Ministry Call: Called for a Purpose
I live in Gore, New Zealand, with my wife and four children, and I have a ministry call from God. I didn’t grow up in a Christian home, but I did have amazing Christian grandparents who occasionally took me to church. Despite this, I did my fair share of rebelling.
In my late teens, a friend invited me to a Christian camp, and I went to find a girlfriend and some great waves to surf. However, it turned my life around. It was at that camp that God arrested me for His purposes. I had a personal encounter with not just the Saviour of the world but with “my Saviour” Jesus Christ as I responded to the altar call given by the camp’s evangelist.
My Call to the Ministry
God began to call me into the ministry at 20 years of age – more than two decades ago. During my first year of Bible college, I preached as part of a church service run by the students. This opportunity was one of the critical moments of my life. At that camp, church leadership recognized the call upon my life. It was also the moment that the call to ministry began to awaken within me.
For a few years, I zealously pursued that call, preaching at every opportunity I could get. However, that changed when our first son was born. We realized that he had high special needs (autism/global development delay/cerebral palsy). So, a sudden and dramatic change took place in our family dynamics. It also affected the road that we would travel towards the ministry.
Back to My Ministry Call
For some over the years, it seemed that this one factor alone of having a special needs child disqualified me from ministry – at least conventionally speaking. For many, the ministry seemed like nothing more than a pipe dream, not because of my character, ability or calling, but instead my son’s disability.
However, two decades on, after several detours and many of life’s most challenging tests along the way, that call just won’t let me go. I am now middle-aged but more determined than ever to pursue that for which Christ has taken hold of me (Phil 3:12). So, even though my ministry isn’t quite the same as I envisaged initially, I preach the gospel and teach the Word of God with all that is in me.
New Zealand Challenges
In New Zealand, we enjoy great freedom to “have church.” There is no shortage of churches spread across our nation. Someone might, therefore, conclude that “doing ministry” in New Zealand is easy. However, it has become increasingly unpopular and challenging to uphold timeless biblical truths. This nation has also become increasingly irreligious.
It seems that the Bible that is worth more than all books ever written combined is yet again discarded and belittled. This action is done in the light of “higher” learning and the latest philosophies, not just in the marketplace, but also in churches. As a literacy educator, I am acutely aware that Bible literacy in New Zealand is at an all-time low within my lifetime.
My Ministry Dream
My dream is to start a ministry that encourages believers locally and internationally. They can grow in Christ, become more Biblically literate, and become established and grounded in the faith. I want to get free Christian resources to those who don’t have access to the internet or sound biblical teaching. I also have a passion for planting churches. So, I’m trusting in God’s timing and wisdom in spite of the current dynamics of our family, which I believe God will use for His glory.
One of the biggest challenges facing the Church here in New Zealand and the West is the current attack on the truth, the gospel, and the basic tenets of the Christian faith. More than ever, there is an overwhelming call for Christian leaders (in particular pastors and teachers) to boldly proclaim the gospel truth and reassert the basic tenets of the Christian faith.
Ministry Training at CLI
The training I am receiving at Christian Leaders Institute is vital for my ministry dream. Many times I walked away from financial opportunities to pursue the call to ministry. Especially as I also needed to provide specialized care to our eldest son. Therefore, the free training is crucial. Our son’s needs have meant that our family’s time and money are stretched more than I could have ever imagined.
At this stage in my life, it felt impossible to see how I could retrain for the ministry and study some of the specialized subjects offered by CLI. These subjects will be vital in the ministry that God has called me to do. Today, I have more passion than ever to fulfill my calling. I am so thankful to have discovered this opportunity with CLI. It’s hard to imagine that anything else would have worked for me at this stage given our circumstances.
Ordination and Prayer Request
The Deacon Minister ordination with Christian Leaders Alliance is another blessing CLI has brought. With this ordination, I can move forward in my ministry.
I am grateful to have a wife who encourages me to be the best me and keep the dream alive. Further thanks are for my friends in ministry that inspire me and believe in me. Please, pray that God will open doors of ministry as I pursue Him and seek His wisdom in the ministry.
My greatest desire is to be used by God to raise up a generation who finish what they start. Then they can finish well and end strong; a generation who fight the good fight of faith, upholding the truth and standing the test of time.