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.
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. 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 in 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.
1.Prayer for revival among 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.
2.For kingdom 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.
3.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.
4. See unity of Christ and the Spirit grow into our reality as church. I want to be part of the Spirit’s move.
5. 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, 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.
Been in a holding pattern and its over. New acceleration is coming, Airport, people coming, a revival ministry. (April 2015)
Re-positioning that would prepare us for expansion. Surprises, seeing unexpected come from people. (April 2015)
A steel fence has been around me, the fence is coming down, paths are opening up, opportunities are coming. As I head down a path it is swept clear before me. (May 2015)
I am an apostolic Father, about to enter a new kind of influence, a fathering role in a number of fellowships, teams going out. With a new prophetic grace that would break through hard places. (May 2015)
A transition begins. A Launching pad not only for the nation but internationally. Paul, you will have an audience in Asia, Singapore and Philippines you will be surprised at. You will transition from senior pastors and start some of that missionary work that’s in your hearts with other nations. (August 2015)
Even though it looks very scary and uncertain, once you take that step of faith step out and go it will be very easy, the burden is light. You will find more opportunity than what you think. You will have the ability to focus on one thing not a lot of things. Giving freedom to move in the things you enjoy. You are going to enjoy what God has for you because of the faithfulness you’ve had before. Your faithfulness will be rewarded with that with which God has got planned within you, giving you the joy and happiness you’ve known but in a greater magnitude as you move in the things of God. Let him be that into you that he’s always wanted to be but sometimes you’ve not had the time to be there for him, but now you will. (October 2018)
And now for the more mundane overview.
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’m currently writing up the prayers the Holy Spirit gave me as blog posts, you can check them out here: http://chasingtruth.nz/category/blogs/
Grace and spent several months during 2019 with Inspire Church in Amberley, and later in year with the Church of the Nazarene in Dargaville. We traveled from Nelson to Bluff to Cape Reinga. God was faithful is his provision for all our needs throughout this time.
As mentioned above Unite transitioned from 90% seniors (most over 70) 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.
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)
·Three year term as Trustee Nelson College (State School)
·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, 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 seven grandchildren, five 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.