Baptist Churches of New Zealand
IS HOW LOVE
B E H AV E S Next generation leaders
Reclaiming the Christmas story
GRACE NURTURED â€ THE YEAR THAT WAS 2017
| D e c e m b e r 2 0 1 7 / J a n u a r y 2 0 1 8 | v. 1 3 3 n o . 6 |
I LED THEM WITH
Recently added FIFTY YEARS STRONG Northcote Baptist op shop turns 50
~ NIKI COWIE
CORDS OF HUMAN
kindness, W I T H B A N D S O F love.
OUR COMMITMENT TO LOVE WELL Something revolutionary is happening at Manurewa Baptist Church
~ GAIL HOSKEN
40 YEARS YOUNG…AND STILL GOING STRONG HBH Senior Living celebrates 40 years
~ HBH SENIOR LIVING
~Hosea 11:4a EDITOR Linda Grigg firstname.lastname@example.org GLOBAL MISSION EDITOR Greg Knowles GRAPHIC DESIGNER Rebecca McLeay | WindsorCreative
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The NZ Baptist Magazine is the magazine of the Baptist Churches of New Zealand and the New Zealand Baptist Missionary Society.
Distributed through local Baptist churches in New Zealand and dependent on their contributions. ISSN 1176-8711. A member of the Australasian Religious Press Association.
WINNER OF 2017 ARPA AWARD FOR BEST DESIGN MAGAZINE
“Love”— altruism, kindness, nurture
CONTENT 04 08 10 13
A word from the editor Appropriately for a month in which so much thought and activity centres on Christmas, the theme of this issue is God’s love. Corinthians 13 says love is kind, does not insist on its own way, and rejoices in the truth. Tricia Hendry reminds us of the power of kindness in ministering to those experiencing grief or hardship at what is meant to be a joyous time of year. Craig Vernall encourages us to release our emerging leaders, unselfishly allowing God to take them where they need to go. Children and Family Ministries share how they hope to make the truth of the Christmas story known through their new Christmas@Home resource. Romans 12 implores us to “love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord.” The Hui 2017 summary mentions the welcoming of new churches and fellowships into our Union, and the honouring of departing and incoming servants in our movement. Charles Hewlett and Mike Crudge encourage pastors to pursue professional development. And Charles and Jonny Weir urge churches to respond to God’s love by carefully nurturing the gifts of grace he has given us. Blessings to you.
16 18 20 27 32 33
Grace nurtured REFLECTIONS FROM CRAIG VERNALL
Next generation leaders
Kindness is how love behaves
I’m glad you’re not my doctor!
CHILD & FAMILY
Reclaiming the Christmas story
By the grace of God
The year that was 2017 Stories Small bites Opportunities to serve
Baptist / F E A T U R E
nurtured Becoming good stewards of all of God's gifts
IN FEBRUARY 2016, BAPTIST LEADERSHIP GATHERED TO CONSIDER HOW WE APPROACH THE PRIORITY OF MISSION WITHIN THE BAPTIST CHURCHES OF AOTEAROA. FIVE PRIORITIES EMERGED. OUR CHURCHES ARE BEING ENCOURAGED TO EXPLORE THESE OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS. HERE, CHARLES HEWLETT AND JONNY WEIR REFLECT UPON ONE OF THESE PRIORITIES—NURTURE. SPECIFICALLY THEY ASK WHAT IT MEANS TO ‘NURTURE GRACE’ WITHIN THE BAPTIST MOVEMENT.
the parable of the three servants (Matthew 25:14-30), Jesus uses familiar imagery to teach a spiritual truth—that God commands us to steward well everything he gives us. This includes our possessions, abilities, opportunities, time and circumstances. The Master’s absence is not an empty, meaningless delay, where we sit around maintaining the status quo and taking no risks. Rather it is an opportunity to put to use the talents he has blessed and entrusted us with. This passage has application for the Baptist movement in New Zealand: God has blessed us with so much! We have been embodied by his grace. We have been entrusted with the very power of God that
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can cause transformation in dark and difficult places. God’s kingdom is being established in our communities and in the neighbourhoods around our churches. But this is also a challenging passage for us as a movement because, like the frightened servant of the parable, we can bury the gifts of grace we have been entrusted with. And when we do so, it is not only the Baptist movement that misses out, but also the kingdom of God.
Burying our gifts Here are some examples of ways we can conceal our gifts: • We do not put women into senior leadership roles within our movement because we are too scared to risk upsetting people. • We remain closed to the different ethnic groups that are joining us because we are worried about losing control. • We are so concerned about preserving the status quo and the orthodox way of doing church that we fail to recognise what God is already doing down the road in our communities and our neighbourhoods. • We are not prepared to risk losing our best and our brightest, so we do not release them to Carey Baptist College for theological education and training. • We fear being accountable to other people, so only sixty per cent of our Baptist pastoral leaders are registered.
Becoming a nurturing church How do we avoid burying the gifts that have been entrusted to us? As a movement and as local
Welcome is one of the signs that a community is alive. To invite others to live with us is a sign that we aren’t afraid, that we have a treasure of truth and of peace to share… A community which refuses to welcome—whether though fear, weariness, insecurity, a desire to cling to comfort, or just because it is fed up with visitors—is dying spiritually.1 So, we welcome difference, but what then? The second quality of a nurturing church is to invest in people, but not just in those who can give you what you need. “One of the worst things I can do as a leader with the treasure God has given me, is to spend it for my own benefit,” says Jonny Weir. “I’m talking about the dark side of leadership that sees people as a commodity, not as a treasure. If I am in your church, I want a pastor that will notice me as a treasure, not merely as someone who can help you fulfil your leadership dreams.” Who are the people in your church that are seen but not noticed? Who is missing out on the investment of nurturing grace in your church? Be prepared for the investment question to strike in surprising places! The third sign of a nurturing church is when people are being empowered and released. Nurturing churches are able to think ‘kingdom’ first, and ‘my local church’ second. These churches are sending churches—challenging their people to believe wider than their church and then releasing them to fulfil these big dreams. Finally, a church that is nurturing grace is one that has a BIG God, who calls us to live lives of radical
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Aaron Kitzo - Film Photographer/lightstock.com
HOW ARE WE NURTURING, DEVELOPING, USING AND GROWING ALL THE RICHNESS GOD HAS BESTOWED UPON US?
churches, how are we nurturing, developing, using and growing all the richness God has bestowed upon us? There are four qualities that should be observable in a nurturing church: welcoming difference, investing in surprising places, releasing potential, and inspiring disciples. At the heart of a nurturing church is the capacity, by the grace of Jesus, to welcome difference. The world should be completely blown away by our capacity to be diverse. After all, most of the confusion that Jesus caused in his ministry was around this radical welcoming grace. He was constantly freaking people out about who was in and who was out, who was clean and who was unclean. Philosopher and theologian Jean Vanier says:
Baptist / F E A T U R E
Living lives of radical faith and risk I became a Christian at the age of sixteen. I had never read a Bible before. Someone told me, ‘You need to read the Gospel of Mark.’ I got sixteen verses in and Jesus, who I didn’t know much about, tells these fishermen to drop their nets and follow him. And they did!1 I’m a sixteen-yearold boy thinking, ‘So Jesus wants me to give up everything for him? Is that what he wants me to do?’ Now if you were my pastor, as a sixteen-year-old if I asked, “Does Jesus want me to be prepared to give up everything?” what would you say? I hope you would say, “Yes.” A couple of chapters later, I hear Jesus ask the question, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And then he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”2 This was the year that my mum and dad split up; I am in a tailspin about what family means. And I am reading that Jesus says I have a new family that is defined by giving up their lives for Jesus. Three chapters later, Jesus tells his disciples to go into towns and cities, to cast out demons, heal sick people and preach the gospel. They are each just to wear their sandals and one shirt, and to carry a staff in their hand. They are not to take any bread or a bag, and not to carry any money.3 And I’m like, ‘What? So we have to live radically missional lives, with complete dependency on God for support?’ I am starting to think, ‘This is my life now. Jesus is re-organising the whole deal. He has changed everything.’ Imagine a sixteen-year-old boy getting to chapter eight and hearing the words that have been the most haunting words throughout my entire life from that day forward: “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life?”4 A bomb went off in my life. This entire deal is all about him. I die and he comes alive in me. So, this is the question that haunts me now, several decades on: If it was so clear to me then that life I am to live is all about him, how on earth have I somehow twisted it and made it about me? How did that happen? What will it take to recover that again? Because, as a leader, that’s what the next generation needs to see.
Story: Jonny Weir 1. Mark 1: 16-18 2. Mark 3:33-35 3. Mark 6:7-9 4. Mark 8:34-36
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faith and risk. Many of our churches don’t nurture discipleship because they are too safe and cosy. Gifts of grace have been bestowed on every member of the body of Christ. A faithful church will honour God by multiplying this investment of grace gifts. A strong nurturing church will be welcoming, investing, releasing and inspiring all of God’s people for the service that each is given to fulfil for the glory of God and the realisation of his kingdom.
