Supporting Staff: As they start out in Frontiering and Pioneering Ministries
We are excited that Jonathan Thorpe, who has been serving as the Nelson City Leader, and has been with ISMNZ since the beginning, will be taking up the role of Ministry Development and Staff Support. He will be supporting field staff workers in new initiatives, as they start out in their ministry, and facilitating growth with other city leaders, in addition to his role as Nelson City Leader and as part of the National Leadership Team. Jonathan reflects about his new role and how God has brought him to this point.
When Allen Tie asked me if I would consider taking on the role of supporting staff, and pioneering ministry initiatives beyond Nelson I felt like I probably wasn't the best person for this job. However, as I have been thinking about it, I realise that over my short life span of 50 years, I have dreamt up, supported, been convicted to or stepped out into quite a few different ministry endeavours. The one I always tell people about is when my wife and I left our childhood home of the South Island to live in Hamilton the North Island... We joined the International home group at Hillcrest Baptist Church because we were "internationals". My poor wife has faithfully walked with me into many of these faith steps. Some have been pioneering, some just doing what many faithful servants have done before us... But the key thing I believe is that they have been steps of faith taken in response to a need that has been brought to our attention, and that we believed God had asked us to partner with him in filling.
Through this journey we have learned how God can use us despite our failings, how he takes our little steps of faith and blesses them, how he calls others with the same heart to work along side, and how he always provides sufficiently for His work.
It is a privilege and blessing therefore to be able to help others who are embarking on this journey to serve among international students as I have done. To hear how God has called them, and what he has placed on their heart, and to help with the outworking of that calling within the context of their ISMNZ and church communities to the glory of God.
Jonathan Thorpe Nelson City Leader, ISMNZ