Associate Pastor - Discipleship & Youth
A Brief Intro:
Kia Ora. I’m so fortunate to be married to Breana and Dad to Azariah and Jonah. I grew up here in the mighty Bay of Plenty. While we spent some time in the wilderness of Tāmaki Makarau following Christ’s call, we are grateful he has called us home! I grew up on boogie boarding down the Kaituna, boarding down Ruapehu, fishing at the Maketu cut, trying to be Andrew Merhtens at Te Puke High and claim to have bowled Kane Williamson out twice… when he was 14. I came to know Jesus as a teenager and despite being (as my wife would attest) a deeply flawed individual have never looked back.
What do you enjoy about your role
I’m super relational! I love drinking coffee and hanging out with people, hearing their stories and over time seeing them realize their potential. Perhaps this is why I love our rangatahi so much. They are often so raw and yet designed with purpose and intentionality! As I’ve got older and (debatably) wiser, I’ve seen this transition beyond the individual but to the community, in our case the purpose and plan for the body of Christ, and seeing this called community journey together, collectively realizing their potential and allowing Christ to work through us.
Favourite scripture or story?
As a Pastor am I allowed to have a favourite??? I guess I can share a few that have really shaped me and my faith journey. I think two that really call to me are John 4. The woman at the well is so jam-packed full of absolute gold. That the woman, misunderstood and cast aside, meet’s Jesus, who truly took time and knew her. We all want to be known and you can see this woman’s realization of just who this man is and that this man, the Christ truly see’s and knows her. And then this man, God offers her eternal life, and not a life that begins upon our earthly demise, but he offers an eternal life that starts right now, overwhelming and overflowing like a perpetual spring! The fact that Christ sees me, knows me and offers me this eternal life… just wow!
The second has been Ezekiel 37 – the valley of dry bones. My first experience of ‘Church’ set the scene I guess, I was once told by a well-respected older gentleman (who absolutely loved Jesus!) was that “youth were meant to be seen and not heard”. In my young brash Youth Pastor-ness I took issue with this realizing Jesus had a youth group! Young people who changed the world so much we still talk about and follow their teaching today! Ezekiel saw what would happen to the people of God when the they request the Holy Spirit move and fill them and bring a new, eternal life. Unfortunately, youth were seen as a whole generation with not much to offer, a bunch of useless bones, my holy discontent whispered otherwise, that they, when empowered and filled with the Holy Spirit
What you love about GSB
I’m fortunate that I got to work with Colin prior to Golden Sands even existing. I remember sitting with babyface Colin, fresh out of bible college Colin, and we would talk about what GSB would become. I’d hear his dreams and vision. For a Church that empowered the entire community of believers. Where there was opportunity to be heard, a community you could contrast with and yet belong to. A community that wouldn’t allow itself to become content but consistently ask the question about where Christ was leading us. Prior to moving back to the Bay I was again sitting and talking to Colin and asking, where is that Colin from those years ago? Is he still there? Has the Church followed that original call and vision? Are you healthy? And Colin was able to affirm positively all these questions. To be a part of a Church that is listening, to God, journeying together and allowing Christ to challenge us, and welcome me and my family in and journey with us, well I love that!