Story: Charles Hewlett and Jonny Weir Charles Hewlett was Principal of Carey Baptist College from November 2009 to November 2017. Jonny Weir is Director of Ministry Training for Carey Baptist College. This article was adapted from a presentation Charles and Jonny made at Hui 2016. You can view the original presentation at lifelonglearning.nz/grace-nurtured. 1. Jean Vanier, Community and Growth, rev. ed (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1989), 266-267.
Take outs... 1. Is welcoming difference one of the highest values of your church? 2. Are there people in your church or community who tend to be seen but not noticed? What are some ‘surprising places’ your church could be investing in? 3. What does being a disciple of Jesus mean to you? How is that being nurtured in your church?
Equality in Leadership
Nearly twenty years ago, the Baptist Assembly Council, together with Carey Baptist College, sponsored a document in support of women in Baptist church leadership. It has been the present Assembly Council’s position that this document has needed updating to continue to support our women as God calls them into responsible and senior leadership positions within our family of churches. At the 2016 Hui in Dunedin, several outstanding presentations discussed the development and encouragement of women leaders within the Baptist movement in New Zealand. The Baptist Assembly Council requested Heather Ameye‑Bevers (BYM National Project Manager) to prepare an updated statement reflecting the Council’s current thinking on the equality of women in leadership. The following is the updated statement, which was presented at the 2017 Hui in New Plymouth. The Assembly Council would like to acknowledge the input of many who helped with this presentation, in particular Heather for her energy and coordination of the material.
A statement and process towards equality in leadership in Baptist churches We hold Scripture teaches the inherent equality between men and women for both are made in the image and likeness of God (Gen 1:27; Gal 3:28). Both men and women are called to work as co-labourers in God’s world (Gen 1:28); God’s purposes and call works itself out in individual lives, the church and the world. We affirm that both women and men followed Jesus as disciples, and that the Holy Spirit was given to all for the sake of mission (Acts 1:8; 2:4; 2:17-18) and the church (1 Cor 12; Rom 12:4-8). We acknowledge Paul’s female co-workers, (Rom 16:3, 6, 12; Phil 4:2) and the female leaders, teachers and apostles within the development, life and ministry of the early church (Luke 2:38; Acts 18:26; Rom 16: 1-7; 1 Cor 1:11; Phil 4:2-3, Col 4:15). We affirm God’s continuing calling of both women and men into all areas of preaching, teaching and leadership. God’s calling of all persons into God’s service extends from volunteers and staff responsibilities, and to all senior leadership positions. God does this for the glory of his name and the sake of the church.
Alongside this statement, some of our Baptist scholars, including Rev Dr Sarah Harris, Dr Csilla Saysell and Rev Elliot Rice, have written a theological document that exegetes the biblical passages that have historically called women’s leadership into question. This document is available on the Carey Centre for Lifelong Learning website, along with other resources around this topic for group studies or discussions www.lifelonglearning.nz/women.
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Next generation leaders The challenge of letting go
IN THE MOVIE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, THE CHARACTER NAMED ‘RED’ SAYS OF HIS ESCAPED JAILHOUSE BUDDY, ANDY: “I HAVE TO REMIND MYSELF THAT SOME BIRDS AREN’T MEANT TO BE CAGED. THEIR FEATHERS ARE JUST TOO BRIGHT. AND WHEN THEY FLY AWAY, THE PART OF YOU THAT KNOWS IT WAS A SIN TO LOCK THEM UP DOES REJOICE.” 1 HERE CRAIG VERNALL REFLECTS ON THE OFTEN DIFFICULT DECISION TO RELEASE OUR BEST AND BRIGHTEST.
sign of fruitfulness is a community that continues to raise up leaders. Some of our best New Zealand examples of leadership development are found in our national sports teams. Highly evolved leadership sponsoring structures exist in the best sports team cultures. With the average career length of a sportsperson being under ten years, leadership succession is an ever-present demand. This is especially so if the team captain is sidelined by injury, thus forcing the issue of leadership upon the coach and team. Churches face this same challenge but without the same sense of immediacy or urgency as a sporting code. This can lull the church into a false sense of security. Then, as a number of denominations have eventually realised, a leadership shortage can appear that will take years to backfill.
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Baptist / R E F L E C T I O N S F R O M C R A I G V E R N A L L
Leadership development has to be intentional; it rarely happens on its own. As Baptists, we have traditionally been blessed with great leaders. The mix of pastoral and lay leaders has been a huge strength for our churches and our movement. In both pastoral and mission work, we have experienced visionary and courageous leaders who have shaped our movement. So within our Baptist DNA there is a place for leadership development. Within our Baptist culture we have always provided space for leaders to grow. The local church is the ideal place to test and approve whoever God is raising up into all arenas of leadership. But leadership development has to be intentional; it rarely happens on its own. Leaders are more likely to develop when present leaders take a keen interest in what God is doing amongst our young men and women. It does not matter whether your church is rural or urban, smaller or larger, God will be raising up leaders in your midst. The obligation is upon all present leaders to identify that next generation who will replace and supersede the previous generation.
The challenge of releasing leaders Yes, there is a challenge and it is for all of us. It is a personal one and we would rather not talk about it. Church leaders can be happy and willing to train leaders to a certain point—that point being the different leadership roles being offered within the church. For a pastoral leader, there is no greater gift than a group of volunteer leaders who take seriously the responsibilities they have been tasked with, who see their service
as firstly honouring God, and who maintain a humility through serving others. Church life thrives on the sacrificial commitment volunteers like this will make to see a project through to completion. The big challenge is in letting these people go. The sending church will pay a price for nurturing leaders who will ultimately go off to express their leadership calling elsewhere. It is hard for a pastor to suggest that the lay leaders in the church, who serve so diligently, should pack their bags and head away to Carey Baptist College. This creates a hole that can be hard to fill. It is a celebration when someone leaves for further training, but also a time of grief; pastors understandably become dependent upon their key volunteers and have doubts about their ability to replace them. So for the pastor of the local church, giving your most capable leaders away is a step of faith. As in many parts of the ministry life, we have to be prepared to trust God to make up the difference. As we give away, can we trust God to bring the right people into, or up through, the church? Church leaders can have a siege mentality when it comes to giving their best away. We may see that our numbers are static or our leadership horsepower is limited, so the thought of losing someone is really challenging. I too feel this strain. But one of the most obvious thoughts that runs through my mind is the reminder that, at some stage, someone trusted God enough to encourage me into further training. Every pastor who reads this article can remember the significant conversation that was held with a respected leader who encouraged you to ‘cast your net on the other side’, i.e. to take up the challenge of being called into a faith adventure that puts you firmly in the hands of the God who calls you. As New Zealand Baptists, we are facing an interesting dynamic within our movement. Presently we have very few people training specifically for
pastoral ministry or overseas mission. Our college is full of students but not specifically pastoral leadership track students. Yet at the same time we probably have the most significant Christian youth movement in the country. Our youth groups are largely successful and our Easter camps are very influential. What is the disconnect between committed Christian young people and the call to ministry? We could suggest there are lots of new social and generational dynamics that impress upon a younger generation. But maybe the answer is as simple as the power of the ask—the tap on the shoulder and the discussion that starts with, “Could God be calling you into a position of leadership that you need to train for?” A guiding hand and an ongoing conversation will generate the trust that is needed to help someone over the hump of identifying the call and setting a new course. So if you are a leader, why not stop to consider who it is that you would struggle to lose in your church. That is a challenging question, but the answer is one that could ignite a new generation into ministry leadership. We owe this to God and the people we lead. God’s highest for one of your emerging leaders may only be a shoulder tap away.
Story: Craig Vernall Craig is the National Leader of the Baptist Churches of New Zealand and the Senior Pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church. 1. Shawshank Redemption, Dir. Christopher Nolan. Castle Rock Entertainment, 1994. Film.
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Baptist / D I S C I P L E S H I P
IS HOW LOVE
B E H AV E S Responding to those struggling in our churches and communities
THE FESTIVE SEASON COMES WITH ALL KINDS OF TRADITIONS AND CELEBRATIONS. THE FOCUS IS ON THE TOGETHERNESS OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS, HOPE, JOY, SPECIAL FOOD, GIFTS, THANKFULNESS AND RELAXING. SOME SAY IT IS THEIR FAVOURITE TIME OF YEAR. SOME DO NOT. TRICIA HENDRY LOOKS AT HOW WE MIGHT LOVINGLY RESPOND TO THOSE NEEDING EXTRA SUPPORT IF THIS SEASON JUST BRINGS THEM INCREASED DISTRESS.
