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Growing in faith and service through practical theological study

“Last year I had a serious injury, meaning I was no longer able to pursue barbering, the career I had been working towards.”

With an uncertain future, and certain types of work ruled out, Gordon Venter says he was, “lamenting and unsure of what I’d do.”
 
After an experience with the ministry Student Life he began to look at his situation differently, and examine his heart and what God was teaching him during this time. He started to ask, “God, what do you want from me?”
 
God spoke to him through his Word during this time of suffering, and Gordon became deeply convicted about being obedient to the call of the Great Commission in Matthew 28.
 
Walking alongside Gordon during this time was the Northcross Church whānau in Auckland.
 
When Associate Pastor Hangyul Cho recommended a Diploma in Christian Studies through Pathways College, Gordon took it as an opportunity to “ground myself pretty well theologically, and spend 12 months cementing spiritual disciplines.”
 
Gordon asked himself, ‘How best can I use these next years to serve God?”
 
Han says Northcross Church sees the internship opportunity as a win-win-win.

“It’s a win for the individual as it helps set them up with a firm foundation for the rest of their life, whether they decide to head into full-time Christian service or not; it’s a win for the church as we are encouraged seeing the intern grow in their gifts, and in Gordon’s case stepping up into further leadership roles; and it’s a win for the gospel going out, as we have more people passionate about spreading the good news.” 

Gordon (seated) being prayed for by Hangyul Cho (right of Gordon) and ministry leaders at Northcross Church. 

Han himself benefitted from studying and interning with Pathways College back in 2011 and believes it can be a significant time in a person’s life. 
 
Gordon’s study through Pathways College is 50% an internship at Northcross Church, and 50% study. Interns spend six weeks in block courses studying theology, and in between times get to serve and learn alongside their church family in the areas that they are most passionate about. 
 
And Gordon says he has really benefitted from learning from his local church: “what better way to steal time with some of the wisest people in my church and learn from them?”
 
His internship involves being at the church five days a week, and as part of his internship he was involved in organising a recent worship and prayer night—combining his passion for music and seeing people from different generations come together as a result of their faith in Jesus.

Gordon (on the box drum) was one of the organisers of this worship and prayer night. 

Northcross Church has appreciated having members intern with the church, through the Pathways programme, for the past 20 years or so.
 
Being a part of the Northcross team has been really instructive for Gordon, “even though I’m relatively young, my ideas and thoughts are valued.... it’s a joy to be part of a community of people who are intentional in their walk with God.”  
 
While Gordon doesn’t know exactly what he’ll be doing in the future, he’s keen to use the gifts he has been given to serve God in his local church and beyond.
 
If you’d like to know more about how 3TRUSTS Scholarships can support your church to be training leaders, or if you are serving in a CCCNZ/OBH church and would like to talk more about undertaking theological study at any level chat to Liz Hodge.  



 

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