Venn Foundation | Compass Summer Conference - Venn Foundation
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Compass Summer Conference


Spaces are limited and fill up fast, so register today.


JAN ’15

Lifeway College

Snell’s Beach




* Valid before 9 November, 2014. Standard Adult price is $795. Prices include all meals, accommodation, lectures and conference materials. $200 deposit required to secure your place.

Explore how faith and life connect over seven days in Snells Beach, New Zealand

with ninety young professionals, creatives and students from around the country.

L ife can throw up some pretty big questions: questions of identity, suffering, beauty, joy, vocation, relationship and meaning. At Summer Conference we discover the depth and breadth of the Gospel story and ask whether it might influence how we approach those big questions.

It is a week like no other.

You will engage with world-class speakers and passionate young adults from across New Zealand, as we consider what it means to “Know the Gospel; Know Culture; and Translate.” It is fully residential, with stunning meals provided and plenty of relaxation time to enjoy the nearby beaches, wineries and Matakana markets!

Summer Conference is a place to explore the richness of a gospel that impacts all of life—our working, studying, relating, imagining, lamenting, and creating—in a thoughtful and open forum. Throughout the week you can expect to:

  • Hear from the hearts and minds of speakers who love God.
  • Think deeply about foundational questions of life.
  • Explore the ideas and stories that have shaped and are shaping culture.
  • Be challenged on what you think and how you think.
  • Eat well, laugh loud, talk lots and perhaps even disagree at times—all the while making new friendships and deepening old ones.

A t Summer Conference we’re privileged to host an exceptional group of speakers from New Zealand and Australia. Year to year, they include:

  • Dr Mark Strom
  • Rachel Kitchens
  • Rev Dr Bryden Black
  • Greg Fleming
  • Andrew Shamy
  • Sam Bloore
  • Annette Pereira
  • Andrew Dwight
  • Dr Rod Thompson

We are also very excited to announce our guest speaker for 2015 Dr Rikk Watts, New Testament Scholar at Regent College, Vancouver.


If you have any queries about the conference, get in touch with us on (09) 929 4988 or enquire here.


After the Summer Conference you are invited to participate in a range of different programmes and events exploring the themes introduced at the conference. Check out the Alumni page for a snapshot of what’s on offer for those who want to stay connected and get involved.

We have uploaded a few talks so you can get a taste of the week.

Jehan’s story

Compass wrecked my life. I didn’t expect it to. But it did.


Having been a Christian since I was a kid, I thought I had a pretty good handle on what God’s doing in the world. But Compass knocked down some walls that I didn’t even know were there.


I was faced with questions I’d never been asked before. What’s the purpose of stories? Where do they come from? What’s God’s story really about? And what does that mean for my life; my own story?

I was struck by the realisation that God isn’t just sitting on a cloud, throwing lightning bolts at us while playing Angry Birds on his iPhone. He’s right here. We can see him in in the glow of a sunset; the honk of a horn; the force of an All Black try. And his desire is not for us to cruise through life, constantly trying to avoid screwing up. His desire is bigger, bolder and grander than any of us can imagine.


It’s a vision of life in which Christians are creative. Christians have great conversations. Christians engage with the world around them, rather than trying to escape it. We watch the news. We reach out to people who’re hurting. Rather than running away from awkward or difficult issues, we run towards them. How good does that sound? That’s the kind of community I want to be part of.


Over the course of the week, I came to this conclusion: despite all its sharp edges, dark corners and potholes, the world is a pretty beautiful place. It’s easy to forget that.

I came to this conclusion: despite all its sharp edges, dark corners and potholes, the world is a pretty beautiful place . . . And the kicker: God has tasked us with looking after this beautiful, broken world.

Compass reminded me of the sheer awesomeness of space; the vast expanse of human history; the depth of our culture. All of it is mind-blowing stuff. And the kicker: God has tasked us with looking after this beautiful, broken world.

For me, this changes everything. It means all these moments are part of a much bigger story. It means that our choices matter. How we spend our money; how we treat the environment. What kind of conversations we have; what kind of people we surround ourselves with.


At Compass, I met a bunch of beautiful, funny, smart people. They challenged me on an intellectual level. I had hoped they would. But what really surprised me is that I left Snells Beach feeling loved by God in a way I’d never felt before. I felt small. I felt insignificant. I’d been humbled. But I felt deeply loved, by none other than the creator of this crazy universe, in which my story plays an infinitesimal part.


Once you get your head around that, you have no choice but to live differently. To ask different questions. To make different choices. For me, this changes everything.

Still have a few questions about Summer Conference?