This time of the year I don’t fit in. I feel like I disappoint others. I’m an inconvenient truth for my church family, you might say. Depression and grief doesn’t lift away just for Christmas, New Year or for sunny summer days. It doesn’t work like that. Jesus knew suffering, and how to recognise it and respond to it, but many of his followers have a harder time doing that, don’t you think? — Karl, a bereaved father
ove came down at Christmas, as the song goes.1 I thank God it did, because this world can be a harsh, unkind place for too many. It might be people struggling with physical or mental illness, addiction, loss and grief, financial hardship, unemployment, loneliness, violence, or broken family relationships. Many people have life
W hen it is offered respectfully and without strings attached, no act of kindness is ever wasted. challenges that make this time of year tough to handle. It is easy for us to ‘forget’ what Jesus taught us about interacting with others. We can be quick to leave it to someone else, to opt to stay in our comfort zones, or to avoid eye contact and look busy! Sometimes we do not notice others may be struggling because our own lives preoccupy us. But whenever we renew our commitment to Jesus, which perhaps is each morning, we are renewing our commitment to respond to others in Jesus’ way.
“Just as I have loved you” “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34‑35). Jesus loved us with undeserved grace, forgiveness and kindness. He showed us that kindness is how love behaves. He teaches us to respond kindly to those we meet who life has knocked back. This includes the unlovely, the difficult, the challenging and the awkward. It also includes those who have hurt us personally, which can be the hardest of all. Let us be honest, sometimes kindness needs courage. Your faith, and mine, takes on a whole new authenticity and relevance when we reflect God’s love through our acts of kindness. We will always talk about Jesus more effectively with our lives than our lips. The impact of kindness is powerful. As one well-known saying puts it, kindness is a language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see. US politician and author Bob Kerrey describes unexpected kindness as “one of the most powerful, least costly, most underrated agents of human change that there is.”2 This is why the difference our kindness can make is important to God. He designed us with the capacity to be kind because kindness is transformative. Jesus’ own examples show us kindness is never weak or passive: it empowers. His version of kindness was proactive and radical: it changed lives. Jesus reminds us in Luke that he is not just interested in us being good to those who are good back (Luke 6:32-36). He points out that those needing kindness may take us right out of our comfort zones. “And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me’” (Matthew 25:40).
Kindness is never wasted When it is offered respectfully and without strings attached, no act of kindness is ever wasted. It is often not so much what you say or do that people remember: it is how you make them feel. • Don’t assume you always know. We do not always know what others are dealing with, or how. Even people close to us may privately be struggling. Kindness is for all; spread it around without favour. • Even the smallest kindnesses have an impact. A phone call or visit. Remembering a name, or their family members’ names. An invitation. Providing a ride or a meal. A real smile. Being interested in them and including them. These all say, ‘I care’ and ‘You matter to me.’ Wherever you find other people, there are opportunities for kindness. • Make it about them. Focus on the person’s needs, not yours. People can tell the difference between being pitied or patronised and being respected. They can sense if someone is offering genuine support or is doing it just to feel good about themselves or to fulfil a duty. • Never push. Find out what needs a person has. They know themselves best, so let them set the pace. Check if an idea you have is something they would find helpful. Understand if they do not accept your assistance. Perhaps offer another time. • Be there. Turn up. Give them unrushed time and your full attention. • Listen well, without judgement. Listen more. Avoid rushing in with advice. Your role is not to fix them. Be a companion on their journey for a while. • Get to know them more, which takes time. Build a relationship that creates trust and mutual support. • Keep it real. Do not be afraid to have honest conversations with others about their struggles. Even if their experience is far from your own, be ready to listen and learn. Most people, including our millennials, look for Christians they can be themselves with. They are drawn to churches that address relevant life issues with honesty, instead of avoidance, fear, pretence
THE DIFFERENCE OUR KINDNESS CAN MAKE IS I M P O R TA N T T O G O D .
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Baptist / D I S C I P L E S H I P
or hypocrisy. An accepting, non‑judgemental environment helps struggling people know they have a safe place, and kind, patient support. Jesus showed us how to do this. • “They gave me practical help but they encouraged me too.” Encouraging words can help spark hope and self-belief in those feeling overwhelmed or trapped in a situation. Say them, or write them in a card, text message or email. And keep them coming! • Never gossip about the person. That is not how love behaves. • Pray. Often. Trust God to know all the factors in play for someone. Ask him to guide them, and you. • Be patient. Supporting others is not easy, especially if someone is
very different from us. Patience needs to be a choice some days. People need time to come through life’s roughest things. • Remember self-care. Your own well-being matters as much as anyone else’s. Pace yourself. Take time regularly to replenish your soul and your energy. If any situation gets very stressful, or you have serious concerns about someone, use the knowledge and skills of others you trust, including professionals. A team effort can often work well in complex situations.
Lord, help us see others in need with your eyes. Help us respond to them with kindness and, when needed, with courage.
Story: Tricia Hendry Tricia Hendry is an experienced educator, presenter and writer. Having experienced tragedy herself, she supports people of all ages to better understand the nature of resilience, loss, grief and trauma, and offers ideas for facing life's toughest times. She was a speaker at the July 2017 Baptist LEAD Conference. www.triciahendry.com. 1. “Love Came Down at Christmas,” Hymnary.org, hymnary.org/text/love_ came_down_at_christmas. 2. “Bob Kerrey,” QuotesAbout.us, quotesabout.us/author/b/bob-kerrey.
CHARITABLE DEPOSITS AND HOW THEY WORK
haritable deposits are a new initiative that allow you to make a real difference to some of your favourite charities and churches around New Zealand, without having to donate any of your own money. Sounds exciting right?
Depositor invests an amount in, for example, a 12-month charitable deposit and chooses to forego earning interest on the deposit.
$ uses the deposit as an ethical investment by lending to churches and other charities. Depositor can then reinvest for another term after the first term expires.
CH A RI TY
1 YEAR LATER
A donation is made by Christian Savings to the depositor’s nominated church or other charity.
Christian Savings (in its name) donates the equivalent of the interest that would have been earned on, for example, a 12-month term deposit. At all times the investment amount belongs to the depositor.
CHARITIES ALREADY SIGNED UP THAT YOU CAN SUPPORT INCLUDE
0508 (SAVINGS) 728 464 email@example.com In Partnership with The Baptist Union of New Zealand
Now we have your attention, it works just like a normal term deposit except you do not earn interest. Instead, we donate an amount equal to the interest which you would have earned on a term deposit of the same term to the eligible charity of your choice. At the end of the term you get back the original sum you invested with us, while in the interim, we have used the interest you would have earned to make donations to your chosen church or charity. If you’re interested in setting up a charitable deposit, or getting your church or charity involved, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Deposits are issued by Christian Savings Limited. A copy of our Product Disclosure Statement is available from our website.
I’m glad you’re not my doctor! Reflections on lifelong learning for pastors MOST PROFESSIONALS PARTICIPATE IN SOME FORM OF ONGOING LEARNING RELATED TO THEIR FIELD OF EXPERTISE, WHETHER IT IS SELF‑DIRECTED STUDY OR TRAINING TO FULFIL A REGULATORY REQUIREMENT. CHARLES HEWLETT AND MIKE CRUDGE REFLECT ON THE BENEFITS OF LIFELONG LEARNING FOR BAPTIST PASTORS—FOR THE PASTORS THEMSELVES AND FOR THE CHURCHES THEY LEAD.
amazes me how lightly many pastoral leaders take the idea of lifelong learning. Personal professional development is often seen as nothing more than an interruption to the real work of ministry and mission. Quick, inexpensive and non-academic options are considered more attractive than formation opportunities that are time-consuming and studious. And often, any accountability to a national body is something to be scoffed at, almost deemed offensive. I understand that with the Baptist movement in New Zealand, forty per cent of pastoral leaders have currently let their Baptist Leaders’ Registration lapse, or have never been registered. I am so glad they are not my doctor, or teacher, or accountant, or lawyer, or plumber, or gasfitter and drain layer!
Fresh ideas There are many reasons why having a serious professional development programme is important for the pastoral leader. Firstly, rather than becoming bored with the same theories and practices, lifelong learning energises us with fresh ideas.
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Baptist / L E A D E R S H I P
Baptist / L E A D E R S H I P
LIFELONG LEARNING OPENS US UP TO D I F F E R E N T WAY S OF THINKING AND SEEING THINGS. Pastors regularly tell me that one of the biggest challenges they face in ministry is boredom. Over the years the week in, week out meetings and tasks can become dull and monotonous. Pastors: Professional development will introduce you to different and innovative ways of doing things. It can provide you with the creative and inspired thinking that you need to address those problems that have been hounding you for years. And I have no doubt the people you lead will be very thankful!
Supportive friendships Rather than being solitary, lifelong learning provides us with opportunities to network and meet new people. Within New Zealand, pastoring can often mean being called to more rural and isolated settings. Even in the middle of a big city, leadership can be an extremely lonely vocation. Lifelong learning will provide friendships and support through such things as cohorts, supervision, conferences, and all the online social media that is incorporated into education today. Open-mindedness Thirdly, rather than being closed and dogmatic, lifelong learning opens us up to different ways of thinking and seeing things. Pastors: When was the last time you changed your mind about something? Like the best way to do ministry, or how leadership should be structured, or a theological understanding? Rigid, egotistical, obstinate leaders hinder the work of God and are damaging within the local church. Lifelong learning will open you up to a greater appreciation of diversity, which will lead to improved relationships and
Baptist Leaders’ registration and the Carey Centre for Lifelong Learning Since 1996 the Baptist family of churches has provided a framework that facilitates both professional development and the recognition at a national level of a leader’s call into a local ministry context. It is called Baptist Leaders’ Registration and comprises three components: • learning—a commitment to some form of ongoing, lifelong learning • Baptist whānau—participation within the Baptist family of churches beyond the local church • supervision—having an accountability relationship that is concerned about ongoing development, meeting at least once every two months. These components make up a Ministry Development Agreement, which is renewed each November for the year ahead. Elders: Do you have an annual review with your pastor that includes feedback and input into their Ministry Development Agreement?
