Our mission is to multiply disciples of Jesus in New Zealand by partnering with local churches and ministries in the areas of disciple making, conversational evangelism, inductive Bible study, expository Bible teaching, and biblical worldview training, to the glory of God and by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Faithfulness. “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.” - Matthew 24:45-47
Availability. “…[Jesus] said to [Peter and Andrew], Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. Immediately they left their nets and followed him.” - Matthew 4:19-20
Teachability. “Make me to know your ways, Yahweh. Teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation. For you I wait all the day long.” - Psalm 25:4-5
Statement of Faith
We believe the following articles of belief are consistent with the teaching of Scripture and fundamental to Christian evangelical orthodoxy. Anyone wanting to engage in networking or joining in discussion with us does not have to agree with these articles of belief. However, anyone who wants to write for our ministry, become a volunteer of Firm Foundation New Zealand, or speak at one of our events must agree not to teach anything contrary to the following beliefs under the name of our ministry.
We believe that the Bible, comprised of the Old and New Testaments, is completely inspired by God, fully truthful in all it affirms, sufficient in its revelation of His will for mankind, and final in its authority over all we believe and do.
We believe that there is one God, eternally existing in three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, each of the same substance, power, dignity, and glory.
We believe that God is infinite in all his perfections. These include his goodness, manifesting as love, mercy, justice and wrath; and his exhaustive knowledge of all things, past, present, and future, including all human thoughts, acts, and decisions.
We believe that God is the creator and sustainer of all creation, that He is supreme over it, and that He alone is worthy to receive all glory and adoration.
We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. He is God incarnate, both fully human and fully God: one Person in two natures.
We believe that God created human beings, male and female, in his own image. In the fall, Adam distorted that image —for himself and all his progeny—by sinning against God. As a result, all people are alienated from God and justly condemned by him. We believe that the principal need of humanity is reconciliation with God. Because sin has corrupted us in every aspect of our being, this is only possible by God’s own power and undeserved favour towards us.
We believe that Jesus is the promised Messiah of Israel, conceived through the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin, Mary. He lived a sinless life, was crucified, was resurrected bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, and now intercedes for us before God as our High Priest and Advocate.
We believe that salvation is accomplished completely in Christ’s substitutionary death on the cross as a propitiation for God’s righteous anger and judgment against sinners. Therefore, the only ground for reconciliation with God is what Christ did on the cross, which we appropriate by faith: our sin imputed to him and his righteousness to us.
We believe that a life of conversion and genuine character change is the evidence and fruit of salvation. This new spiritual life is alone the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit, who renews, indwells, and empowers believers to be imitators of Christ.
We believe that being a disciple of Jesus means serving him as Lord at all times in every aspect of our lives: secular as well as spiritual, public as well as private, in deeds as well as words, always reaching out as he did to those who are lost, to the poor, to the sick, to the hungry, to the oppressed, to the socially marginalized, being faithful stewards of creation and our fellow-creatures.
We believe that the one, holy, universal Church is the body of Christ and the corporate dwelling place of God’s spirit. The Church is composed of all who have been united with Christ through faith, gathered from every tongue, tribe, people and nation, and called to both proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ and testify to God’s kingdom.
We believe in the bodily return of Jesus Christ and the final consummation of his kingdom. At his return, he will exercise his role as final Judge and establish his rule over all creation, in fulfilment of the Father’s gracious purpose, for the glory of God.
We believe in the bodily resurrection of all people at Christ’s return: the unjust to everlasting punishment, and the just to everlasting blessedness in the presence of God in the new heaven and the new earth.
Jeff grew up in Salina, Kansas, USA, and trusted in Jesus at a youth camp as a boy. After university, he met and married Averil, a Kiwi, in 2008. He and Averil now have five children. Jeff served as a lawyer with the U.S. Air Force from 2007-2014, and then studied theology at Dallas Theological Seminary, graduating in 2016. He and Averil moved to Timaru in 2017 and founded Firm Foundation New Zealand. In 2019, the family moved further south to Dunedin with the support of Cornerstone International Bible Church. Jeff is passionate about disciple making, the Bible, evangelism, and developing young Christian leaders. Jeff now serves as an elder at Caversham Community Church and continues to serve as a reservist in the U.S. Air Force.
Averil grew up in Timaru and trusted in Jesus as a young girl while attending Life Church Timaru. After earning her teaching degree from the University of Canterbury in 2000, she served as a teacher for five years at a children's home in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where she eventually met Jeff. The two were married in 2008, and they now have five children. Averil enjoys homeschooling, leading inductive Bible studies, and mentoring mums. The Coleman family lives in Dunedin, where she and Jeff are members of Caversham Community Church.
