Ministering to people and churches in NZ for over 30 years

Word of Life New Zealand has been around since 1984, starting with a camp & bible college in Nelson, to now a nationwide ministry based in Hamilton. Every aspect of Word of Life's ministry, whether evangelism, discipleship or leadership training is firmly founded on Biblical Principles and teaching. This dedication and commitment to God's Word defines and determines the direction of Word of Life, past, present and future.

Local Ministry with International Resources

Word of Life Fellowship formed in 1940 when founder Jack Wyrtzen spoke in many churches and held evangelistic rallies in many different locations, from on the street to sold out Madison Square Garden and Yankee Stadium. Today, the ministry is headquartered in Schroon Lake, New York, running several different camps and bible institutes. Internationally, Word of Life is in more than 60 countries, including more locally Australia, Fiji and Papua New Guinea, each running different camps, leadership training conferences, and partnering with their local churches. Because of this, Word of Life New Zealand has extensive knowledge and resources to share

Our Staff

Tom McIvor

Tom is the Director for Word of Life New Zealand. He and his wife Liz have been involved with Word of Life since 1991 after attending WOL Bible College in 1990 in Nelson. Tom was a sheep farmer for fifteen years but felt the call of God on his life as a young teenager to youth ministry. He is very passionate about reaching and discipling young people. This drives him to direct this ministry of Word of Life here in NZ.

Tom and Liz have 2 sons, Daniel and Joshua.

If you wish to contact Tom directly his email address is

Carol Smith

Carol joined the team in February 2014 and works with the team as the Office & Youth Reachout Administrator. She also works with Dave in the area of discipleship. Growing up in a ministry family has been a key part in igniting her desire to be involved in ministry herself. After attending two years at the Word of Life Bible Institute in New York, Carol came home looking for ministry opportunities and was excited to join the Word of Life NZ team.

Carol is burdened for youth and loves coming alongside them to encourage and help them realise the importance of growing their own relationship with God.

If you wish to contact Carol directly, her email is

Dave & Ainsley Gow

Dave has been with us since the beginning of 2010. Originally from Southland, Dave grew up as a sheep farmer and desired nothing but to be a farmer until God transformed his life and called him into ministry through a Youth Reachout trip he went on with Word of Life. He first completed an internship for 1 year through Pathways Bible College, he then became full time staff in 2011 and assumed the role as the Events & Camp Co-Ordinator until 2014. He then moved into a full time Discipleship Role. Dave and Ainsley married in the beginning of 2014 and together in 2015 they traveled to the U.S. to compete a year of study at the Word of Life Bible Institute. Since returning Dave has maintained his role in discipleship and is now the Intern Co-Ordinator as well.

Ainsley grew up in Hamilton and has been involved with Word of Life in some way for a number of years with many staff attending her home church. After leaving high school Ainsley did a 'gap year' in Zambia for 7 months in 2012, volunteering in a Christian boarding school. During her time in Zambia she saw the need for Christian ministries to have experienced people working around finances. So on her return, she completed a Diploma in Business Studies majoring in accounting, while studying she also worked at an accounting firm to develop her experience in accounting. She completed her business studies in 2015 just before travelling to the U.S. Upon returning to NZ towards the end of 2016, Ainsley has joined the team at Word of Life and is now the Accounts Administrator.

Dave and Ainsley work in very different departments but both of them are passionate about young people and seeing them grow and develop in their relationship with Christ. They are excited about working together as a team in ministry and having an eternal impact on people's lives.

If you wish to contact Dave or Ainsley, you can email Dave at or Ainsley at

Local Church Ministries (LCM) Team

Scott Doddrell

Scott has been with the Word of Life team since 2010. He has, along with his wife Allison, been working in children and youth ministries for about 20 years in the local church.
Scott, Allison and their children Levi and Sarah are based at Manurewa Bible Church in South Auckland. They continue to lead their local Youth Group and Allison is leading the Sunday School work.
Scott's passion is to continue to support, encourage and develop the next generation of youth workers in New Zealand. Scott is currently responsible for Local Church Ministries with Nathan Martin, as they provide resources, leadership training and support to those working in the local church.