Pastor search/call committees: Do you ask candidates about their recent Ministry Development Agreements? Do you find out their future development plans and aspirations and how you might enable them? Our Carey Baptist College exists to serve the church and this is primarily done by developing leaders for ministry and mission. At Carey we are also extremely interested in the ongoing professional development of both leaders and practitioners. Serving others is not always easy; as a college we want to use our resources to help sustain church leaders with depth for longevity. With this in mind we developed the Carey Centre for Lifelong Learning, and in 2016 we took on the facilitation of Baptist Leaders’ Registration. At the heart of Carey’s Lifelong Learning is a professional development programme for leaders in ministry and mission. We also
offer public events, lectures, conferences, seminars, retreats and online resourcing. Our goal is to offer the same calibre of content and teaching that would be expected in the Carey classroom. Overseas examples of such lifelong learning centres are showing us that this approach is the way of the future in terms of resourcing church leaders throughout their ministry and mission calling and careers.
Story: Dr Mike Crudge Mike is Director of the Carey Centre for Lifelong Learning. You can find out more about the Centre and what it offers at lifelonglearning.nz or email email@example.com.
better communication, and therefore reduced conflict and a healthier well‑being for you! Rather than becoming out of date and out of touch, lifelong learning keeps us current in our thinking and practice. The world we live in changes at such a fast pace. The pastoral leader is expected to be an expert on so many complex issues like ecology, genetics, housing, sexuality, world religions and refugees. And what about all those skills we are expected to become proficient at, like connecting and engaging with a social media world? Lifelong learning stops us from becoming stagnant; it enables us to be more aware and up to date.
Accountability Finally, rather than being isolated, lifelong learning brings a healthy level of accountability to our thinking and practice. Leaders who see themselves
beyond review and account perhaps concern me the most. Pastors: Good professional development will result in a positive level of culpability being placed upon you. It may be a tutor marking your reflections, or an author challenging your practice. Perhaps peers will critique your preaching, or a wise sage keep an eye on your thinking. How healthy is this? And how safe does it keep the people we lead? I find the observations of Carson Pue alarming: “We keep getting elevated in Christian leadership responsibility past the point of getting accurate feedback—and we are allowed to continue without anyone ever asking the question, ‘Where are you in relationship to Jesus?’”1 Pastors: What level of investment are you currently making in yourself as a pastoral leader? Do you have a lifelong learning programme in
place? Is there someone that you feel responsible to? We must never stop learning. The education stage of our lives must not be limited to the few years we spent at theological college. Let's be honest, when we learn new things we become more interesting people to be around!
Story: Charles Hewlett Charles Hewlett was Principal of Carey Baptist College from November 2009 to November 2017. 1. Carson Pue, Mentoring Leaders: Wisdom for Developing Character, Calling and Competency (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2005), 40.
YEARS YOUNG and still caring
This month, HBH Senior Living celebrates 40 years since we first opened the doors of Howick Baptist Healthcare in 1977. A lot has changed since then (including our name), but our faith-based approach remains the same. We’re still motivated by the compassion, love and justice demonstrated in the life of Jesus Christ, and we still offer excellent, compassionate and responsive aged care. Above all, we still put caring first ... every day, and in every little way. HBH Senior Living, 139 Union Road, Howick, Auckland Phone 09 538 0800 Email firstname.lastname@example.org www.hbh.org.nz A member of the Retirement Village Association of NZ HBH Senior Living is an Eden Alternative Registered Home
A service of Howick Baptist Healthcare Ltd
Baptist / C H I L D & F A M I L Y
the Christmas story Establishing ongoing faith conversations with your children
FOR THE PAST TWO YEARS, THE BAPTIST CHILDREN AND FAMILY MINISTRIES (BCFM) TEAM HAS PRODUCED CHRISTMAS@HOME AND EASTER@HOME RESOURCES FOR CHURCHES AND FAMILIES. KAREN WARNER AND MARELIZE BESTER AT BCFM’S NATIONAL OFFICE REVEAL THE FAITH JOURNEY THEY WENT ON WHEN THEY DECIDED TO DEVELOP THEIR LATEST PRODUCT, THE ADVENT TREE.
ll of BCFM’s ‘@Home’ resources aim to help parents establish ongoing faith conversations with their children at home. It is the Deuteronomy 6 principle of the spiritual being incorporated into the daily rhythms of life. Karen and Marelize knew this year’s product would have the same outcome in mind and also follow their standard model of ‘read, talk, do’. But they needed a fresh and exciting new concept.
An idea forms A combination of a preschool activity and recent experience with laser-cut products, sparked an idea with Marelize—a 3D Christmas tree with decorations that told a story. This idea reminded Karen of something she had done years ago with her own children. “It was called the Box of Blessings,” says Karen. “I wrapped twenty-four decorations, wrote a verse on the outside of each, and then put them in a box. For the twenty-four days leading up to Christmas, we would open a package each day, read the verse, and hang the ornament that represented that part of the story on the Christmas tree. By Christmas, the tree was fully decorated with the nativity story.” Marelize suggested accompanying the Advent Tree with an illustrated map of Bethlehem. For each of the twenty‑four days leading up to Christmas, families would
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We w a nt to re c l a i m Christmas from the tinsel, elves and Santa. add a decoration to their ‘popand-slot’ (3D puzzle) tree, read the recommended scripture, search for decoration images hidden on the map, and then answer a question or do an activity together.
Obstacles in the path Coming up with the idea was one thing, but how to manufacture the product? Quotes from Kiwi companies put the Advent Trees well out of churches’ reach, but going offshore for a manufacturer was a difficult option. How could BCFM ensure they were ethical businesses? Getting the right illustrations for the product was an important part of making the product sellable. Andrés Carrió was the ideal choice but he had left WindsorCreative to study abroad. “Eventually, we decided that the best we could do was to have a tree made from thick cardboard and parents would have to cut it out and slot it in. And I would have to do the drawings myself,” says Marelize. It wasn’t the creative dream she had had, but what could they do? Well, within one week God answered that question. Embarking on a faith journey Marelize found a company at a gift fair that sold pop-and-slot activity sets similar to those she had originally envisaged. The following day a visiting family pastor saw the ‘plan B’ cardboard cut-out prototype on Marelize’s desk. “There is no way I am cutting this out,” he told her. “I’m a busy dad, and this is not happening! You have to do a pop‑and‑slot.” So, the question was put to a focus group: if the choice was
a cheaper cut-out version or a more expensive pop-out model, which would you choose? The group unanimously voted for the latter. Back at the gift fair, Marelize asked whether the activity sets’ manufacturer would be interested in a custom job. The answer was no, but they encouraged Marelize to search for a company that would, and to ask the hard questions about how the workplace treated its staff. “I went online that evening and started emailing companies who made 3D puzzles to see if they would do custom work,” says Marelize. “Only one lady in China came back to me. They offered a good price and she was happy to answer all my questions about their employment conditions.” The final answer to prayer was when Karen and Marelize heard that Andrés was returning to work with Windsor Creative. They immediately commissioned him, and within two weeks of returning to New Zealand he had drawn all the components for the Advent Tree product. Ordering eight thousand units from a company in China with whom they had no prior connection still took faith. However, early orders seemed to confirm they were on the right path, with the first six hundred pre-sold within two days. Profits from the sales are going back into ministry and mission with children and families, enabling BCFM to provide more resources for Baptist churches.
A story for everyone Although originally conceived with a church-based audience in mind, Karen and Marelize quickly realised the Advent Tree was accessible for non‑believers too. A successful application to a philanthropic funder meant they were able to gift 2000 Advent Trees to community-based groups. Alongside the 6000 Advent Trees purchased by church groups, this resource will be used in
8000 homes around the country this Christmas. “We want to reclaim Christmas from the tinsel, elves and Santa. And we want to be saying in our homes, ‘Christmas is not about the buying and the hype. It’s a real story. Yes, it’s a story from two thousand years ago in Israel, but it’s still relevant for us today.’” This year, the Christmas@Home Advent Trees were only available through BCFM, but Marelize dreams that next year they will sell them through secular retailers, too—something that will require yet another step of faith!
Story: Marelize Bester and Karen Warner Marelize and Karen are, respectively, the Resource Coordinator and National Team Leader for Baptist Children and Family Ministries.
