The Good Soil Collective / Te Waka One Pai is a whanau of diverse Christian leaders who share a passion for mission and discipleship. We’re made up of church pastors, pioneering leaders, and everyday followers of Jesus, from different denominations and organisations.
Over the past few years a number of us started meeting over coffees and Thai food to have some honest chats about what we were seeing in our churches, and how we felt about it as leaders. Increasingly we sensed a growing discontent with the status quo of church in Aotearoa, and we began to have a shared realisation that a new movement of discipleship and mission was what New Zealand was desperately in need of.
Mike Breen once said “If you make disciples you always get the church, but if you focus on making the church, you rarely get disciples.” Slowly we all began to agree.
We prayed that the Holy Spirit might help us to birth a new thing in our Shaky Isles, and we felt a call towards unity, mission, and discipleship. And so, we committed to work together as the Good Soil Collective / Te Waka One Pai – a not-for-profit Charitable Trust (CC55829), dedicated to “cultivating a culture of mission and discipleship in Aotearoa”.
Why “Good Soil”?
In Mark 4:8 Jesus says “still other seed fell on good soil. It grew up and produced a crop 30, 60, or even 100 times more than the farmer planted.” Peter Drucker famously said “culture eats strategy for breakfast”, and so we think the first step towards seeing a disciple making movement take hold in New Zealand is for us to tend to the “soil” or culture in our communities, churches, cities, and country - so it can become Good Soil that’s as receptive as possible to the Good News.
We’re committed to learn from the experiences and processes that people beyond our shores have found to be fruitful in discipleship; but we also feel that for Aotearoa to see a far-reaching discipleship movement take root in our land, that we need to have deep indigenous and home-grown roots. That means we will take Maori perspectives seriously in the way we work, we’ll take into account the history and whakapapa of this land, and we’ll be attentive to any issues that are specifically “Kiwi” in nature.
A waka is a kind of Maori Canoe that requires all of those on board to pick up their respective oar (“kaihapai”) and each do their part to get the boat moving. This is exactly how we see the Good Soil Collective becoming a movement.
We’re passionately inter-denominational: We think that all tribes bring their unique flavour and perspective to mission and discipleship, and we work hard to make all parts of “the body” feel welcome to join us in what we do.
We think everyone has something to offer: We don’t believe in “second class citizens” at the Good Soil Collective. We think God creates everyone with unique talents, callings gifting’s and strengths – and so when it comes to discipleship and mission - everyone get’s to play.
We’re committed to fairness and equality: We believe that God wants to make space at His table for women and men, people of all ethnicities, cultures, and backgrounds. And so we make a concerted effort to create space for the leadership and perspectives of those who have often been overlooked.
Our training is led by practitioners: The people who lead out our coaching’s, trainings and workshops aren’t just thinkers and theorists – but real life practitioners who live lives committed to discipleship and mission. We’re not claiming to be perfect examples, but we are living examples!
We believe God’s mission moves towards the margins: It’s obvious that some churches and communities have more resources than others. ““Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.” And so wherever possible, we support the resourcing of communities and nations who wish to be part of a mission and discipleship movement, but require assistance.
Who's involved in the Good Soil Collective?
Most of those who offer their leadership in the Good Soil Collective / Te Waka One Pai do so on a voluntary basis. We’re a not-for-profit group, and we’re definitely not in it for the money. The work we do is overseen by our Oversight Team, who help make the decisions over what projects and training we take on. Currently our oversight board is made up of: Amy Page-Whiting, Spanky Moore, Gendy Thompson, Tim Bustin, Catherine Barker and Ellie Sanderson.
We also have a wider and much bigger Reference Group made up of of discipleship and mission practitioners that share in and shape the vision, direction and kaupapa of our movement/waka.