If you wish to contact Scott directly his email address is

Nathan & Danielle Martin

Nathan first came to Word of Life as an intern in 2007. He then joined staff in 2008 first in the role of Outreach Coordinator before spending two years studying at Word of Life Bible Institute in upstate New York. Returning from the U.S. In 2014, Nathan joined the Local Church Ministries team.

Danielle grew up in Oregon and attended Word of Life Bible Institute before joining staff at Word of Life's World Headquarters in upstate New York. Danielle and Nathan met while he was studying at the Bible Institute and they were married in 2014.

Danielle and Nathan work primarily with churches and youth ministries in the South Island, encouraging leaders and providing support, resources and leadership development opportunities.
Their passion is to see youth leaders equipped with a Biblical foundation for youth ministry.

If you wish to contact Nathan & Danielle, you can email Nathan at or Danielle at 

Events Team

Mikey Cooper

Contact Mikey directly at 

Daniel Dortch

After spending two years at the Word of Life Bible Institute in America, Daniel joined the Cross Cultural Internship programme in order to continue in ministry while getting his bachelor’s degree online. Daniel has committed two years to working as a staff member with Word of Life New Zealand where he will be working in Local Church Events to facilitate special events for church youth groups across New Zealand. Though he was born in America, Daniel hopes to follow God wherever He leads him in the future.

You can contact Daniel directly at


Alix Pene

I have always had a passion for youth ministry and my dream is to open an outreach youth camp in New Zealand. However, getting there has always been a struggle for me to envision. When Tom McIvor presented the idea of an internship to me, my first thought was ‘NO WAY’! God thought otherwise. Through this internship, God has already given me several possible paths to take in order to realise my dream. I am so excited to continue working alongside Word of Life to further God’s kingdom, and grow spiritually in Christ.

Laura Jones

I chose to do the internship because I want to put aside the year to help me grow and mature as a person and in my faith and walk with God. I felt that Word of Life was a safe and encouraging environment to do so. Looking forward, I hope this internship will help me grow in two main areas: to learn to rely on God, not just for the big things but also for the small things and to grow in maturity. To be mature in how I think about things, how I go into uncomfortable situations, and how I deal with the hard times. 

Charlotte Ennor

After going on Youth Reachout in 2016 and having the best time, I started to think about doing the internship when I left school. I wrestled with whether to study or intern for a while but decided that I should take the opportunity while I can, to spend a year doing ministry and Bible college. Already I have a better idea of what I want to do in the future which is exciting. I am being stretched and grown in so many areas and it is encouraging to know that God has me here for a purpose. I love what He is doing in my life.

Lance Robinson

I caught up for coffee with Tom McIvor in November 2017 and he challenged me to do the Word of Life internship this year. After praying and considering it at great length, I decided to say ‘yes’! This commitment I’ve made for the year has given me a vision to see young people know the Lord and be enthusiastic about their faith. I am so excited to see what God will do in the months ahead, through our sports and local church events, our trip to Samoa, and my own walk with Him.

Staff studying in the US

Staff have the opportunity to go to Schroon Lake in upper state New York to study at the Word of Life Bible Institute. Offering one and two year programs, the institute is a fantastic place to grow and develop students in their Christian walk. Previous staff have done it and have now returned with a better understanding of the Bible, and their lives changes.

Josh McIvor

Hey, I'm Josh. In 2014 I joined Word of Life as an Intern to study through Pathways College, I then continued to join staff with WOL in 2015 and served for 8 months. In August God gave me the opportunity through a great support team to come and study over here in Upstate New York for 2 years. God has taught me and challenged me here through a program designed to teach biblical foundations in first year, and a missions and ministry focus in second year. The campus encourages strong discipleship and gives great opportunity for ministry through the Local Church, camps, sports, music, and gospel outreaches. In September I will return back to New Zealand with the intention of doing a cross cultural internship with Word of Life in Brazil starting in January 2018. My desire is to help expand the Kingdom of God for the glory of God, and to serve Him wherever the He leads. Thank you for your prayers and support.

If you have any questions and would like to contact me, you can reach me at

Youth Reachout