Kia ora koutou! If I haven’t yet met you in person, it’s my hope that over the coming months, I’ll have the opportunity to do so. But following on from Colin’s post a few days ago, I thought I’d post a brief introduction for those who don’t know me.
I’m 38, married to Suzanna for 14 years, with a 10 year old permanent foster daughter. We’ve lived in Whanganui for 6 years, where I am Senior Pastor at Central Baptist Church and Suzanna is Office Manager. Prior to Whanganui, we lived in Auckland for 6 years where I was first involved in sales/management training and recruitment. I then spent 3 years studying at Carey Baptist College, where I completed a Bachelor of Applied Theology and a Diploma in Pastoral Leadership. Suzanna and I met and married in Wellington, where I spent 6 years in sales management and marketing; I began my sales career in Te Awamutu where I completed my secondary schooling. The first 12 years of my life were spent in North Otago and South Canterbury, and to this day I’m a Mainlander at heart!
When it comes to ministry, I’ve never gone looking for anything. The call of God into church ministry found me in the midst of the GFC (Global Financial Crisis) when my business was rapidly sinking. Equally, the call of Christ to labour for unity came in the context of God having thoroughly broken my heart for Whanganui, even before we knew we were going to live here! Within 5 months of being in the city, I’d been asked to lead the Church Leaders network. At that time I declined, but the call didn’t leave – I have been leading the Whanganui Christian Leaders Association now for over 3 years.
It should be noted that I’m not a Baptist. At least, while the Baptist Union of NZ is my hapu, the churches of Whanganui are my whanau and the Body of Christ is my iwi! I was christened Presbyterian and have since been involved in New Life, Anglican, Presbyterian, Open Brethren, Assemblies of God, and Baptist churches. I’m something of a denominational patchwork quilt, but my varied experiences have led me to love the whole breadth of the Body of Christ. I value the different emphases and strengths in each of the denominations!
God has gripped my heart with the cause of unity. His heart beats for our cities, towns and regions – He sees the pain and longs to minister His love and grace to the lost, last, and least. And He longs to do this through His church. The whole church – which is all of us. I’m convinced that the prayer Jesus prayed in John 17 is a prayer He continues to pray at the right hand of our Father today – that we would be one, as He and His Father are one.
So I’m excited to be involved with City by City and Movement Day in Aotearoa. I count it a genuine privilege to serve the cause of unity across the nation, so that our cities, towns and regions might be transformed by the Gospel of Christ.
I look forward to getting to know you all as we follow Jesus on this tremendous journey!