The Rev. Geoff New is the minister of Papakura East & Hunua Presbyterian church and has been there since 1997. Geoff is married to Ruth. They have three children, Rebekah, Josiah and Luke.
Before ordained ministry, Geoff worked for the Dept of Labour and Housing Corporation in employment and HR. He studied for a Bachelor of Ministries at the Bible College of NZ (now Laidlaw) and then for two years at Knox College (Dunedin) for ordination studies.
He served as a Police chaplain for five years in the Counties-Manukau Police district and lectured in preaching at the Bible College of NZ for several years. Geoff’s passion in ministry is preaching and is currently studying for a Doctor of Ministry with preaching as the focus.
He has been especially influenced by the writings of Henri Nouwen and Eugene Peterson.
He enjoys movies, indoor rowing, silent retreats, connecting with God on a beach and blobbing with his family.
Geoff is enrolled in the Australian College of Theology’s Doctor of Ministry programme. His sponsoring college is Laidlaw-Carey Post-graduate School. Having completed the course work, his proposal for the major thesis was approved at the beginning of 2009.
In response to contemporary challenges facing preaching, including a longstanding and widespread call for the use of the imagination in preaching – Geoff is exploring the place of two ancient approaches to reading Scripture and praying. These two approaches are lectio divina and Ignatian Gospel meditation.
Both approaches invite deep engagement with the Scriptures and reliance on the Spirit. They also stand with the best of historical-grammatical exegesis. As part of the research, a small group of preachers will utilise lectio divina and Ignatian Gospel meditation as a regular part of their preparation for the text at hand. It is hoped that this will enhance a sense of personal authenticity in preaching; a prophetic edge to sermon content; an increased reliance on the work of the Spirit during sermon preparation; and the development of imagination in this ministry. The main potential significance is that preachers might experience a new sense of God’s enablement and creativity in their preaching.
The following is an extract from Geoff's list acknowledgments at the front of his completed thesis.
Rev John Fairbrother, the board and staff of Vaughan Park Anglican Retreat Centre - your gift of three months residency to study was literally life changing. The space you created, nurtured and protected was profound. The discernment and sensitivity accorded to me during my stay was Christlike. Few things in life exceed expectations - but your scholarship programme is out of this world and a foretaste of heaven!