Shaped by Relationship


“I discovered that ministry is less about you, and more about your willingness to find out who other people are, and where they’re at.”

25 years ago, Tim Watson had just finished an arts degree. He was also studying law, but was not sure law was for him. Ministry or teaching were both careers he considered, and so, to get some experience with both, he decided to become a CRU® Summit Fellow.

Being a Summit Fellow involves formal education (Fellows work towards a Certificate III in Outdoor Education) but it is much more than that. Summit provides trainees with the opportunity to experience ministry in an intense, practical way, serving on school camps. 

Looking back at his time in Summit, Tim recognises that the things he learned and experienced in those two years still impact him today. “Summit prepared me with a focus on people,” he remembers. “Yes, there were the outdoor education skills, like the ability to do a bit of rock climbing or abseiling, but more importantly it was the relational, interactive, human elements that mattered most to me. I had the opportunity to learn how to… interact with the people in front of me and make them the focus.”

This theme of relationships characterised Tim’s Summit experience. “I discovered that ministry is less about you, and more about your willingness to find out who other people are, and where they’re at. I think before Summit, I felt that if I just had all the right answers, if I developed particular skills, then it would all work! But actually, it’s all about getting to know people. Sure, it’s important to know how you might navigate a tricky conversation! But predominantly, it’s about getting to know people and then talking naturally about Christian things in that context. I had plenty of opportunities to find that out while on hikes and doing activities on camps.”

Tim knows that building relationships is crucial to effective evangelism, because our Lord is relational. During his time in Summit, he recalls, “I can think of many kids who told me, ‘I’d always thought Christianity was about what I do, not about a relationship’. So moving them to a point where they could understand it was about a relationship was very liberating for them. The shackles of religion fell off.”

For Tim, Summit was a life-changing two years. He recalls now, “It confirmed that I wanted to be involved in full-time ministry, and it just so happened that my ministry was going to be in schools.”

Following Summit, Tim pursued jobs in schools, and eventually became a teacher of Christian Studies and History. Later, after further study, he became head of a History department, before then becoming a Deputy Principal. He now serves in this position at Roseville College.

Tim sees his role as a wonderful fusion of ministry and education, and an opportunity to expose young people to the beauty of a relationship with God. He loves that he can reach hundreds of students and their families, and build long-term relationships to help young people find faith.