Word of Life ministry entered New Zealand with the Bible Club program in 1981. Today, Dave Gow is the Field Coordinator serving alongside a management team with Nathan Martin & Scott Doddrell. In New Zealand, the ministry has always had its greatest strength in Local Church Ministry. With a vision to see ‘every young person in our nation impacted by the Gospel through a friend’ we focus heavily on leadership trainings and events that exist to promote Gospel advancing youth ministries.
In their effort to partner with local churches to ‘cultivate Gospel advancing youth ministries’ they utilise a range of the following ministries to achieve this:
- One on one ‘Advance’ Leadership Trainings
- Annual Leadership Conference
- Local Church Ministries – partnering with local churches to serve, support & strengthen
- Internships – To develop reproducing ministry leaders
- Youth Reachout – a three week mission trip for young people
- Gospel advancing events – ORIGIN, CONVERGE & YOUTH NIGHT
Currently, New Zealand is seeing a great excitement and buy in from youth ministries to pursue a Gospel advancing culture. Our greatest hindrance is not enough staff members in LCM to serve these churches effectively that desire growth. We have so many exciting opportunities before us, please join us in praying for more LCM staff to effectively fulfil these opportunities.
Situated in the South Pacific Ocean, 1600 kilometers southeast of Australia, the country of New Zealand consists of two large and several small islands. The land consists of 270,000 sq. km, which is rich and diverse with beautiful mountains, rivers, lakes, geysers and glaciers, as well as abundant forests and extraordinary fauna. The country is bound in a culture that is a mixture of European influences along with traditional Maori. New Zealanders, sometimes called "kiwis," are known to have a passion for sports, especially for the national game of rugby. In May 2018, McCrindle published The Faith and Belief in New Zealand Report. The report was commissioned by the Wilberforce Foundation. The results showed that more than half of New Zealanders (55%) do not identify with any main religion, indicating that New Zealand is a largely secular nation. The related infographic showed that, of the 33% who identified with Christianity, 16% were church-goers (attending at least monthly) and 9% were "Active Practisers" (described as "extremely involved").