Take outs... 1. How could you incorporate the Advent Tree into the life and faith of the whole community over the weeks leading up to Christmas? 2. How might your Sunday morning worship time be used to enhance what is happening in the home? 3. In what ways could you use social media and your church’s online presence to support families’ use of the tree?
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Baptist / C U L T U R E
grace of God
Welcoming brothers and sisters in Christ
AT HUI 2017, THE CHIN GLORY EVANGELICAL CHURCH OF NELSON WAS WELCOMED AS A FULLY CONSTITUTED CHURCH IN OUR UNION OF NEW ZEALAND BAPTIST CHURCHES. THE FOLLOWING IS ADAPTED FROM A HUI PRESENTATION MADE BY THE CHURCH, WITH THANKS TO THANG THANG TIALHNIN FOR MUCH OF THE BACKGROUND MATERIAL.
hin is a northwestern state in the country of Myanmar (Burma). The Chin people have their own traditional dress, languages, dialects and beliefs. Originally animists, due to the arrival and influence of American Baptist missionaries more than one hundred years ago, approximately ninety per cent of Chin people today are Christian. The rest of Myanmar is predominantly Buddhist.
Chin Glory Evangelical Church Chin people came to Nelson more than ten years ago as part of New Zealand’s refugee quota. It was quite a culture shock for them, made more difficult in that few of them spoke English well. At their Hui presentation, John Thian Hlun, Chin Glory Evangelical Church member and former pastor, gave an example of how even simple communication could be misconstrued in those early days.
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AS THE BAPTIST UNION LOVES US, WE LOVE YOU AS WELL. Soon after he arrived, one of his new friends invited him to their home to learn how to make muffins. John was asked to bring some flour with him. The next day, John dutifully picked flowers from his garden to take along to the lesson! The Chin Glory Evangelical Church was established in Nelson in 2012, with seventy-two people attending. “We were thinking, ‘How can we survive here in New Zealand?’” says John. The group approached the then pastor of Nelson Baptist Church, Hamish Baxter, about how they could become a member of the Baptist Union, since most Chin people come from a Baptist background. Hamish gave them a fellowship charter. It involved a lot of time and paperwork but, with the help of many people, the steps of first becoming a fellowship and then a fully constituted church were finally achieved. “By the grace of God we are now a member of the Baptist Union family, which we very much appreciate,” says John. “When we were constituted, when I got that email, in my mind came when Jesus spoke to his disciples that saying, ‘This is what I tell you to do—love each other just as I love you.’ So in this way, as the Baptist Union loves us, we love you as well.” Today, there are more than 500 Chin people living in Nelson, and Chin Glory Evangelical Church has 170 attendees. Some people have asked the church why the word 'Baptist' doesn't appear in their name. The story of how the church came to be named is interesting. The members prayed and wrote down four or five options for names on pieces of paper, which were placed in a bowl. They prayed again, determining that what was written on the first slip selected at random from the bowl would be the new name for the church. And so it was that ‘Chin Glory Evangelical Church’ was selected!
Carey’s new Ethnic Ministry Leadership course stirs enthusiasm Leaders of ethnic churches requested Carey Baptist College to create a course to raise leadership skills of potential leaders in their congregations. This was made possible with the help of funding from the Tabernacle Trust. The first two subjects covered in the new Ethnic Ministry Leadership course were New Testament survey, taught by Laurie Guy, and Inspirational Preaching, led by Beulah Wood, who is also the programme leader. The participants, who had all grown up with non-English backgrounds, met for over three hours on Thursday evenings during the second semester. The organisers were delighted at the mix of people—Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Malaysian, three from the Philippines, six from Myanmar and five from Ethiopia. Together they encouraged one another and gained new skills for leadership for their congregations around Auckland. “I see people change and grow during a preaching course, and I saw it again here,” Beulah says. “The students gained in poise, planning, and ability to make a message memorable and impacting for a listening audience.” One participant commented, “I have a better understanding of the New Testament now.” Another said, “I like the pace and interactive style. I am learning how to preach to people wisely.” In semester one of 2018, the study subjects will be Introduction to Theology with Rev Brian Smith, and Gospel and Culture, with Gordon Stewart. “We’re excited for this opportunity of learning and growth in understanding the Bible and church leadership,” says Carey’s Director of Ministry Training, Jonny Weir.
Story: Thang Thang Tialhnin, with Linda Grigg Thang Thang is Youth Secretary for Chin Glory Evangelical Church.
For more information, email email@example.com.
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Baptist / H U I 2 0 1 7
Hui 2017 GALE-FORCE WINDS SWEPT THROUGH TARANAKI AS WELL AS OTHER PARTS OF THE COUNTRY JUST PRIOR TO HUI. HOWEVER, COME THURSDAY, THE WEATHER HAD SETTLED AND DELEGATES WERE MET WITH PLEASANT SPRING CONDITIONS, MATCHED BY THE WARM WELCOME OF OUR HOSTS AT NORTHPOINT BAPTIST CHURCH.
Thursday Pōwhiri Hui began with a pōwhiri at Ōwae Marae in Waitara, believed to be one of the oldest pa sites in Taranaki. Waitara has deep significance for New Zealand, being where the land wars began in 1860. We were welcomed by our gracious Te Ātiawa hosts, who explained some of the history of the iwi and who treated us to a generous morning tea. Jim Patrick, outgoing President Jim and Lois Patrick visited fifty-three churches during Jim’s tenure as President, travelling more than 10,000 kilometres, not including flights. In his address to Hui, Jim suggested we set faith goals for the whole movement, be strategic about church planting, have a spirit of interdependence, and use the spiritual weapon of prayer against negativity. He urged churches also to get behind global mission, including NZBMS. Josie Te Kahu, incoming President Josie said transformational change requires a relational way of being, based on honesty, integrity and respect, and enhancing the mana of people, rather than programmes. It involves deep listening and co-design, especially with those whose voices have been silenced. It requires us to 'embrace the shadow', i.e. to face our fears, failures and
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weaknesses. It also needs us to stand up for justice, and to have a singleness of vision, an appreciation for diversity, and discernment. “Look around in your faith community,” she said. “Who is missing? Who has been silenced? I encourage you to relate with them. Let them speak and do some deep listening.”
Long-service recognition Darcy and the late Sue Haliday, Paul and Adrienne Thompson and Stuart and Chris Hight were recognised for their long service as leaders to the Baptist movement. Lionel Stewart Scholarship The Lionel Stewart Scholarship is for people exploring or working in areas of bicultural reconciliation. This was awarded to Paul Askin. Lisa Woolley, VisionWest Community Trust Lisa Woolley told the story of her and her husband's faith journey and their involvement in community ministry in New Zealand and overseas. However the main focus of her talk was the story of Glen Eden Baptist Church and VisionWest. Although its beginnings were humble, today VisionWest has 1500 staff and volunteers, and is a $46 million organisation reaching 20,000 individuals and families every year. She left delegates with a challenge
to imagine Baptists as a leading voice for ending homelessness, suggesting the idea of a Baptist Housing Unit and of joint venture housing projects.
Farewell to Charles Hewlett Josie Te Kahu asked Charles if he had any words of encouragement to reluctant leaders, since he had identified himself as one. He said, “I think God does give us gifts for ministry, but I have no doubt that greater influence comes through character, and that is the fruit of the Spirit.” Asked about highlights from his time as Principal, Charles included bringing through the next generation of young academics, the inclusion of women on Carey’s faculty, the bicultural journey, the graduates, working with the Baptist Union and NZBMS, and seeing the appointment of the next Principal from within Carey. Welcome to John Tucker John Tucker is a graduate of Carey Baptist College, and has been a pastor and a lecturer at the College. He has a strong family history of involvement in the Baptist movement. John listed six reasons why he loves the way Carey trains leaders for ministry and mission: it is biblical, contextual, practical, formational, accessible and missional. He said, “They are the values I want to guard and deepen at Carey in the years to come, so we can continue to serve our churches by providing excellent, rigorous and effective training of leaders for ministry and mission.” New churches and fellowships Two new churches and three new fellowships were welcomed into the Baptist Union: Churches • Ormiston Community Baptist Church (Auckland). • Chin Glory Evangelical Church (Nelson). Fellowships • Living Waters International Baptist Church (Auckland). • Nelson Chin Baptist Church (Nelson). • Wellington Kachin Baptist Church (North Porirua). Overseas staff Carolynne, Phillipa (Pip), and Peter and Lynley were recommissioned having completed their overseas service. Ryan and Sophie (in absentia) and Carol were commissioned for work in South Asia.
Welcomed onto Ōwae Marae
Josie Te Kahu commissioned as Baptist President
Josie Te Kahu interviewing Charles Hewlett
Peter and Lynley recommissioned
John Tucker commissioned as new Carey Baptist College principal
Baptist / H U I 2 0 1 7
Friday Women’s breakfast The Baptist Women's breakfast session on Friday was attended by 120 women. Referencing Proverbs 31:25 about a woman who was clothed with strength and dignity, Wendy Budge talked about being ‘smartly dressed’ with the right attitude and with spiritual habits, such as prayer and reading Scripture. It is our responsibility as leaders to do these things, because then when pain and discouragement come, we're equipped to trust God's plan and his timing. We need to wear the right clothing and clear out unwanted goods from our ‘handbags’.
