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, ‘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 Campus Pastors

Ps Dan & Ashari McGaw
Dan and his wife Ashari are the Campus Pastors here at LIFE Adelaide.
Dan has been connected to LIFE Adelaide since it's early years, and has called Australia home since 2004 after moving here with his family from South Africa. Ashari has been a part of LIFE Adelaide since 1996 and they have both been in full-time ministry for over 10 years.
Ashari & Dan are both passionate about the local church and seeing people encouraged, equipped and empowered to live a life of impact, purpose and freedom in Jesus. They have been married since 2017 and have a 1 year old daughter, Zaraya. Together, they are committed to seeing Adelaide changed and impacted with the reality of Jesus.

Founders of LIFE Adelaide

Ps Tony & Kath Rainbow

Tony and Kath Rainbow grew up in Adelaide, Australia and met in 1983 while roller-skating and became childhood sweethearts. They married in 1992 and have three beautiful children, Jordan, Mitchel and Baylea.

In February 1994 they planted Victory Church with a team of 11 others and the blessing of their local church eldership at Living Faith Fellowship. In 2021, Victory church joined the LIFE family and became LIFE Adelaide and in 2024 Ps Tony & Kath handed over leadership of LIFE Adelaide to Ps Dan & Ashari McGaw

Tony and Kath travel extensively across the globe to work with other friends and church leaders to build the local church. Their relaxed and practical approach to ministry has been helpful in reaching people across all generations and cultures.

Our Eldership & Trust Board

Front Row (Left to Right):

Paul de Jong
Paul is a Founding Pastor of LIFE alongside Maree de Jong.

Melissa de Jong
Melissa is the Senior Pastor of LIFE alongside her husband, Luke, and is also the Worship and Creative Pastor. She has called LIFE home since 2007.

Luke de Jong
Luke is the Senior Pastor of LIFE alongside his wife Melissa and has been a part of LIFE since 1991.

Maree de Jong
Maree is a Founding Pastor of LIFE alongside Paul de Jong.

Back Row (Left to Right):

Caroline Quay
Caroline is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Caramed Capital and has called LIFE home since 1993.

Strahan Wallis
Strahan is a Board Director and Communications Consultant and has called LIFE home since 2000.

Earl Gasparich
Earl is the Chief Executive Officer at Metlifecare and has called LIFE home since 1999.

Scott Thornton
Scott is the Executive Pastor at LIFE and has been an integral part of LIFE since 2006.

Paul Schnell
Paul is the General Manager at LIFE and has been an integral part of LIFE since 2004.

Caroline Wood
Caroline is the Teaching and Training Pastor at LIFE and has called LIFE home since 1998.

Simon Manners
Simon is a Spinal Surgeon at Ormiston Hospital and has called LIFE home since 2005.

Our Spiritual Advisors

Our Spiritual Advisors
Strengthening our governance and providing another layer of oversight and accountability for the most important matters 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); Ps Mark Varughese (Senior Leader, Kingdomcity Church) and 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 Pastor and may also be called upon by the Senior Pastor for any major decisions regarding LIFE’s direction. Our Elders ultimately appoint and may remove the Senior Pastors with the support of and unanimous recommendation of our Spiritual Advisors.