My name is Luke Samuel Goddard, 30, from Tailem Bend in South Australia, Australia.
I was born into a Christian home, soaked in the Word of God and prayer, regularly going to kids church and youth ministries. This was in a small city called Whyalla in South Australia – a steel works and mining area that served as an economic hub for the world. My parents grew up in the mid 1990’s listening to the “Toronto Blessing,” and since then moved me from a Bible preaching Baptist church to more experience-oriented CRC meetings and congregations. I grew more and more uncomfortable with this movement over time, and it was only through my high school years having read Ray Comfort’s book, “Hell’s Best Kept Secret,” that I truly understood what was going on – I was spiritually empty.
I grew up wanting to be an author, and having left school when I finished year 12 doing library studies I was a wandering, searching man with no direction. I had limited friends, and a simple desire to be what God wanted me to be. But I didn’t know how. I played guitar and sang for various worship bands, did 2 years of pentecostal Bible college, but was too immature to apply what I’d learned in a ministry context. I have been involved in various community outreaches, including one event called “A Day in the Square” where local churches did various stalls, mini shops and events with kids to reach them with the gospel through gospel tracts, giveaways and conversations. This went for 2 years running and served the community well. I have also organised kids games in a local park in Kingston SE, South Australia for easter time, also giving out giant money tracts to the public with the gospel on there for all to see. I have done street evangelism through our local church in Naracoorte, and saw many different types of people hear the gospel and respond with every kind of reaction imaginable, from anger to disappointment, happiness to sheer surprise. This was in a local psychic expo, shopping centre and post office. I still desire to do this in the future, as our local congregation letter box drops tracts every weekend in 2 towns. This is how we first heard about the church! Murraylands Baptist Church, pastored by James Harvey and wife Judi. They have 10 children, all mature, Godly kids.
Our local area has alot of drug issues and poverty, with one area, in particular, being completely run down and known as the “bad” end of the city, so I have the heart to speak with the indigenous Australians there and share Christ crucified with them, having the whole city changed by the power of Christ and His Holy Spirit in those people repenting and believing the gospel. It is possible with prayer and evangelism. The school also has a bad reputation and is in dire need of the gospel preached to it regularly.
I got married to a wonderful girl named Peta Hurst through our Bible college, who also studied with me during my second year, and we now have five children under the age of 6! We both have unfinished Diplomae in Christian Ministry.
We married young, and have since learned most of our spiritual formation through learning good hermeneutics and Bible studies from more conservative, evangelical sources. This has bolstered our faith and given us a desire to serve nursing homes across our state with music, worship and preaching through our family. My wife and I both play piano, guitar and sing as well as write our own songs, and regularly record them for the web. My wife is a stay at home mum who is passionate about helping other mum’s be encouraged through food, friendship, Bible study and witness. She is very talented at cooking, writing, Bible study and encouraging other young women to embrace being a Mum also.
I have always wanted to finish my theological studies in a different environment, one with an emphasis on the sufficiency of scripture, the centrality of Jesus in the Old Testament, and a passion for Christ-centred, Biblical preaching verse by verse (expositional). I found Christian Leadership Institute about a year ago, and it has been on my mind since then to go ahead and enrol with them. The process couldn’t have been easier! I have found even the introductions and worship & teaching refreshing, engaging, enlightening and the staff are professionals with heart. I cannot wait to preach the word in a local congregation with the fresh eyes I now have for the gospel, Jesus Christ, the sovereignty of God and His call to preach repentance and baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit all that Jesus has commanded! My desire is to teach Bible interpretation, apologetics and do discernment podcasting with humour, music, skits and funny bits to make it engaging and fun. I also have a book I am working on that documents several heretical movements through Christian history that have gained traction recently that must be spoken about from an Australian, as I see clearly that there are very few Australian who write on these issues.
Thank you for your time, and I look forward to handing in my first assignment.