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My Journey to here

Written by

Pastor Tim Brown

About author

Pastor Tim Brown is our Campus Pastor at Rototuna North. Tim is passionate about helping people understand there is more to life, there is freedom through Jesus and He takes that weight.
With Tim's love for people and love for Jesus he leads a great ministry.

My Journey to Here

Pastor Tim Brown

It was February 2001 and I remember sitting on my bed at home on the dairy farm I was working on, knowing in that moment that Jesus was real and that I was sick of doing life my own way. I had no idea how or what to say, but I closed my eyes and prayed something of what I’d now call a ‘Salvation Prayer’ to God.


Leading up to that prayer, I was 21 and life had been good. I had an amazing family, amazing friends, and a great job with awesome people to work with. However, in that year I had felt desperately lonely. I felt discontented and I lived with a nagging feeling that there had to be more to life than this. My need for God wasn’t birthed out of a desperate situation or a tragic upbringing, instead it was in response to what I call a ‘divine discontentment’ and a vague feeling that God was calling me.


Two months before that moment on my bed, I was invited to go camping for 10 days at Lake Tarawera with a large group of friends. One of them was bringing 3 of his female cousins, and all I knew about these girls was that they were about my age and that they grew up in a missionary family from Botswana. In the back of my mind, I knew it probably meant they were Christians. I was excited to go camping with friends and extra excited about the girls coming, because I was a single guy and they were single girls so maybe there was potential for some sort of relationship to develop! I think I had convinced myself the loneliness and discontentment I was feeling was because I was single and had no one to share my life with.


Although I became friends with these girls, I was disappointed that no romantic relationship started. But they were missionary kids who were indeed Christians, and I got something much better than a romantic relationship - I got a firsthand look at Christians living lives that weren’t lonely, empty and purposeless like I had felt that past year.


I remember one of the last nights of that trip at about 11pm, I was sitting at a picnic table chatting with one of the girls Aimee, when one of our friends came and joined us. He was very drunk, but he was sad drunk not happy drunk. She graciously shared Gods love with him and despite not being a Christian, I found myself agreeing with her and even telling him he should give church a go. After our drunk friend went to bed, Aimee looked at me and said “what about you then?”. I can’t remember what I said but I do remember the overwhelming feeling that maybe this Christianity thing was something I should investigate - especially after spending a week with Aimee and her sisters and seeing how much different life could be.

After the trip, the girls went back to Botswana. I decided the best thing I could do was connect with a Christian friend of mine who lived on a neighbouring farm and start going to his church. I also started attending their life group. The church was a little rural Brethren church in Orini and it was very different to Activate, but the people were great and they helped me grow a lot in the year I attended.


I had a real passion for my newfound faith, the completely new life and freedom I was experiencing, and I felt very early on that God was calling me to something greater. So a year later, I decided to go all in and left farming to go to Bible College. Over the next six years I completed a Certificate in Christian Studies and a Diploma in Ministry at two different Bible Colleges and also started working full-time at a church as a Facilities Manager.


During this time, I also met and married Jems and we started our family. As much as I loved working for a church, with the financial responsibilities of a young family we made the difficult decision to temporarily step out of full-time ministry and go back farming for a season. I believed this would last about 2-4 years and then we’d be back in ministry, but God had different plans and was 9 years before anything changed.


It was a long season away from Bible College and Ministry, and I started to believe that I had somehow disqualified myself from the call God had for my life. However the truth was, I learnt more about God and myself over those 9 years farming than I ever did at Bible College or while working in a church. God showed me that His call is not a ‘position’, and that when I was farming I was still in full-time ministry as I could share His love and pastor people no matter what I was doing.


In 2016 an opportunity came up at Activate Church as Kids leaders, so we did eventually leave the farm, and we spent 3 years leading Kids, Young Adults and the 0-30s ministry. Then, in 2019 Sheridyn and Jan asked us to lead an Activate Church campus. With much prayer and a lot of fear we agreed and became Campus Pastors at Activate Rototuna North, which is where we still are today.


If I could encourage you in any way, it would be we are all on a journey and every journey has seasons. Some are great and some not so great, some you feel like you’re in a great place with God, and other seasons you feel like your choices have disqualified you from what God has called you to.


If you’re not sure why you are where you are in this season right now, don’t worry, because it is probably a part of His plan. My prayer is that you will discover a great thing about the call on your life - that it’s found is God’s immense grace, and definitely NOT in your own ability to live ‘right’ or make it happen.


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