Rev. Matthew Johnson
Rev. Matthew W. H. Johnson is a United Methodist Elder and a member of the UMC’s Northern Illinois Conference. Since 2004, he’s served local congregations in rural, urban, and suburban settings.
In that time, Matthew has come to love many things about parish life, including: preaching and teaching from the places where the present world intersects with scripture; the gift of prayerfully guiding parishioners through their life-giving and life-changing moments; opportunities to address the evolving landscape of faith in the United States through innovation; and equipping laypersons with what they need to develop their Spirit-led passions into fruitful and vital ministries.
In 2014, he launched Portico Collective (PoCo): a 501 (c)(3) mixed-reality faith community which aims to re-engage non-practicing Christians with their faith while creating healthier lives, relationships, and neighborhoods. Today, the Collective includes nearly 10,000 individuals in 18 countries who interact with PoCo devotionals, podcasts and live videos. Since its inception, more than 1,000 persons have participated in PoCo’s online discipleship groups and local gatherings, leading to Matthew being named to Aboundant’s “Top 12 Digital Ministry Experts You Should Know.” He currently serves as president of PoCo’s board of directors. Frequently, he acts as a consultant to other congregations, annual conferences, and denominations to help them develop digital ministries for adults.
Matthew holds a Master of Divinity degree from the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, a Bachelor of Arts in English from Western Illinois University, and an Associate of Arts in Journalism from Kishwaukee College. He is an inaugural fellow of the University of Chicago Divinity School’s “Chicago Commons Project,” has spent time with Dr. Elaine Heath in her innovative Academy of Missional Wisdom incubator, and studied family systems for churches with the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center.
Before ministry, Matthew ran a newspaper in small town USA, wrote songs and toured the Midwest in a Winnebago with his rock band, and served as communications director for a global science not-for-profit.
Emily — a middle school music teacher and choir director — has been his companion through all of it. The two will celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary in 2019. Together, they have an 11-year-old
Matthew enjoys playing records, and can often be found searching local shops, thrifts stores, and garage sales to find more for his sizable collection. He
loves passing the time by cheering for the Milwaukee Brewers, Detroit Lions, and his Alma Mater WIU. And, when he feels creative, you’ll likely find him tinkering with electronic musical instruments, or typing pages for the novel he’ll never finish.