Wendy Budge speaking at the Women's Breakfast
Parihaka On Friday morning delegates watched ‘Tatarakihi—The Children of Parihaka’. This documentary follows a group of Taranaki children who, in 2009, made a pilgrimage to the South Island jails where their ancestors were imprisoned in the late 19th century. After watching the documentary, twelve busloads of delegates travelled from Northpoint to visit Parihaka. After the pōwhiri and generous lunch, guides led groups to different parts of the village, to explain some of the history but also about what is happening at Parihaka today and plans for the future. A poroaki closed the visit, before the buses returned to Northpoint in the afternoon. The Parihaka experience was emotional and of spiritual significance for many. In the February edition of NZ Baptist magazine we will have personal reflections from several of the delegates. You can read more about Parihaka and the documentary at parihaka.maori.nz and parihakafilm.co.nz. Andrew Judd, “Recovering Racist” Every year the Baptist Research and Historical Society hosts the Sutherland Lecture at Hui. This year's speaker was a local man, Andrew Judd. In 2013 Andrew was elected mayor of New Plymouth district. As mayor, Andrew had to engage with the Māori world, and he became aware of the post-colonisation challenges Māori face in health, education, poverty, homelessness and disproportionate incarceration rates. As he listened to stories from a Māori perspective and experience, Andrew began a private journey to uncover prejudice and cultural ignorance in his life. Unfortunately not everyone appreciated Andrew's new-found sensitivities. When he championed elected Māori representation on council, controversy ensued. He was verbally abused and denigrated by some sections of the district and wider New Zealand. The opposition was such that he decided not to seek re-election. “This was no longer a question of rates, roads, potholes and art galleries. This was a question of who we are, how we care and love each other. How we acknowledge, respect and celebrate our differences as Treaty partners. I couldn't become the bait for hate, because then it would have been about me. This was about us...Most of all, the children are watching. The children are listening. And the children are learning.” Andrew’s talk was followed by a panel discussion led by John Tucker and comprising Josie Te Kahu, Sean Delany and Alan Jamieson. Together they unpacked some of the issues Andrew raised and the possible implications for Baptist churches today.
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Overlooking Parihaka Baptist delegates at Parihaka
Our welcome to Parihaka
Tour around Parihaka
Panel discussion with John Tucker
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Baptist / H U I 2 0 1 7
Saturday Rachel Murray’s recommissioning Rachel Murray’s recommissioning as General Director of NZBMS was acknowledged. Chair of the Mission Council, Andrew Bollen, said that in a recent review for Rachel, the Council had asked people whether they still believed she was the right person to lead NZBMS for the next three years. “From that response it was overwhelmingly ‘yes’, so to have the vote today reaffirms that again,” he said. Christian Savings Bruce Anderson, CFO of Christian Savings (formerly Baptist Savings), talked about recent developments. These include new staff appointments, changing the legal structure to a limited liability company, new shareholders, new loans and savings products, and funding of the ‘Building the Church for Today and Tomorrow’ conference. Gender equality in Baptist churches Heather Ameye-Bevers gave a presentation on gender equality in our Baptist churches, which included these insightful statistics: • Of the 510 pastors in New Zealand Baptist churches, just over twenty-four per cent are women. • Seventy-three per cent of women pastors are part-time, compared with twenty-eight per cent of male pastors. • Less than eight per cent of senior/sole or co-pastors are women. Questions put to delegates were: • Why are so few women in Baptist leadership? What is the story beneath the story? • Listen to what the statistics tell us. What is God speaking to us? • Are we knowingly, or unknowingly, placing barriers in front of people? • How do we challenge our gendered culture?
Newly registered Baptist leaders Forty-two newly registered pastors were celebrated at Hui (twelve in absentia).
NZBMS Rachel Murray spoke about NZBMS’s 2018 theme for Prayer and Self Denial, which is ‘Made New’ (He Auaha Hōu). This draws from the Thai New Year festival known as ‘Songkran’, a time of renewal, cleansing and honouring. Thai churches have adopted the festival because of the analogy between cleansing and forgiveness. A Thai silver bowl used in Songkran will be the appeal receptacle. Newly commissioned, recommissioned and currently serving overseas staff (the latter via Skype) joined Paul Thompson (Banzaid), Andrew Page (Tranzsend), and John Osborne (Marketplacers) in sharing about the challenges, joys and prayer needs of overseas work. Beulah Wood, Vice-President Beulah said four defining moments in her adult life point to themes that claim her energy and where she hopes to contribute during her time in this role. The first was the early death of her husband, through which she learnt the meaning of Christian hope. The second was reading a commentary that said Eve fell into sin because she did not ask her husband’s advice. The idea that women could not make good moral decisions seemed incongruous, and led her to study what the Bible and society had to say about the place of women. The third defining moment was to do with writing and finding the creative space between thinking and praying, and the fourth was reading a book on what preachers can learn from writers. The latter led to her fruitful ministry teaching preaching in India. Craig Vernall’s closing address Craig’s talk centred on John the Baptist, whose role was to look for and identify the Messiah. When Jesus presented himself for baptism, John knew that Jesus needed to become greater, as John, in humility, became less. Looking ahead to what the body of Christ will look like in New Zealand in twenty or thirty years’ time—“a multi-ethnic celebration of God’s goodness”—Craig said, “I know for myself, as Pākehā, as a leader, that I too must decrease, so that the things of other cultures must increase... God is doing a fresh work amongst us, and I think he is just beginning.” Handover of pūtātara A pūtātara was handed over from the leadership of Northpoint Baptist Church to that of Palmerston North Central Baptist Church, who will be our hosts for Hui 2018.
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Rachel Murray recommissioned as General Director of NZBMS
Pip, recommissioned overseas staff
Prayer & Self Denial 2018 receptacle
Beulah Wood commissioned as Baptist Vice-President Newly registered Baptist leaders
Carol, commissioned overseas staff
Handover of pūtātara from Northpoint Baptist to Palmerston North Central Baptist
Baptist / H U I 2 0 1 7
take 5 Throughout the course of Hui, four emerging leaders spoke in short segments called ‘Take 5’ about their journey of leadership thus far. The following are excerpts from their talks.
Lucy Sullivan “Be mindful of those in your churches who may have a gift for leadership. Make sure you offer them opportunities where they can step out and give things a try, and just see where that takes them.” Sam Young “Take risks on people, young or old. Listen, encourage, resource and empower them. Who are the broken or seemingly unusable among you? Could God be wanting to use them? Are you willing to take risks to empower them?”
“Expect great things
Lindy Jacomb Reflecting on 1 Samuel 17:32ff when King Saul, with good intentions, puts his personal, battle-scarred armour on David, restricting David’s ability to move: “I pray we will have the courage to trust God is with them [the ‘Davids’ rising up amongst us], even if they are not wearing the armour we are used to helping us win our battles.” Andrew Meek “Ka nukunuku, ka nekeneke. The Spirit of Christ is moving. The tide is shifting... Our emerging leaders are called by God, not by us. To join his mission, not ours. We the church must make room for them. Give opportunities to them to lead and to follow God’s calling on his mission. We might lose them from our church, but the kingdom will gain.”
for God” in —William Carey, 1761-1884
Carey this year has not just taught me how to ‘read’ the Bible, but how to own what I believe and dig into the freshness of His presence. MITCHELL YOUNGS Carey Student
Study God’s Word and become better equipped to serve Him in your workplace, church, and mission field. Applied Theology Inter-cultural Mission Pastoral Leadership Youth Pastoral Leadership Children & Family Leadership Intermission Youth Gap Year Ethnic Ministry Leadership Full-time, part-time, distance and block course options available.
0800 773 776
Baptist Chaplains’ Retreat Day About forty people attended a one-day Baptist chaplains’ retreat hosted by Northpoint Baptist Church on 8th November. Kim Workman was the keynote speaker. Kim was head of the New Zealand Prison Service 1989-1993, and National Director of Prison Fellowship New Zealand 2000-2008. Today he is a writer, social commentator and advocate in the area of criminal and social justice. Kim talked about the early development of prison chaplaincy, and about the connection between social change and people’s values, especially around punishment and justice. He described chaplaincy as a prophetic ministry. It speaks up on behalf of others—especially the least, the lost, and the lonely—and for justice and truth. Kim’s presentation was followed by stories and insights from five Baptist chaplains. Wyatt Butcher, Donna Denmead, Neil Hamilton, Stuart Hight and Jacqui Caetano minister respectively in the mental health and palliative care sectors, for members of the Fire Service and Defence Force, and in the community. Although their contexts and challenges were different, common themes emerged. Chaplains do a lot of listening and provide a supportive presence. “Loitering with intent,” is how Wyatt described it. Several spoke of the privilege of working with people who, because of the trauma or crisis they were experiencing, are open to meaningful discussions about life and death, life’s purpose, God’s love and the gospel.
