You are Chosen: WOW speaker Brock Goodall

Pastor Brock is currently with us for our week of spiritual emphasis. He has delivered his first presentation this morning, proving that he is open and willing to explore with us just what makes a spiritual life worth pursuing. 

Below you will find an interview we did with Brock last week. In his responses, we learn a little more about his background, what makes him tick and what he plans for our week of spiritual emphasis.

If you can find the time to join us this week, please do! You’re very welcome. Find details of each day’s topics below.

About Brock 

I didn’t grow up with Christianity or anything like that. The way I was introduced to this space was through a small Christian school in Tasmania. 

When I was in early primary school, my parents were concerned that I was falling behind in my studies. They thought it might be better to move me to a smaller school with more support, so I ended up in Northwest Christian School in Penguin, Tasmania. It’s a Seventh-day Adventist school and that’s where I learnt about Jesus.

I remember coming into a classroom full of kids who had been going to church all their lives. It was new for me but they already knew the language, the jargon, and all about church. I didn’t. I was completely ‘unchurched’. My parents were (and still are) agnostic rather than atheist, and we’ve never done the church thing.

An early defining moment for me was in Grade 4. During our bible lesson, the teacher asked each student to recite our favourite bible verse. I only knew Genesis 1:1, which goes: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” In my nervousness, I froze and forgot most of it. I started “In the beginning…” but couldn’t remember much more. My teacher told me “That’s not what we’re looking for,” and to go back and have another look. It was mortifying. I remember that moment to this day. Now, with a bit of perspective, that time in my life set me up for how I work, creating accessible spaces for unchurched people. 

About Brock’s ministry and decision to become a pastor 

I wanted to be a pastor because of the people who had an impact on me during my schooling. I saw how pastoral care and ministry could make a real difference and wanted to create that for others, too.

So in 2009, I went to Avondale College to begin a Bachelor of Ministry and Theology, majoring in chaplaincy and clinical pastoral education. I now work as the campus pastor for a school on the Central Coast of New South Wales, working with the campus ministry team. Our vision is to create a campus church that unchurched people love.

Although it’s a Christian school, our driving force is to cater to the unchurched because we know that everyone — churched and unchurched — will gain value from it. Thinking this way makes our message more accessible and real. You can still be a proud Christian but teach depth in an accessible way. These things are not mutually exclusive.

If the theme ‘Chosen’ was a headline for WOW, what would be the subheadings?

I was asked to speak on the theme Chosen, which is really about who we are in Jesus. I guess each day’s topic is like a subheading. 

Monday: You are chosen. This is looking at the fact that there will be voices and opinions of others on who we are — but knowing who we are in Jesus sets us up for a more complete, fulfilled life. 

Tuesday: You are holy. This is where we explore what this really means. It’s not about having to be a pious religious person. It’s more about belonging to something special and bigger than yourself. Something that gives you meaning and purpose. 

Wednesday: You are accepted.

Thursday: You are challenged to love. 

Friday: You are free to choose.

What are the biggest faith issues for young people at schools like ours?

One of the biggest faith issues young people who attend Christian schools face is whether they can ‘own’ their faith for themselves or not. It can’t always be about what their parents thought or what the school taught. Faith isn’t a curriculum that you learn — it’s way more than information on a page. It has the power to really transform and frame lives. We have the privilege, when working with young people, to invite them to ask some questions: Should I take this faith on as my own? How can I do that? and, How does it help me navigate through my life?