Claire Williams on Why You Might Consider Being Part of a Church Plant

Claire Williams leads the Magnification ministry at City on a Hill in Wellington, New Zealand. She is doing a church planting internship with her husband Andy, who leads Membership. 

What are you thinking through theologically at the moment?

I’ve been thinking through the tone of our Sunday services, and how to get better at helping people really connect with God’s word on an emotional level. I don’t want to just copy the Pentecostal approach, so I’m trying to think about what is biblically, helpfully the right way to engage our affections on a Sunday – not just through singing, but in what’s modelled and how we frame things across the whole gathering. 

What do you do in a church planting residency?

For us, it’s a lot about observing, asking questions and learning on the job. We knew Andrew Southerton, our pastor, by reputation and were keen to learn from him.

You and your husband are doing a planting internship together. How’s that going?

We share a full-time role at church and share caring for our 2 kids. Our pastor was keen to be flexible and make it work.  I’ve asked him whether it’s worth all the juggle, and he’s said “Absolutely!” There’s great benefit to having 2 people passionate about 2 different areas. And together we do more than a full-time load.

As parents we both want to be present, guiding the faith of our kids. As a ministry worker and mother, I’m seeking to honour God in both of those spheres, which looks different in different seasons. At times I can feel pulled in different directions, but I always want our kids to know that I love them and they’re not secondary to ministry.

Are you hoping to plant a church?

We’re working towards planting a campus of our current church together. We love working together as a team and have really clicked well together. Andy is spear-heading the new campus, with each of us leading our purpose areas across the church into the future. 

Why should someone consider going into ministry?

I still have moments where I have to pinch myself – Am I really being paid to make music to the glory of Jesus? And meet at cafes with women to talk about living for Jesus? As hard and frustrating and exhausting as parts of it can be, it’s a great job!