Paul Askin and Kim Workman at the Baptist Chaplains’ Retreat Day
Grant Harris (Senior Pastor, Windsor Park Baptist) then spoke briefly about his experience as a chaplain to the New Zealand Breakers basketball team. He used the story of the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35) to show how Jesus provided a model for chaplaincy: Jesus ‘hung out’ with the travelers, walking alongside them, listening to their conversation, and inviting them to tell their story. “Chaplaincy is one of the greatest opportunities the local church can offer,” said Grant. “It gets the opportunity to go into places the church can’t.” He added that sports chaplaincy was in the unique position of where there was more demand for it than there are chaplains to fill the roles. In the afternoon, the chaplains gathered in small groups to discuss a variety of questions, including what the idols of their profession are. A plenary feedback session, dinner and informal storytelling closed the well-received event. It is hoped that the Chaplains’ Retreat Day may become a regular fixture on the calendar in the future.
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Baptist / F A M I L Y N E W S
Baptist World Alliance stands against slavery Peter Mihaere, a member of Eastview Baptist Church and CEO of the Baptist Justice Initiative, Stand Against Slavery (SAS), attended the Annual Baptist World Alliance (BWA) meetings in Bangkok, Thailand, in July 2017. Peter sits on the Social and Economic Justice Commission, and this year was invited to lead the commission’s focus on modern slavery. Over three sessions the commission heard about the global issue of slavery and human trafficking, and some examples of responses. We heard from Nagaland, Australia and New Zealand. The work of NZBMS and SAS are significant contributors in fighting for a slave-free world. The commission also submitted to the BWA General Council, a resolution to restate our collective responsibility and response to modern slavery as Baptists. Peter says, “It was a very special moment to have been part of crafting, and seeing passed, a resolution that communicates to all Baptists across the globe that we need to respond to the plight of the enslaved.” He added, “Of course a resolution is just a bunch of words on a piece of paper, and the commission was quick to agree that this is just a beginning. The work of resourcing our Baptist family now begins if we are to serve the least
Jules Riding circa 1973
Jules Riding is one of NZ’s most prolific and accomplished solo Christian singer/songwriters. He has released twelve albums, three of which are GOLD. He has won two NZ Music (Tui) Awards, been a finalist in the Apra Silver Scroll Award, and won a number of other songwriting competitions. He has toured relentlessly for many years, visiting over thirty countries with his ministry, most recently Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. Recollection is the first time he has released a ‘Best Of ’ selection. It is the testimony of a remarkable ministry.
Purchase the new double album RECOLLECTION or the newly reprinted double album CATACLYSM (CD/DVD) before Christmas, and take advantage of Early Bird Prices: One CD $33, Two CDs $59, Three CDs $75, Four CDs $99 + get one free! All prices include postage in NZ.
of these who are beset by the injustice of slavery and human trafficking.” While Peter was at the meeting, he met with other Baptist leaders, rekindling old friendships, and witnessing the unanimous acceptance of the incoming General Secretary, Dr Elijah Brown. Elijah assumes his position from 1st January 2018, succeeding Dr Neville Callam, who has served the Baptist world for over ten years. As Dr Callam was farewelled, the meeting also said farewell to Rev Bonny Resu as he concludes his role as General Secretary of the Asia Pacific Baptist Federation. During his time at the annual meeting, Peter was regularly asked where all the Kiwis were. There is a real feeling that New Zealand Baptists have a lot to contribute on the Baptist global stage. Peter says, “We may be a small part of the family of Baptists globally, but people are looking for our contribution. We are a valued member of the collective body of Christ who call themselves Baptist. We need to keep contributing.” Peter has an expanded article online, on the Social and Economic Justice Commission meetings as well as the full text of the Human Slavery and Trafficking resolution. You can find this at www.baptistmag.org.nz/our-stories.
NEW RELEASE DOUBLE ALBUM
Recollection A JULES RIDING RETROSPECTIVE
The double-album ‘Recollection’ is a selection of 17 of the most popular Jules Riding tracks ever, selected from eight previous albums. There is a second disc of ‘Memorabilia’: early demos, outtakes, unreleased material, bootlegs, and rare recordings. A potpourri of gems! “It has been my privilege to master this magnificent retrospective by an artist of rare quality.” - Simon Lynch, Producer, Solo Pianist, Mixing Engineer
3 WAYS TO PURCHASE THIS NEW JULES RIDING DOUBLE ALBUM WEBSITE: www.julesriding.com
SENDing & FAREWELLing “A magnificent evening that showcased a vibrant and lively institution in great heart to address an unknown future trusting in the One who knows it!” This was just one attendee’s comment, celebrating Carey Baptist College’s 2017 SENDing held on 26th October in Auckland. Each year Carey organises this event to recognise the achievements of students who have completed one of the College's specialised formation programmes: Pastoral Leadership, Youth Pastoral Leadership, Missions, Intermission and Children & Family. This year’s SENDing was even more special as they formally said farewell to Charles Hewlett. Over the last eight years as Principal, Charles has led Carey through an exciting period of growth and innovation, some of which was on display during the evening. A wonderfully bicultural ceremony also highlighted Carey’s growing multicultural life. The hundreds in attendance were exposed to Carey’s commitment to emerging leadership, women in pastoral ministry, lifelong learning for all pastors, interdenominational partnerships, quality leadership formation, and the increasing depth and breadth of ‘church in mission’ focused scholarship. Each year’s SENDing showcases the significant resource Carey invests into students, enabling them to leverage their academic studies in ways that produce deep personal growth and enhance their professional expertise.
“As we honoured and recognised Charles for his outstanding leadership of the College, we also recognised that the rich life and health of Carey finds its source in God. As a movement we can be proud of Carey as our denomination’s theological college. Our clear commitment to producing quality students who love Jesus, the Bible, the church and the gospel suggest a hopeful future,” says Carey's Director of Ministry Training, Jonny Weir.
Charles Hewlett given a framed Chinese calligraphy of Philippians 3:8 as a gift from the Chinese staff and students
New BYM National Team Leader appointed Brian Krum has been appointed as the new BYM National Team Leader. Brian will start in this role in January 2018. The primary purpose of this role is the design, delivery and roll out of the BYM’s national strategic plan throughout New Zealand. It incorporates oversight, advice and implementation of the national resourcing of the local church to reach its young people for Christ. We will profile Brian in the February issue of the NZ Baptist magazine.
v.133 no.6 † rua tekau mā iwa 29
Baptist / F A M I L Y N E W S
Maurice Atkinson: Lifelong servant of Jesus 2 AUGUST 1946 – 15 SEPTEMBER 2017
On Friday 15th September, a mighty totara toppled, with a reverberating crash heard around New Zealand. This mighty totara was Maurice Atkinson and he was seventy-one years of age.
Maurice and his wife Miriam just this year moved into Christchurch, after pastoring at Oxford Baptist Church for thirty-five years. Retirement age came and went seven years ago, but Maurice wasn’t ready to sit back with a gold watch. His call remained strong and he served Jesus every day of his born-again life. He was what one Baptist senior pastor has described as a ‘lightning rod’: if the Holy Spirit was doing anything in the vicinity, Maurice seemed to know. He was constantly receiving insights and prophetic words. He was wired to see and hear things that God was doing in people’s lives. Almost all of the 500 people who attended his funeral indicated they had personally been prayed for by him. He was big in stature, big in faith and powerful when he prayed for you. He also had a passion for seeing people develop a close and real relationship with Jesus, rather than just religion. Maurice grew Oxford Baptist into a vibrant church that has effectively served and influenced its community. He also became the Regional Missional Leader for the Canterbury & Westland Baptist Association. He had a huge impact in our denomination by starting an annual retreat in Hanmer Springs nine years ago, with the aim of seeing pastors and leaders equipped and refreshed in the Holy Spirit. God moved powerfully in those retreats, with many pastors revitalised and reaffirmed in their call to ministry. He and Miriam ministered all over New Zealand, as well as across the denominational spectrum. They also had a truly international ministry, including Singapore, Thailand, China, Vietnam, Nepal, America, Canada and South America. In South America they walked into revival, ministering in Argentina, then on into Chile. They also had several trips to Israel, the first in 1980 and the last trip just last year. While a spiritual man, Maurice was also a mischievous person, with a largerthan-life personality. If you didn’t know Jesus’ plan for your life, Maurice was happy to supply an alternative plan! His funeral service was filled with laughter, as the stories of Maurice’s life and ministry were shared.
Will you help to put Jesus in the hands of 1.4 million Kiwis at Easter 2018? Have you noticed how Jesus’ name is hardly mentioned in public media at Easter anymore? While the Christian message of hope is unchanging, the beliefs of our society are now continuously changing, and the messages of media feed them. In such a society, maintaining a visible presence is important because ‘out of sight’ equals ‘out of mind’. To preserve an awareness of Jesus at Easter it is proposed that the Hope Project be run every year. This would bring esteem to the name of Jesus, and if we work together is very achievable. In 2014-2016 the first three national media efforts saw many lives being dramatically changed, and churches and individuals helped to engage conversations. Please participate in this very worthy effort now by going to: AllTogether.co.nz/donate
For more, please visit: AllTogether.co.nz/hopeproject
A big THANK YOU
to everyone who helped us get over 32,000 Christm as Love parcels to needy families, elderly and homeless people over
A BIG THANK YOU
To everyone who helped us send over 3,500 children to summer camp in Eastern Europe this year!
