Last but certainly not least of our introductions for the CGCS is Dr. Matt Rogers. Dr. Rogers is our Coordinator of North American Church Planting. His focus consists of aiding students in understanding God’s heart for church planting in North America, equipping them with sound missiology, and connecting them to people and places in need of healthy, reproducing churches. Continue reading below to learn more about Dr. Rogers.
How did God call you into ministry and into the vocation of teaching?
My sense of calling has been a work in progress since coming to faith at the age of 20. I spent the better part of the first decade of my Christian life trying to figure out my gifts and role in the church on my own. It wasn’t until coming to SEBTS that I found a healthy, local church with pastors who could provide direction and external confirmation to my sense of God’s work in my life. Their guidance, combined with prayer and a bit of experimentation, led me down the path to pastoral ministry and teaching. I’m committed to providing other students with the level of care and guidance I wish I had during my early walk with Jesus and pursuit of service in the local church.
How did you arrive at SEBTS?
After finishing my Masters in Counseling from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, I decided counseling wasn’t the profession that best utilized my gifts and passions. That led me to consider options for a Master of Divinity. I choose SEBTS based on the recommendation of several trusted friends and the reputation of a number of the professors. After completing my degree and starting a church, I reengaged SEBTS about hosting an Equip Center in our church. Through those conversations, God prompted me to pursue PhD studies in Applied Theology studying with Bruce Ashford. That degree and the relationships that were fostered during my time in the program positioned me to spend the last several years writing and teaching, now in the role of Church Planting Professor and Coordinator of North American Church Planting.
What excites you most about the CGCS?
The ethos of SEBTS is permeated with a Great Commission mentality. Not only are courses in Evangelism or Missions dripping with a missionary orientation, but all of the other courses are as well. As a result, the CGCS taps into the best SEBTS has to offer and fuels the love students are developing for Great Commission work around the world. I’m thrilled to partner with the Center to resource students to leverage their lives so that all know and worship Jesus.
What advice would you give to new students at SEBTS?
Settle down. You don’t have to arrive at the perfect place or role tomorrow. There’s no rush to get to a certain destination. What’s important is the type of man or woman you are becoming in the process. Allow the Spirit of God through the Word of God to refine your character in obscurity for a season. Find a healthy church. Join it. Serve as a meaningful member without a title. Share your faith. Make a disciple. Go on a short-term mission trip. Give extravagantly. Learn to love your spouse or the people around you. Do your work with excellence. This type of worshipful obedience will take you further than a charismatic personality or big gifts ever will.
Who’s your favorite missionary and/or favorite missions quote?
Recently I’m compelled by the no-names. Maybe that’s just the result of seeing so many big-names in our day flame out. I think about the random brothers and sisters who are cited as sharing the gospel and planting churches through the book of Acts. I imagine the lives of countless, faithful men and women who have moved their families, risked everything, and done so with little fruit to show for their work. I’m increasingly convinced that this no-name path is the trajectory for savvy missionaries of the future, knowing that God sees and honors the labor of those we may never read about in a missionary biography.
This is the last post in our series of introductions for the Center for Great Commission Studies. If you missed our prior introductions, we encourage to go back and check those out. You’ll learn more about the heartbeat of the CGCS and the people who help make it all happen.