Meet Our Team

Our Senior Pastors

Ps Luke & Melissa de Jong

Luke and his wife Melissa are the Senior Pastors of LIFE – a multi-campus church located in both New Zealand and Australia.

Luke has been a part of LIFE since it was founded, over 30 years ago, and has been in full-time ministry for over 15 years helping LIFE to fulfil its mission to “impact and change our generation with the reality of Jesus.”

Melissa is originally from Canada and has called New Zealand home since 2008. She also leads the Worship and Creative Departments at LIFE.

Both Luke & Melissa have a passion to see The Church continue to create environments where people belong, believe in Jesus and build their lives through activating their Kingdom purpose.

They are based in Auckland, New Zealand and have been married for 12 years with 3 children, Ruby, Bella and Cruz. Both Luke and Melissa love creating fun moments for their family and where possible, Luke loves to get in a round of golf while Melissa loves a new book.

Together, they love being able to lead LIFE into all that God has planned for the future of the church and playing a part in growing His Kingdom here on earth.

Our Founding Pastors

Ps Paul & Maree de Jong

Paul and his wife Maree have been in ministry for 40 years and are the Founding Pastors of LIFE, a multi-campus church with locations in Auckland & Tauranga in New Zealand and Melbourne & Adelaide in Australia.

Established in 1991, LIFE has continued to see growth throughout Australasia, living out its four- focus model of Church, Community, Business and Kingdom. This model of ministry is being embraced by numerous other churches, providing a fresh ministry outlook for many.

Together, Paul & Maree minister across the global Church and are sought-after speakers and leadership mentors.

With a mandate to influence the global Church, Paul as a respected father in the faith, travels extensively speaking at leadership conferences and churches. His Kingdom-heart, leadership strength combined with a prophetic edge, and a proven track record continue to impact many to reach for more. From leadership, church development, youth ministry, worship and creative arts, personal development and business, he has the ability and insight to speak into many areas of the wider body of Christ.

He is an experienced communicator, hosting a television programme, LIFE TV, which is reaching tens of thousands of people on a weekly basis, and has authored several books.

Maree is a fun and vibrant speaker with a clear communication style. With a vision to see women empowered to live out their calling, Maree hosts an annual women’s conference, Sistas, which over the past 20 years has seen thousands of women from across New Zealand and from many other nations impacted to reach their God-given potential. Author of the book, ‘A Diamond in the Dirt,’ in which she recounts her life story, Maree speaks candidly from a powerful testimony of overcoming insurmountable odds.

Paul and Maree have been married for 40 years, have a growing family with the wonder of grandchildren, and are based in Auckland, New Zealand.

Our Eldership & Trust Board

Left to Right:

Simon Manners
Scott Thornton
Luke de Jong
Paul de Jong
Maree de Jong
Paul Schnell
Earl Gasparich
Caroline Wood

Our Spiritual Advisors

Strengthening our governance and providing another layer of oversight are our Spiritual Advisors. These are well-respected senior leaders with globally significant ministries who provide spiritual protection for our church. They are: Ps Steve Kelly (Senior Pastor, Wave Church); Ps Joel Cave (Senior Pastor, Glow Church); Joel Holm (CEO, Pathfinder International). They may be called upon for advice and recommendations by the eldership team on matters of accountability relating to the senior leader and may also be called upon by the Senior Pastor for any major decisions regarding LIFE’s direction.