Ric was born and raised in Taiwan. He lived 25 years without knowing Christ, pursuing nothing but worldly success, money, and self-fulfilment. By God’s ferocious grace, God took hold of his heart in 2007 through a mission trip in Taiwan. God has radically changed his life from an enemy of God to a child of God, from a seeker of truth to a minister of the Gospel, and from a lover of the world to a lover of the Word. In 2010, Ric married his college sweetheart, Jocelyn, and they now have three children. Since 2010, Ric and Jocelyn have served together in several ministries, including Apartment Life (2010-12), youth ministry at West Houston Chinese Church (2011-16), and student ministry at Asian American Baptist Church in Dallas (2017-20). Ric graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary in 2019 and is passionate about Jesus, Tae Kwon Do (black belt instructor), boba tea, evangelism, expository preaching, equipping the next generation, and cross-cultural missions.
Jocelyn was born in Houston, Texas, and raised in Taiwan where she met Ric in university as classmates. She returned to Houston after university and intimately got to know our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. She and Ric got married in 2010 and now have three precious children. Jocelyn intentionally lived out her faith in a financial institution for eight years and in an oil and gas industry human resource department for two years. She is currently a student at Dallas Theological Seminary pursuing a Masters of Biblical and Theological Studies. She also leads a virtual Tae Kwon Do campus along with Ric and their oldest daughter.
Jocelyn and Ric have begun speaking on the topics of the sacredness of life, biblical sexuality, and abortion recovery. They currently serve multiple churches in the Dallas and Houston areas for Someone Cares, Deeper Still, and Life International. She is passionate about homeschooling, evangelism, missions, and journeying alongside wounded hearts to be healed and set free for God’s grand mission. Ric and Jocelyn have a deep desire to see lives radically transformed to have total dependence on our Lord Jesus Christ. Jocelyn's life statement is “Engaging, Equipping, and Empowering each unique individual to be influential for God’s glory!”
“God is really using you in powerful ways to do what I believe are exactly the most important things that we as Christians can be doing in the world of today. I am thankful to see how you are using your education, and more importantly, how you are cooperating with the empowering Holy Spirit in the world that God has prepared for you to be doing there in New Zealand."
- Nathan, Dallas, Texas
“It gives me much hope for New Zealand to see more and more people study the Bible in Averil and Jeff's groups. It’s a long prayed for dream starting to come true. Thank you for your support. You will share in the reward when Jesus Christ comes back.”
- Barbara, Precept Ministries New Zealand, Manukau
“Jeff, I really appreciate your introduction to the Inductive Bible Study material. I've not been actively studying the Bible with others for over 10 years, and your careful leadership has helped me gain a new enthusiasm to learn and understand scripture with others. Thank you for your faithful hard work, using technology to reach many like me across New Zealand. As a result I'm not scared to read the book of Daniel. I’m starting to understand its message as a result of your in-depth teaching. I now want to learn more from other prophets in scripture. Thank you so much!”
- Ken, Tauranga
“After meeting Jeff by attending an apologetic series he ran during the year, Jeff's ministry in Timaru has helped shape me into the Christian I am today, this has been through the bible studies on Philippians and Acts Part 1, as this has deepened my knowledge and understanding of the word of God, and also through his mentor ship, training me to become an evangelist. I can't thank Jeff and his ministry enough for the positive impact it has had in my walk with God.”
- Craig, Temuka
“I thank God for bringing Jeff and Averil to Timaru to serve in and be part of our fellowship in Timaru. Jeff has been a keen leader with his approach to evangelism and has witnessed to many people while taking with him others to learn the skills and confidence to do street evangelism. We have also enjoyed the inductive bible studies which have supplemented our home group study time and helped bring some formal bible study for some who have not experienced that form of study. Our home group wants to use these inductive studies from time to time in the coming year.”
- Matt, Timaru
“I would recommend the Firm Foundation style of Bible study to anyone who wants to follow in the footsteps of Christ. Our group represented individuals from various churches around Timaru who all believed the Bible, and there was no deviating from the subject being studied. Prayer at the beginning and end of each session connects us to the circumstances that are current in each of our lives. I am looking forward to continuing in Acts Part 2. Part 1 really laid a good foundation of the transition between the Mosaic law and the birth of the church empowered by the Holy Spirit.”
- Linda, Timaru
“We have appreciated Jeff’s messages on Sunday mornings at church, and it has certainly been a help for our elders to have another man to share this responsibility. We feel that Jeff and Averil have increased the co-operation between churches in our town, as they have encouraged Christians to share their faith at the beach and on the streets, and also through the Precepts studies that they have introduced to the churches here. We have found these studies especially helpful. We intend to carry on with them as other facilitators, whom Jeff has trained, continue to lead these groups now that Jeff and Averil have moved onto Dunedin. This method of study has increased our desire to learn more and to do more in depth study, which we find very rewarding. We are missing Averil, Jeff, and family as we have become firm friends. But we believe they will be able to more fully use their gifts in Dunedin.”
- Neroli and Barry, Timaru
“Just want to let you know how much I’ve gained from studying Precepts Upon Precepts with the Thursday Ladies Group. We’ve learned so much and I know like myself, other ladies in the group have grown leaps and bounds in our spiritual walk. So thank you very much for bringing Precepts upon Precepts study into Timaru.”
- Michella, Timaru