My journey to here
Rob Comez is the Technical Director at Activate and oversees the sound, lighting, camera and broadcast teams for our churches. A valued leader in our creative team, Rob carries a passion for creating great environments for people to encounter Jesus.
As a teenager, I had never been to church or heard about Jesus. I’m a born and bred Hamiltonian who grew up in a non-Christian family, with awesome parents and a sister that still lives locally. I think I was a typical teen with a passion for cars and gadgets. My dad taught me a lot; how to fix things ourselves was a biggie and if something could be put together then it could be pulled apart… and then put back together again.
When I left high school I worked full-time and had a great group of friends who hung out all the time and did what young adults do. Enjoying life, Burger King and rock climbing. After the summer of ‘98 one of those friends came back from holiday changed… He was talking about Jesus and that we needed to be saved. He had a certain glow about him, and we were all fascinated by the radical difference from how we knew him. Later I found out that he had been to a YWAM beach camp.
It was hard to avoid him and eventually some of my friends also “changed” their ways. They started hanging out in my mate’s garage which was converted to a Sleepout. I found myself there one night and he asked if he could pray for me. As soon as he asked, I felt super heavy and nervous. They turned some music on and began to pray to God. I’m not sure how long, maybe a few minutes, and then I began to feel such a warmth in my chest, and I started to cry, laugh, and shake. I didn’t know what was going on. My friend said to me “This is God, this is Jesus”. He led me in what I now know as a prayer of Salvation. Looking back now this was a massive supernatural encounter and there was no way I could ever deny that God existed.
The following months consisted of a few of us meeting up in the garage and worshipping and praying for each other. The room filled with the Presence of God each night and we were delivered and healed by Jesus. More and more of our friends were drawn in by our sudden change and they could see we were different. I dropped a lot of my bad teen habits and had a fresh outlook on life, the trees were greener, the sky was bluer, and I knew in my heart I was saved. In the end, about 10 of us met Jesus, and about 20 more heard about him. So, in my mates’ garage in 1999 at the age of 19, I met Jesus.
Since I didn’t know what church was, we used to just hang out in the garage but eventually, we started to attend church in town. After a while, as we made new friends and made good connections with people at the church, I met a guy who did Sound Production there. I found myself hanging with him during gatherings and found a passion for mixing the band. I loved helping create an atmosphere where people encounter God like I did. Through this, I became part of the music team and made a lot of new friends which I have to this day. I gradually became interested in all things ‘techie’ as there was always something to fix at a church, and as technology grew and changed so did I.
I had been serving on worship and production teams for many years before God challenged me. I was serving here at Activate when I started to feel like I needed to go overseas to upskill at a large international church. I umm’d and aah’d about for a while until one day I heard God say, “Why go there when I’ve placed you here?!” It was very clear what I needed to do from that point, so I put more of my time and energy into supporting the creative teams. At the time I was only volunteering but I found myself wanting to be involved more and more. I began helping the Worship Leader at the time with the technical side of things and started to sacrifice days off from my full-time job. I was offered some part-time hours at church and eventually, I left my full-time career in engineering trades.
Now, having been married to my wonderful wife Debbie for 19 years and with our teenage son Aston, I feel privileged to have been on staff at Activate for almost a decade - still helping create these spaces where people can encounter Jesus like I did. I love helping train up new people who have similar passions, and I’m excited to be involved with the development of the Activate Community Park project to help see this place become a hub where the church can support the communities of Hamilton for the next season.
I think if you have friends who haven’t met Jesus yet, just invite them to church. Or offer to pray for them. Because you never know what could happen.