Hi, I’m Paul. This little blurb is to give some context for who I am and what I am about.
First off, 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. Our son and his family of three children once came to visit and stayed nine months. Loved it!
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’ve been serving 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 has been profound, from a church of 90% over 60 to 90% under sixty, with a strong youth ministry, and growing number of families. We make space for young leaders, and have seen a number moving into vocational ministry.
We know a lot about culture change and leading through transition and change from experience.
In 2017 it became clear it was time for our associate and youth pastor to transition into lead pastor. 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 prayer and the ministry of the word. 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 three main points.
One, for revival amongst believers of faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ as truth and grace that fills our life with faith, hope and love; and revival of spiritual passion for lost to come home. I love the prodigal story, it is significant for the season the church is in.
Two, for a new wave of leaders to arise and shine as sent into the world, who go further and see more of God’s kingdom coming on earth through the church. I live to invest in the generations and will always champion young leaders.
Three, to be a ‘father’ in the church, bringing clear thinking from the truth of the gospel, helping in problem solving, and to coach leadership, vision and culture change. 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, and the household of praise, 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 the strategic mission to all people.
And now for the more mundane overview.
1998 -2018 – Lead Minister of Unite Church Nelson. Formerly Nelson Church of Christ.
As mentioned above Unite transitioned from 90% seniors to a all generation church, with a large youth ministry. We followed a 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 weekly.
We also added staff and currently have 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.
- Member Christian Churches of New Zealand National leadership Team from 2008 to 2018.
- Christian Churches of New Zealand representative on UCANZ (Uniting Congregations of New Zealand)
- Board member for Bishopdale Theological College, A Nelson Anglican Diocese Venture.
- Part-time lecturer Annesbrook Leadership College.
- Three year term as Trustee Nelson College (State School), great opportunity in governance.
- 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.
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, in both cases I was the minister.
- I entered pastoral ministry in 1981 and was ordained ministry with Church of the Nazarene in 1984. From February to June 1981 I served as assistant pastor of Strathmore Park Church of the Nazarene in Wellington, from July as minister of Whangarei Church of the Nazarene.
- In 1985 I became minister at Wainuiomata Church of the Nazarene.
- We had our Rebekah in Whangarei in 1983, Sarah in Wainuiomata in 1985, followed by Josiah in 1987, and Elijah in Christchurch in 1989. That’s four children, I can count; and we currently have five grandchildren, three boys and two girls, to be updated.
- While minister in Wainuiomata, after completing the Open Air Campiagners School of Evangelism, 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.
For my finale. In 2017 I was privileged to attend a conference at Church of the Highlands in Alabama, USA. I added little trip to the Grand Canyon and walked to the bottom and back in a day. Here I am looking over the Grand Canyon.