Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Today is dedicated to my calling and return to New Zealand. i meet with Jeff Fussner and Josh Bowlin today to discuss some of these issues and will spend the rest of the day in prayer and reading. Your prayer support is huge and appreciated today!
I have to report to the Wesleyan church what is going on in my life and ministry on a regular basis. here is a big recap of my ministry over the past few months that i just emailed to them if you are interested.

My 6 month journey to New Zealand is coming to a close. My flight heads back to the US July 14. It has been a full and amazing time for me in New Zealand. I am currently looking to return to the US to raise money for another 2 year commitment of ministry to the Wesleyan Church in New Zealand through Global Partners. I have been actively shaping what my role would look like in the local churches of New Zealand and the national Wesleyan church. I have met with Jeff Fussner(Pacific Wesleyan District Superintendent) multiple times, Richard Waugh(Director of Wesleyan Methodist Church), and other local church pastors and youth pastors including Brett Jones(Cession Community), Josh Bowlin(Global Partners Missionary at Papakura), Geoff Davies(Wesleyan NZ Youth Coordinator) and Mike Yates(ShoreGrace ) to discuss what this might look like. I have a passion especially for young adults and singles who are searching for community. It is also a personal need, but it has been a desire and calling for awhile to pursue what it might look like for me to work in an active role with young adults. This would include planning activities, resourcing churches, mentoring, and helping to form small groups where needed. But that is all future planning and looking ahead and dreaming. I still have a love for youth and the church as a whole. I think i will always be a senior pastor at heart. I have just found that single young adults have especially been on my heart for the past few years and i have not taken the steps to pursue that calling until this time. But enough about my future. What has happened. My time in New Zealand has been amazing and full. I did not understand the momentous task i undertook coming over and basically working in a bi-vocational position. Between work, youth, church involvement, travel, and other friendships my life has been nonstop! Below is a loose schedule of what my life looked like with the church. I took 4 1/2 weeks off to travel over the last 3 months. 2 weeks to travel the South Island of New Zealand and 2 1/2 to travel Australia. I attended church during those travel times including an Anglican service and a night service at Hillsong in Australia. Both were very memorable experiences. I will Highlight the special events during these last three months before the calendar since there is a lot there. Also, i arrived in New Zealand December 30 2006 and have devoted myself to ShoreGrace until i leave July 14, 2007. My role at ShoreGrace has been a completely volunteer role and i have loved every minute of being able to give myself without asking for anything in return.

The Laundromat was our teen formed bible study inspired by the first NZ Wesleyan youth camp. A few of the teens started to meet together to share their life experiences and issues. The name came from the idea of clothes rubbing against each other to become clean. This became small group that discussed different issues while being led by a chapter they had read collectively in the Bible each week starting with James. A lot of prayer and good conversations came from this.

Camping Trip:
Me and two other girl volunteers were able to take 6 teens camping for a weekend. Everything that went wrong could including a van breaking down, not making it out to the intended camp ground, and one of the biggest guy tents blowing over and getting a whole in it on a rainy night. God redeemed it though. A few of the teens commented it was an amazing weekend. During this time we were able to pray together and look especially at priorities and where our focus should be. The conversation centered around the question: "what would you do if you were given only 24 hours to live?"

Wesleyan Wide Capture the Flag:
I was able to coordinate a Capture the Flag night with the help of Geoff Davies and Josh Bowlin. This incorporated 4 of the different Wesleyan churches, 50 teens, and young adults from the different churches who helped make the event run smoothly. It was a fun night to connect a few of the different churches!

Church Visitation:
Since our service was on Sunday nights, i took the teens in pairs and dropped them off at different churches for a Sunday morning service. They were given the option of going to the main service or teen service. Afterwards we regrouped and discussed what it was like being the outsider, what they learned, and how that church best showed them the love of Christ as visitors(the answer being those who were the most hospitable and welcoming)

Youth Band:
With the help of my travel companion Dan who is great at the drums and been involved in many worship bands, we have been able to group the teens together and help them practice and start to teach them what it means to lead worship through music. It has been a good time to teach the teens a skill while teaching them valuable lessons about leading worship and stretching them to be on stage in front of the church and their families to lead.

I have absolutely loved my down time. I have been especially blessed to have time to journal, search, explore, and find God through this time in my life. I have been working out a lot of my personal views, personal calling, and what it means to be God focused on the things that are unseen and don't perish (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

Film Project:
Sooner or later you are bound to have ideas that flop. This film project was one of those. The teens casually got together to put 10 minute short films together for a showing on a Friday night, but the task ended up being too big. It could've been the size of the task, lack of coordinated, or the teens being too busy but time was spent with the teens and lessons were learned in the process!

Random Conversations:
I had one teen from work say she believed in God after i had talked to her and am in the process of following up. Had another non-Christian worker call and want to talk because he had an encounter with the Lord. I have had conversations with many people at the restaurant i worked at for 4 months as well. There have been miracles, conversations, and truth spoken in to people's lives!

Facilitated Laundromat- (Wednesday Night Bible Study)
Planned and Led Fusion- (Friday Night Teen Meetings)
ShoreGrace Picnic with teens
3 Day Camping Trip
Movie Project(last effort)
Youth Sunday- Youth band and spoke
Teen Church Visitation on Sunday Morning

Facilitated Laundromat- (Wednesday Night Bible Study)
Planned and Led Fusion- (Friday Night Teen Meetings)
Traveled South Island for two weeks
A lot of Journaling and sermon preparation
Preached on Sunday Service
Continued to plan weekly Sunday night discussions for teen breakout.

Wesleyan Wide Capture the Flag!
Led Worship for two weeks straight.
Planned and led youth band
Discipleship as i met and talked with some of the teen leaders on a casual basis
Support of Teens through Sports games- rugby, soccer, etc.

Youth Movie Night
Supporting Teens Sporting Events
Preparing adult leaders as i prepare to leave
Visited annual Wesleyan Family Camp in Taupo
Took two and a half weeks to travel Australia
Planning and beginning to plan what it will look like for me to return.
Teaching on Sundays
Meeting with different pastors discussing return.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Brent,
You forgot to add your Camp Leadership role with mentoring a cabin of teens at IGNITE (Feb 07)

I am so excited that you are mapping out your 2 year time commitment back in NZ.

Talk to you soon buddy