The Great Commission: An Interview with Jeremy Johnson on the Gospel and Missions
Allow me to introduce the RAANetwork family to Jeremy Johnson. For 3 years I worked alongside El McGowan (Campus Minister) under the umbrella of Reformed University Fellowship as an intern. During my second year, Rev. McGowan assigned me to the Freshman class and this is where I met Jeremy. I became one of his mentors and it was a joy of mine to watch him grow in grace, humility and truth for the last 2 years. God is at work in Jeremy’s life, plus he has some exciting plans this summer. I’m excited about what the Lord is doing in his life and I wanted the RAANetwork family to hear a little of his story.
Q: Jeremy, tell us a little about who you are. When and how did the Lord call you to himself?
Johnson: I grew up in the church but I did not get saved until I was 15 years old (November 2008). I was at a statewide youth convention and I felt like it was time for me to stop perpetrating (i.e.: living a certain way at church but at school a completely different way). After about 3 weeks, I continued doing what I had been doing for years which I knew was not pleasing to God. I didn’t start getting serious about my faith until a year and a half later (June 2010) when I met the young lady I’m currently seeing who was not going to allow me to be anything less than a man of God.
Q: Where are you from originally?
Johnson: I’m from Barbados originally, but I have lived in Atlanta, Georgia since I was three and off and on in Barbados until 7th grade when money started getting tight.
Q: Are you currently in school? Where? What is your major? What organizations are you involved in?
Johnson: I am a rising Junior Psychology major at Jackson State University. I’m involved in a few things on campus: RUF, Blue Ambassadors, College Impalas (quartet style men’s singing group), Honor’s College Advisory Board member, and SGA Street Team.
Q: We met your Freshman year at Jackson State University. Was this the first time you were exposed to Reformed Theology?
Johnson: I grew up in a Church of God background so yeah that was the first time.
Q: How has the ministry of Reformed University Fellowship affected your walk with the Lord?
Johnson: Man. Where do I start? To begin with, at the church I go to and in the youth group I was in, I was a Bible scholar among them. This was mainly because my immediate and nuclear family did sword drills and verse memorization challenges almost every day. With that being said, when I came to Jackson State, I had a sense that I was probably going to be more equipped biblically than my colleagues. Boy was I wrong. Not only did everyone have at least my biblical prowess but more. It was an extremely humbling experience to have. I have learned so much being a part of RUF though aside from the back story. Primarily, I view the Bible differently in that instead of it being a means of augmenting my self-image, it now became a tool by which I measured my life and the standards I live by. By this I mean that I learned the power of the cross and what it could do for me. The redeeming power and grace received from Jesus dying on the cross is immeasurable. Also, before I got to JSU, I thought that I was completely transparent about my sins and struggles but I could not have been more wrong. It was extremely difficult to open up about the so-called “harsher sins” like lust, sexual sins, etc. I’ve learned to be transparent about things and that has strengthened my ministry so much.
Q: Where do you believe the Lord is calling you long term?
Johnson: Well, I feel as though, given my linguistic and athletic skills, I feel as though my calling long-term is to play professional soccer internationally and be a witness on and of the pitch (field). The last few verses in the book of Matthew, “The Great Commission,” calls us to “go and make disciples of all nations… teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you (Matt 28: 19, 20).” I genuinely feel obligated to do just that. After that, I’d like to be a Christian therapist using my undergraduate degree in Psychology.
Q: What are your plans this summer?
Johnson: This summer I will be taking a mission’s internship with Mission to the World (MTW) to Ishinomaki, Miyagi, Japan.
Q: What exactly will you do while in Japan?
Johnson: I will be teaching middle school aged children music, soccer, and Spanish all culminating in a music festival that takes place on July 6, 2013.
Q: Have you found it difficult raising support? If so, why?
Johnson: Raising support has been a difficult thing for me for a few reasons. Primarily, I was raised not to ask anybody for money, especially anyone outside of my bloodline. So that aspect was extremely difficult as it went against my teachings. Also, because of the aforementioned qualm, it was very easy for me to become passive in my requesting of funds. Because of my passivity, it has come down to the last few days of fundraising and I am in need of $2000. I fully trust God for that to be raised.
Q: If a reader was interested in supporting you financially, where should they go?
Johnson: If someone was to donate to me financially, they could go to “donations.mtw.org” and enter my missionary account number which is 13710. The website is reasonably user friendly.
Q: How can readers pray for you?
Johnson: If people could pray for peace among the mission’s team, minimal/ no dissension among the team, and for my funds to come in on time that would be great. I am a firm believer and can attest to the fact that God answers the prayers of His children.