Full Emails from City Impact's Peter Mortlock to Webworm
City Impact's Peter Mortlock responds to Webworm's enquiries.
For context, please read The Holy Hell of New Zealand’s Biggest Pentecostal Megachurches first.
For full transparency, these are the emails Webworm received from Peter Mortlock on February 22 and March 2 respectively.
The first is in response to my simple query about City Impact church locations, and membership numbers. It is not edited.
The second email is in response to specific questions raised in the story The Holy Hell of New Zealand’s Biggest Pentecostal Megachurches.
Sorry i could not get back to you earlier this week but i have been in meetings.
As you know, Bev and I pioneered City Impact Church over 40 years ago, after giving up a hugely successful realestate career.
( i am sure you have seen my testimony on the website )
Now at 72 years of age we have just appointed a new lead Pastor which you are also possibly aware of.
City Impact Church is well connected, received and respected as part of the world wide “Body Of Christ” ie the millions of churches in all denominations.
We have built great relationships across the “board”, across nations over the years.
To answer you enquiry,
Over the past 40 years City Impact Church has grown to around 10,000 people in NZ, with 7 campus’s / churches and several gatherings through out NZ.
We also have 4 churches in Mexico, 7 in the Philippines, 2 in Tonga, 1 in Fiji and Canada, 54 in India - all with local Pastors etc, ( 76 )
Most of these are on our web site ( that again you have mentioned you looked at, )
We don’t “count” the people in these overseas churches as the local Pastors run them and are responsible,
We are here to encourage, and help them.
We also have built and supply medical Clinics - 40 in China, Myanmar, Tibet, 9 in Nepal, and 1 in India - (over 50,) these are in remote areas where there is no medical help for the locals, again run by the locals - although we have sent medical / dental teams to several of these over the years to help.
We also feed, and clothe over 500 children in India and Tanzania through child sponsorship.
We have funded aid to the Ukraine in the tens of thousands to help that worn torn country, Turkey etc.
Locally we mobilise hundreds of people four times a year to work in the local community - making over homes for disadvantaged people ( referred to us by many social organisations in the community) We employ people full-time to run and organise these projects,
We help in over 300 homes a year easily, plus hospitals / schools etc etc.
We do prepare hundreds of meals for people in need, and in the recent floods / cyclone ( of which i am sure you know about ) we have prepared and given out literally thousands of meals,
Having just sent a truck and trailers loaded with supplies to the HawkesBay / Gisborne area, another two trucks are leaving today,
And yesterday we hired a helicopter loaded it up with supplies and flew to Gisborne to help those ravaged by the storm, ( see couple pictures below )
I know alot of people may criticise a mega church, but a mega church can do mega things!
Not that i would consider us as a mega church with churches in South America / Korea etc, literally with hundreds of thousands of people - a couple around 900,000 - now that is mega,
Obviously as a church, we do alot more than what i mentioned above, working with children ( holiday clubs / schools / childcare centres etc ) working with youth, (camps etc,) and adults, families. ( running a variety of courses to help people ) people right across the spectrum and diversity of society,
We are very much a multi cultural ( over 70 diff nationalities in our NZ churches ) and very much a multi generation church,
David, i am well aware of your past thoughts towards us, which obviously saddens me.
You may remember i offered to have coffee with you "off the record” just so you could perhaps understand me / us a little better.
I heard that you have had some “Christian” upbringing ( forgive me if i am wrong and presumptuous ) if so you would know that we are a bible believing / gospel church.
Again in my story i point out that i was one of the biggest sinners, and God invaded my life and changed it completely - most would agree and say for the better for sure.
For any one person that may have had a problem with City Impact Church, i am sure that you would find a 1,000 that wouldn’t.
Obviously one can always find what they are looking for. But we all know that people can have a “bad experience at the local tennis club.
I do pray for you David and i do hope the very best for you.
Not sure if the above is helpful to you or not, but we will leave it there.
Trust all is well with you, appreciate your inquiry.
Trust the below helps.
