Developing Missional Leaders
Norm Nix Scholarship 2017
The Norm Nix Scholarship is awarded each year to an Australian Baptist to assist in their development as a leader in evangelism in their ministry context. The scholarship is named in recognition of the outstanding leadership and service of retired Crossover Director Rev. Norm Nix, in encouraging evangelism throughout Australia.
The scholarship provides or contributes to funding the recipient to undertake a research project or specific training course to allow for their intentional development as a missional leader. The annual scholarship is awarded to someone from a different state or territory each year. In 2017 the scholarship is awarded to someone from South Australia, Mike Wazkiel.
Mike grew up in a church environment at West Croydon United Church, but only came to know Christ as his Lord and Saviour in his first year at university eight years ago. After drifting away from church, a friend invited him to a new church community which met in a home. After attending for a couple of weeks, he discovered he had a problem with God due to his sin.
Mike shared “though I considered myself a reasonably moral and good person, I had rejected God and lived my own way. In His kindness, he revealed the amazing love He demonstrates for us in Jesus. That whilst I was a sinner, Christ died for me.
After becoming a Christian, I linked in with a Christian group on campus (AFES). This was a time of great growth in my desire for and skills in evangelism. A highlight of my time at university was seeing an old high school mate put his faith in Christ, praise God!.“
Mike finished university and worked as an engineer for two years. He has now put his career as an engineer on hold, to start a two year ministry apprenticeship with AFES (Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students). The Norm Nix Scholarship for 2017 will support Mike in this apprenticeship.
The vision of AFES is proclaiming Jesus Christ at university to present everyone mature in Him. The intership provides practical ministry training, including: weekly workshops with other trainees, 1-1 mentoring/discipleship with an experienced ministry worker, and ample opportunities to practice evangelism through walk-up evangelism, reading the bible with interested non-Christian students and giving evangelistic talks on campus. Mike says “The other opportunity I have is to train and equip the next generation of Christian students in evangelism.” One of the key aims of Mike’s local AFES group is to grow Christian students in personal witness at home and abroad.
The two year apprenticeship will help Mike discern whether ministry, and particularly university outreach, is where he should be serving Christ full time. The scholarship will help fund part of the apprenticeship, enabling him to do it in a full time capacity and make the most of the two years.
Mike is also back at West Croydon United Church, part of SA Baptist Churches, and involved in discipling youth, leading worship and involved with the Young Adults community which has an outreach focus.
He will be attending the Crossover Emerging Evangelists Conference in August 2017. He says “I am really looking forward to the Emerging Evangelists Conference. It will provide good opportunities to learn from more experienced evangelists, encourage one another and sharpen skills in this area. Also learning about what evangelism looks like in different contexts will be of great value.“