About DTS

Mandy Seymour

Mandy SeymourWith a screen name like superstargoingfar, you'd think singer/songwriter Mandy Seymour was the type who loved the limelight. The truth is, she is an introvert.

"When I was growing up and we had people over to dinner, I was always the first to get up and clear the dishes so I wouldn't have to talk anymore," she said. "I have never sought attention … in fact, God has had to prod me to do most of what I do."

What she does is constantly share her faith. A Th.M. student at DTS and a staff member at a local church, Mandy still finds time to be intentional in her witness to the unsaved. She writes songs about her faith and sings them at local coffeehouses; she does prison ministry; she talks with people about her faith everywhere she goes … not your typical introvert.

Evangelism is such a part of Mandy's daily life that she was recently awarded the William N. Garrison Scholarship for lifestyle evangelism and discipleship.

"Every day, I pray for divine appointments, and then I usually forget about it and am surprised when someone starts pouring their heart out to me."

She said the phrase she most often hears from people is, "I can't believe I'm telling you this," which shows her each time that it is a work of God.

Mandy said she has found that music is an entryway into people's hearts.

"The lyrics and melody create a peaceful feeling that seems to make people open up."

She describes her music as subtle, yet spiritual. People seem to like it and respond.

One night she was praying before a "gig" and had a feeling that something was going to happen. After she sang that night a man and his wife (who happen to own a local recording studio) came up to talk to her. They told her they liked her music and said that the past three times they had come to that coffeehouse, she was singing—so, they took that as a definite sign that they should record her work. They are currently working on producing a CD of her music.

Mandy also works in pastoral care at a local church, and in her spare time participates in prison ministry with Bill Glass Prison Ministries.

"I find that prison ministry is both easier and harder than other types of ministry. It's easier because the people are craving attention—they're all ears. It's harder because most people who go in there don't bother to develop relationships with them, so they don't expect you to really love them."

She said the first time she went into a prison setting, she was so overwhelmed by the needs that she didn't want to leave. She still maintains friendships with many of the people she has met in the prisons.

"The main thing with people in jail is they want someone to be their true friend."

Mandy grew up in an Episcopal church and knew since she was young that she wanted to go into the ministry. She grew up understanding God's holiness and believing in Christ's sacrifice, but did not regularly study the Bible until college.

In college, Mandy got involved with InterVarsity and found out that for ministry, it is essential to know the Bible. She came to Dallas Seminary to "pursue the Scriptures."

As for what comes next, Mandy is unsure. She has an undergraduate degree in international studies and Spanish. She said she had thought at one point about going into politics, but changed her mind because working to pass legislation did not satisfy her in the way that full-fledged ministry satisfies her. She also loves to travel for fun, learning and missions.

"God gave me a heart for the world and especially for the lost. I just have so many interests in ministry—it's hard to narrow them down. But, whatever I do, it will include evangelism."

Mandy offered the following suggestions for those of us who have a hard time getting out there to meet and befriend non-Christians:
  1. Be intentional—as seminary students, we all have to study. Where can you go to study that will allow you to meet unbelievers? Find a coffee shop or book store where you can hang out for a while. Maybe go to the same place often so people will start to get to know you and feel comfortable with you.
  2. Be nonchalant—I always start talking to people about something I know they'll want to talk about … like one time I was on the Riverwalk in San Antonio and this high school guy sat down next to me. I asked him for recommendations of things to do for fun around there. After we talked for awhile, I asked him if he ever went to church … he already seemed pretty comfortable, so it wasn't an awkward thing. It's really all about your attitude in approaching the subject. Often after talking to someone for a while, I'll say, "So, are you religious or spiritual at all?" This is very unintimidating, especially in the coffee shop atmosphere.
  3. Find a tract that you like and give it to people who you don't have time to talk with. When you leave a restaurant, if you have been kind to the waiter, leave one on the table with a generous tip or at least 15 percent! (If you can't give at least 15 percent, you shouldn't leave a tract. If you leave none, it is an insult and a financial burden on the waiter.) Give them to parking attendants … they have a lot of extra time on their hands and I'm sure they'd love to have something to read. Or, I know this sounds crazy, but leave one in the bathroom … you never know who might pick it up and read it.
Aside: One time, I went to a costume party dressed up like a monk—I was Mandy the Monkess—and I gave out tracts as part of my persona. No one was offended, and the amazing thing was that at the end of the night, there were none left around on the floor.