We do not have a large number of interns (as it is not one of big focus’s ) but we do give people the opportunity to learn and train along side experienced staff, learning skills ( ie in media, computers, Children or Youth work etc etc ) Many have got future employment through the skills and training they have learnt over their internship.
A number of interns have gone on to be employed by the church, in a number of roles, ( including our recently appointed Lead Pastors )
Our internship is different from Arises ( with out commenting of their program ) but to answer your question we have not had to change anything in the light of the Arise situation.
Over the years like everything, including our internship program evolves, changes and hopefully improves.
Forty years is a long time, and times have changed and are changing and as a church we embrace change when it comes to culture etc, to continue to be a relative, healthy effective church in our community,
For example in our internship we now offer a now great deal of flexibility, where it maybe a 3 / 4 or 5 day week internship pending on their needs and personal situation.
There are no current internship fees, and they are all treated well, with respect and are given alot of support, in a very loving and accepting environment throughout the year.
We do endeavour to take good care of all people doing the best we can.
All our staff are well taken care of and supported in many ways, with by far the majority choosing to stay in employment with the church for years, decades.
In relation to your comment on nights out, as a church ( like most ) we obviously have a Sunday night service and a mid week ( Wednesday night meeting,).
The youth ( if it was a youth intern ) also have a Friday night meeting. Any intern choosing the Youth area would be aware of this and only too willing to be a part of it.
As a church we make every endeavour with our program to not having people, be it interns / congregation / staff, whoever out too many nights of the week.
We also do Saturday community days 4 times a year, ( see my email below to David ) where again we are all involved, interns, staff, church congregation and everyone counts it a blessing to be part of these days, in helping other people. These are not compulsory for people, obviously we encourage all people there ( be it staff or interns ) but along with hundreds of volunteers most want to be there if they can.
There are times / seasons where any organisation is busier than usual, as a church over the years, we have had building projects, special outreaches, huge Christmas and Easter events - all part of most churches calendar.
In relation to your comment to being out 4 evenings a week, this would normally only be at our ( one only) annual conference where every one comes out for 3 or 4 night meetings, but obviously this is such a great time, everyone wants to be there.
We usually give both interns and staff time off after the event.
Remembering that the bulk of the church work is run by volunteers who work in regular employment / business’s etc yet all absolutely love what they do in and for the Church,
So in a normal week there are definitely no excessive nights out.
Monday night for part of the year there is available aw zoom leadership course ( with small course fee ) but which any intern can participate in it for free.
By far the majority of our past interns would testify to a great experience, maybe due to some personal things someone is working through the odd one may have left the internship early, without any issue on our behalf, or pressure from us to stay on.
As i am sure your would be aware that in life some one may have experience not to their liking, this of course can happen at school, local tennis club, where ever, maybe in church.
Which of course is sad, and we go the extra mile continually to ensure everyone enjoys their time at church.
We are there to help people in life, and with many of the thousands in our congregation being with us for years, decades, and as mentioned the majority of staff being long term staff testifies to that.
Hayden, we may not get everything right all the time, (who does) but people know that they are both loved and accepted.
Remembering that any Internship programe whether it be in the hospitality industry, or whatever function one chooses to give their time to, internship is a wonderful opportunity for one to grow in skills, knowledge, character, ethics etc.
And over the years our internship has provided that.
I trust that helps a little.
So for youth it’s Wednesday, Friday and Sunday evenings.
Plus Saturday 4 times per year.
Plus the building program.
Plus Easter and Christmas.
Plus Monday for the leadership course for part of the year.
And the annual conference being 4 nights of meetings.
I would never sign up to a job that had this many events outside of work hours. And what’s worse is these volunteers are not paid to do the work for all these evenings and events! Saying they “usually” give time off after events implies it’s not always. Which is concerning but not surprising.
Anyway he said they take every endeavour to make sure their staff/interns/volunteers are not out for most of the week. Would love to know how they manage this considering they run everything off the back of volunteers who are encouraged to take part in everything..
Sorry, did anyone else inadvertently read this in Trump’s voice? 😂