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Beyond Experience 2024

February 26th - 29th November

BE retreat starts April 5th - 7th

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 The word “experience” often invokes a reflection or opinion about what happened. But what does it mean to move beyond that? What could it look like for young leaders to think bigger and to move further?

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Who we are?

When people hear the word “experience”, it usually has other words wrapped around it. We focus on the experience that someone brought, or the wonderful experience we had. It invokes a reflection or an opinion about what happened. But what would it mean if someone moved beyond that?


Our leadership specific ministry at Scripture Union New Zealand (SUNZ) is named Beyond Experience (BE). This is designed to offer experience to young leaders and push them to move beyond that. Participants will have various opportunities throughout the ministries of SUNZ and others where they can grow in their leadership ethos. We are preparing them to be the future leaders of Aotearoa—in business, arts, medicine, politics, education, sports, the church, and more. What a lofty dream to have our life-changing, faith-forming ministries go on to shape the future landscape of our society. Having people who are followers of Jesus shaping the very fabric of our nation.


Beyond Experience identifies and invites current and potential future SUNZ ministry and programme leaders on a multiple-year journey. We aim to grow not only leaders for the short-term expressions in SUNZ ministries but well-equipped leaders for the much longer term. Through growing leaders who come from different faith communities, we intend to support these communities and churches across the country.


What do we offer?

Our Beyond Experience ministry seeks to offer experience to young leaders in a new way. Through facilitating opportunities throughout the ministries of SUNZ and others, we want to encourage and shape participants to go Beyond Experience and prepare them to be the future leaders of Aotearoa.

With the ultimate experiential leader Jesus Christ as our facilitator Beyond Experience (BE) seeks to take the real and sometimes raw opportunities of SUNZ ministries and others to develop one’s own leadership ethos.

If you are passionate about growing in the shape of your leadership, committed to learn more from those around you, and keen to join a group of young leaders across the motu, then we would love to hear from you and have you as a part of BE 2024!

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What's in it for you?

Beyond Experience is a safe place to process the successes and challenges of leadership in the field—whether that be at church, youth group, school, or camps—and to grow as a leader. Through specific practices and initiatives which we have running throughout the year, participants are equipped with not only leadership skills but also a Christ-centered leadership ethos.

This ministry is of organic nature, and we aim to allow for flexibility for participants. We believe BE has a life-long nature where participants will continue to be formed for years to come.

There are four key parts that participants will experience within one year of our program:


The Kick-off Retreat

Our BE ministry begins in February (kick-off week Feb 26th - March 3rd). The BE retreat is typically held in April (the dates for 2024 retreat are April 5th – 7th). This will be the first space for new participants to meet more of the SUNZ and BE whānau and is therefore a mandatory part of this ministry for any participant or kaiārahi.

The retreat will consist of different workshops, seminars, games, and discussions, with the aim of learning through experience.  We will dive into the life and example of the ultimate experiential educator—Jesus Christ. During the weekend, BE participants will be partnered with a kaiārahi (guide) for the year. They will meet monthly after the retreat.



Monthly guiding

 You might have noticed we have avoided using the term mentors. Instead embracing the term kaiārahi or guide. We sensed this for several reasons:

  • Participants may already have a mentor.

  • This relationship might only be active for one year.

  • People often have a lot of input on who their mentor is.

We see the role(s) of kaiārahi or guides as just that—guiding and facilitating the experiences to serve as metaphors and representations of wider faith formation, leadership, calling and discernment.


Opportunities to serve in the field.

(SUNZ and partnering organizations/churches)

This is key to the accomplishment of BE. Through the various ministries we have at SUNZ along with other partnering organization and churches, participants will have opportunities to serve in the field. They will be able to use these real-world opportunities and teachable moments to grow in their leadership, or more simply put, let the experience speak for itself.


Discernment for future

During participants’ time with BE, we hope that the experiences they have will provide clarity for their future career and calling. They will frequently be considering “what is God’s plan for my life?”, which can often be fraught with fear of failure, uncertainty, and decision paralysis. BE seeks to embrace the idea of making a good decision rather than the right decision. We recognize that we children of God, there is a good plan.


 Programme Extra Material

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Contact us Today 

For more information please call Paul Humphreys

National Leadership Facilitator. 

 on 027-520-3513 or email at

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