Christians with a global vision because our God is a global God.” — John Stott
“Here then we see God’s way of success in our work, whatever it may be – a trinity of prayer, faith and patience.” — James O. Fraser