In 2007 we took a big risk and moved to New Zealand from the USA to help start new churches. Raising kids and starting churches internationally is a beautiful mess of a life and we love it. All three of our kiddos were born in New Zealand. They're little kiwis! We desire to love God, to love each other, and to live in such a way that teaches our children to do the same.
Born: August 22
Raised: St. Louis, MO & Cincinnati, OH
Educated: Kentucky Christian University (1998-2002); Vision College: Christchurch, NZ (2014); Laidlaw College: Auckland, NZ (2016-present).
Roles: Husband, father, worship leader, church planter, songwriter, student, counsellor in training.
Likes: Running, basketball, photography, Apple, coffee, Crowder, Piper, Coldplay...
Born: November 5
Raised: Zanesville, OH
Educated: Kentucky Christian University (1998-2002)
Roles: Wife, mother, volunteer and graphic designer
Likes: Photography, efficiency, coffee, quality time, dark chocolate, research, the colour white, the colour gray, healthy living, living in New Zealand...
What We're Doing
Our goal in New Zealand is to plant healthy new Christian churches for people who are far from God. That dream became a reality when we started Rechurch in the city of Christchurch. After one successful church plant, three kids, and four major earthquakes, a new adventure awaits us.
We believe that New Zealand is exactly where God wants to use us for His purposes. We are now setting our sights on a new and growing area of Auckland, NZ's largest city, with the aim of launching a church there by 2019/2020. It’s thrilling and terrifying. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
The Kiwis (New Zealanders)
Much like the USA, New Zealand is a multi-cultural, post-modern, post-Christian, first-world nation. The intensity of these elements in New Zealand society are perhaps much greater in this island nation due to it’s small size and close proximity of people groups. The city of Auckland is an extreme example of such concentration. There are more people groups in this city of 1.5 million than there are countries in the entire world. The city is now more diverse than London.
The post-modern way of thinking (i.e., “what’s true for you isn’t necessarily true for me;” the assumption that there is no absolute truth) makes it very tricky territory for church planters. Our goal is to plant churches that focus on creating laid-back and non-threateningenvironments where post-modern thinkers can explore a biblical faith in Jesus Christ. Quick conversions and fast church growth are rare in such a society. It takes a long-term commitment to relationship building to see disciple-making fruit in New Zealand, But when it comes, true disciples are born. Other barriers to faith include the busyness and materialism that comes with the culture of most first-world western nations, and Auckland is no exception. Pray for us as we work to plant culturally relevant and biblically faithful churches in New Zealand.
In 2017 North Terrace Church of Christ became our sponsoring church. Previously with a missions organisation called South Pacific Christian Fellowship, we were given the option to become officially sponsored by a supporting church rather than incurring costly administrative fees when SPCF merged with another larger organisation. Graciously, Whitney's home church has answered the call.
North Terrace, a restoration movement Christian Church, is located in Zanesville, OH, USA. They receive our funds, transfer them to our non-profit in New Zealand, provide us with financial oversight and accountability, and provide tax-deductible donation receipts to all who donate to us without charging any fees. While we remain in good standing with SPCF and intend to collaborate with them in our church planting endeavours, we are now technically under the NTCOC umbrella regarding our funding. This is why donations now need to be made in the name of NTCOC but checks are still sent to Alison, our forwarding agent. North Terrace is a wonderful, faithful church without whom we could not do what we do as church planters in New Zealand.
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Prayer is vital to what we do. It helps us stay focused on what God asks us to do. It helps us love people who don’t love us. It helps us become better people and better parents. Everyday.
Our financial partners enable us to focus full-time on ministering to and connecting with the people of New Zealand. They also enable our church to continue operating without the financial burden of paying a ministerial salary.