A blog focused on seeking truth that empowers each of us to make choices consistent with truth, enabling us to live from conviction with confidence in uncertainty. The truth is always true; and is seen and discovered in the person Jesus Christ.
Hi, I’m Paul. This little blurb is to give some context for who I am and what I am about.
I’ve been married to Grace since 1981, love you Grace, thanks for saying yes. I met Grace in Brisbane when I was studying at the Nazarene Theological College there.
We’re empty-nesters who love to have family visit. We have four children and a growing number of grand-children, seven; the last born April 2019.
Now it’s just the two of us, and we love following Jesus, serving his church, loving our family and adventuring through life together.
Since 1998 we served God as ministry leaders at what is now Unite Church in Nelson, New Zealand. I’ve been the paid one but Grace is fully part of the journey. This has been special and challenging in many ways. The church transition and growth has been profound, from a church of 90% over 60 to 90% under sixty, with a strong youth ministry, and growing number of families. Consequently, we know about culture change and leading through transition and change from experience. I can help with the strategic alignment of people and resource aligned with the vision of worship and witness.
In 2017 God made it clear that it was time for our associate and youth pastor to transition into lead pastor; the transition was completed on 27th January 2019.
God is saying that as I move out of my leadership role he is pruning my life and ministry along the pattern of John 15, and that I will see more fruit from less breadth of activity. He is calling me to give my attention to continual prayer and the ministry of the word. (Acts 6:4) I’ve always prayed, read, studied and preached the bible; now the Spirit is leading me to a deeper rest and active engagement in prayer and the ministry of the word.
My internal engine is knowing Jesus Christ, prayer and word , fellowship with the Holy Spirit; and God stories from people around me.
My focus has these main points.
Prayer for revival among believers of faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ as the truth and grace that fill life with faith, hope and love; and revival of spiritual passion for lost to come home. One with Jesus intercession.
To be a ‘father’ in the church, bringing clear thinking from the truth of the gospel, helping in problem solving, and mentoring leadership, vision and culture change. To invest in the generations and champion new generations of leaders.
To see the unity of Christ and the Spirit grow in our reality as church. I want to be part of the Spirit’s moving.
To be part of a Spirit-led disciple-making-movement that runs ahead of institutional structure.
My role is to break through the enemies deceptions and bring the saving healing grace of Jesus Christ, with focused and strategic alignment. I see the church flourishing in the tension of white-hot faith in supernatural expectation and pragmatic adaptive effective strategy, structure, and system.
I know how to live in the paradox between organic and organised church; and see church as the radiant bride of Christ, the working body, the connected family, on mission as Jesus ambassadors. As Jesus left the ninety-nine for the one, so we hold the tension of being the spiritual house of prayer, and heavens strategic mission to all people.
And now for the more mundane overview.
Paul served as minister in charge of Victory Community Church in Nelson for one year, from 1st July 2020. This is part of Nelson Anglican Diocese. http://www.victorychurch.org.nz/
I began 2019 with a revival prayer ride (motorcycle) around New Zealand from January 28th – February 25th. Travelling and praying for our Jesus church across our nation from north to south, east to west. I’ve written up the prayers the Holy Spirit gave me as blog posts, you can check them out here: http://chasingtruth.nz/category/blogs/
Grace and I spent several months during 2019 with Inspire Church in Amberley, and later that year with the Church of the Nazarene in Dargaville. We traveled from Nelson to Bluff, then to Cape Reinga. God was faithful in his provision of all our needs throughout this time.
As mentioned above Unite transitioned from 90% seniors (most over 70) to an all generation church, with a large youth ministry. We followed the prophetic picture of a new tree growing up alongside the old. The journey consisted of planting a second service on Sunday mornings with new ethos and style; and then establishing a youth service on Friday nights. At times we had over 300 attending services weekly.
We also added staff and in 2019 there were 2 fulltime and 2 part-time staff. Unite is a board (elder) led church, with the minister as an equal elder.
Additional responsibilities held from time to time in this season.
Two trips to Vanuatu. First in 2012 visiting churches on island of Pentecost, and teaching a week long class in Luganville. Second in 2016 as Bible Speaker at combined Churches of Christ Conference in Port Vila.
·Christian Churches of New Zealand representative on UCANZ for a number of years. (Uniting Congregations of New Zealand)
·Part-Time lecturer at Bible College of New Zealand’s Nelson Campus, now Laidlaw College.
·Chairperson Board Bible College of New Zealand Nelson Campus. The campus was closed by decision in Auckland a number of years ago as part of national re-structure.
1994 -1998 – Part-time Minister Hanmer Springs Presbyterian parish.
·Hanmer is a tourist town with a permanent population of around 700 and over 500,000 visitors per year.
·During this time I completed a Bachelor of Business Studies (Communication Management) with Massey University.
1991 – 1994 – I spent three years not in full-time ministry.
·During this time we served Nova Shalom, now 2=1, as coaches.
1988 – 1991 – Associate Pastor in Celebration Centre, Christchurch, New Zealand.
1981 – 1988 – I served with the Church of the Nazarene, first in Whangarei and then in Wainuiomata
I entered pastoral ministry in 1981 as assistant pastor of Strathmore Park Church of the Nazarene in Wellington and from July 1981 – August 1984 I served as sole minister of Whangarei Church of the Nazarene as a licensed minister.
In January 1984 I was ordained as an Elder within Church of the Nazarene at their annual District Assembly.
In February 1985 I became minister at Wainuiomata Church of the Nazarene. While minister in Wainuiomata, after completing the Open Air Campiagners School of Evangelism in February 1987, I served with the Open Air Campaigners team in Wellington for two years as a volunteer.
1978 – 1980 – Three years full-time study at Nazarene Theological College, Brisbane, Australia.
Back in time I went to Mount Albert Grammar School in Auckland, I did all science subjects, and started work with Farmers Trading Company before heading off to Bible College. For that one person who is interested, I played a lot of rugby and a little basketball.