Johanna is a friend of mine who my sisters and I had the privilege of meeting at a conference a few years ago. We have kept in touch through various forms of social media, and her journalistic prowess has always impressed me, along with her heart for God.
Q: How and when did you first become active in ministry?
My parents have always been involved in some sort of ministry. I was born while they were on the mission field in Romania during the church planting movement and that has carried through my whole life. I’ve always been passionate about serving God and serving people.
Q: I would love for you to share with us about the magazine you edit.
Absolutely! I’m the editor in chief of Grafted Magazine which is a youth oriented magazine dedicated to creative young people who want to please God in all they do. We have a very strong missional leaning and believe that all believers are called to go. Whether that means moving across the world to a place you’ve never known to share the gospel, or living in your town and sharing the word of God. We hope to encourage young people to pursue the best that God has to offer, in all that they do.
Q: How has your journalistic work connected you with other young people, driven by the passion to serve?
Oh in so many ways! Through my work in the magazine I have been able to talk to some frankly incredible young people who are shaking the world to the very core, and not speaking a word about themselves. I’ve been able to meet youth leaders, young missionaries, people— practically kids— who are making disciples and feeding the church.
Q: What does 'missional' mean to you?
It means leading a life that has purpose, not without meaning and hope. God has set us on a very specific mission, one that He has been working on since the very beginning. God wants for all the nations, every tongue, tribe and people, to bless His name. Living a missional life means taking every opportunity to bless and be a blessing.
Q: How does it work (look) in your life?
Up until this year, and really within the last few months when I took the Perspectives course, I didn’t quite understand how missions looked in my life. Ever since I was very small I’ve claimed that I wanted to be a missionary. But I had always assumed that that meant that I would need to leave and go to some far off place and never see my family again. I guess I read a lot of 19th century missionary biographies growing up. But in my life now, I don’t see that missions means having to leave, but that as you are already going you should be teaching and ministering to all you know.
I’m constantly praying for God to put people in my life that I can be a witness to, unbelievers that need a friend, people questioning what they believe in and people who just need love.
Q: Name 5 things which have shaped your worldview.
Reading Operation World a lot as a child with my family. Understanding the “top line, bottom line” of the bible: That God wants to bless his called out ones… to be a blessing. The Perspectives course Hearing the bible read and talked about openly with my family Studying the bible for myself
Johanna Schnakenberg is a writer less than she should be, a lover of art and photography and a kisser of every puppy she sees. Her heart is on the unbeliever and outcasts of society and hopes to be a blessing so that all the nations may sing His praises. She is the editor in chief of Grafted Magazine and blogs at Bonfire Hearts.