Life as God intended
CAN YOU HEL P?
100 Years Ago
Right now thousa nds of disadvantaged children in Easter n Europe are hoping to get to one of our life-changing Summer Camps . It takes from just $20 (one day of camp for one child) to help change a young life foreve r.
Want to do something different this Christmas?
Could you donat e to help one child get there ?
For more and to
donate, go online to
mwb.org.nz or call us
0800 469 269 .
Spurgeon's Sermons Spurgeon's Sermons have been published every week since the great preacher's death in 1892. The publication ceased in August last. The war is partly to blame for that. The paper famine has made all publishers shy. Passmore and Alabaster are said to still have on hand a score of unpublished sermons, so that war or no war the series which has run continuously since 1855 would have come to its natural close within a half year. 3,500 sermons by this indefatigable preacher have been published. No preacher of Christ's evangel in all history has ever made so huge a contribution to sermonic literature. Among the remarkable men of the Nineteenth Century the name of C. H. S. could not be omitted by any impartial collector. His force in the middle and later Victorian periods was felt throughout the English-speaking world. His successor said that when God made Spurgeon, He broke the mould. Of course, God always does that. None of us are duplicates. But it was a great gift to righteousness when this man was sent forth. The cessation of this great soul-saving series was almost immediately followed by the death of Mr. Thomas Spurgeon.
HOW ABOUT FOR A PERSON IN EASTERN EUROPE?
How about $25 to help fill a Christmas Love box for a family needing hope? To donate: mwb.org.nz/Christmas or call us
0800 469 269. Thanks very much!
Baptist Magazine, December 1917
HUGHES BAPTIST CHURCH, CANBERRA AUSTRALIA
Hughes Baptist Church in Canberra, Australia, seeks a new Senior Pastor, to be responsible for preaching, teaching, and leadership in all facets of its ministry. STARTING FEBRUARY 2018
We need a new Custodian with: • Cleaning and handyperson skills • Good communication ability • Resourcefulness and initiative • A clean drivers licence and own vehicle • Good health and general fitness If you are already able to work in NZ, are looking for a long-term role as part of a supportive team, and are willing to work and live in the Auckland CBD, then we want to hear from you! The employment package includes 2bdrm accommodation and parking. The role is 28 hours pw. FOR ENQUIRIES, CVS, AND A ROLE DESCRIPTION EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org
LET US HELP YOU THROUGH...
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TE AWAMUTU BAPTIST CHURCH 80 YEARS CELEBRATION
Our staff are available to you twentyfour hours a day to help put in place funeral plans, provide advice, and take care of all of the details to make the service meaningful and appropriate. 31 OCEAN VIEW ROAD, NORTHCOTE 09 489 5737 firstname.lastname@example.org hmorris.co.nz
10 & 11 MARCH 2018 FOR FURTHER DETAILS, OR TO REGISTER, EMAIL: email@example.com
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EDEN CHRISTIAN HOSTEL, AUCKLAND
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cooked during the week, breakfast and lunch food is provided. In the
027 279 4461 firstname.lastname@example.org
weekends students self-cater. Sorry no special diets.
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED GO TO
32 toru tekau mā rua † v.133 no.6 baptistmag.org.nz
two self contained units with off-street parking. (One sleeps three and one sleeps five) FOR FULL PRICING AND FURTHER INFO PLEASE VISIT OUR WEBSITE arohanuicc.org.nz 06 877 4191 | email@example.com
Glo bal Mis si on
Photo of the month In the regions where NZBMS work, freedom businesses mean young women and entire families are able to find physical, spiritual and emotional freedom. These young boys are from Dak Bangla where a new freedom business is being set up through Banzaid and Freeset.
TOG ETHER W E CA N RE A C H T H E W O RL D
v.133 no.6 † toru tekau mā toru 33
Baptist / G L O B A L M I S S I O N
the year that was 2017 TO DO LIST
• Give to the Annu al Christmas Ange l Appeal— it’s on again; conside r what you can give towards this great cause.
PRAY ORGET TO
s— eas area our overs in ’ s n o e rati te th as ‘celeb ully celebra • Christm y respectf e th s us a o ri m ur tea t the va pray for o s a mongs a tm s ri h rv C ple se e. ing of true mean re our peo e h w s n io the reg religions in y for the ment—pra h s li b d the ta s ation e ndation an n Life Fou • Found ve o W d with it. e te th g of e associa b ill w establishin t a ies th and activit of ministries a numb e r llenges— a h c s—have d n te o o er rela nd typh a s d o o • Weath fl ainly this year. vents—m our fields f o r e b weather e m a nu who have y affected al people n o ti a n significantl e , and th ur people Pray for o ted. agencies been affec e mission th f o r e b a num ha nge s adership c n World— le io s e n is o M rg e • und will r with have , that they we partne w leaders e n e s e rk they o th Pray for for the w this year. powering m e d n a ’s vision know God d in. are involve
• Sign up for a su ppor t newslet ter— Contact the NZBMS office and ask to receive a reg ular newsletter from one or more of our workers; a great way to keep in touch with what’s going on and to foc us your prayer. • Buy a Marketpla cers product for Christmas (marketplacers.c o.nz)—give a gif t tha t gives life to those who would oth erwise be trapped in poverty. • Ensure your ch urch is registered for 2018 Prayer and Self Denial— it’s fun and informati ve; and makes a dif ference. Check with your pastor or missions team to make sure your ch urch is registered.
As with us all, 2017 delivered to our people various events and situations—some good, some not so good. Join with us in rejoicing with the blessings and praying for the challenging. • Births—4 welcomed grandchildren (Neil & Barb, Gary & Heather, Michelle Warner x2) • Deaths—5 lost close relatives (Joel, Carley, Neil & Barb, Roger & Carolyn, Jake) • Engagements—3 were engaged (Carolynne, Joel & Lizzie, and Deborah Haurua) • Marriages—2 were married (Carolynne, Deborah Haurua) • Illness—7 suffered through debilitating illnesses (Gary, Heather, Ross, Sarah, Lizzie, Barb, Leonora)
in East Asi
• New Activity across all our fields—new business contracts and growth, more freedom for women through new businesses, new people groups being touched. • Education—Sk yline Academy and Happy Day Kindergarten, GEMS, Chandpur School. Student Sponsorship programme. Banzaid village education has been refocused on children's education in partnership with BBCF. Each one provides an opportunity to see lives transformed. • Agriculture—heartier goat breeds, new crops established in Murshidabad, Banzaid Cash Crop project. These projects enable us to give hope to the poor. th • Tripura—St Paul’s 75 jubilee; Tripura Theological College getting ATA accreditation. After over 100 years of NZBMS partnership, the work in Tripura continues
to thrive. • Special Needs—increased support for families with special needs including autism in East Asia. The opportunity to show the love of Christ to families who are struggling.
34 toru tekau mā whā † v.133 no.6 baptistmag.org.nz
N Z B M S
R E A C H I N G
T H E
W O R L D
Glossary SOME OF THE WORDS AND ACRONYMS USED ON OUR NOTICEBOARD MAY NEED SOME EXPLANATION. The South-East
Asia tea m
ATA: Asian Theological Association. Banzaid: Headed by Paul Thompson, Banzaid is a department of NZBMS and represents New Zealand Baptists in establishing
aid projects throughout Asia and the Pacific.
There are always things to give thanks for—join us in thanking God for:
BBCF: Bangladesh Baptist Church Fellowship—with whom NZBMS has had a century-long relationship.
• Financial and prayer suppor t—the work of NZBMS could not happen if not for individuals and churches who are willing to support it both financially and prayerfully. Join us in giving thanks for people just like you who are willing to give sacrificially for the Kingdom. • Transformation of people in the communities we serve—there is a reason the Baptist Churches of New Zealand has a Missionary Society... it’s so that, through us, our God can change his world one person at a time. And, it’s happening. Give thanks for lives transformed this past year.
Foundation: The Woven Life Foundation is in the process of being established by our South East Asia team. It will allow us to develop our work with the local church and lead to an improvement in the quality of people’s lives, spiritually, economically, and socially. GEMS and Chandpur Schools: Schools in Bangladesh, established by New Zealand Baptists and providing quality education to local children. Marketplacers: A department of NZBMS. To bring lifetransformation to individuals and communities in the regions we work, we have established a number of businesses.
• God's hand of protection over our staff and their families—our staff work in situations and places that can be physically demanding and spiritually challenging. Please give thanks for his hand on their lives this past year, and that that may continue into 2018.
Marketplacers is the parent company of these businesses. Mission World: A department of NZBMS, Mission World’s objectives are to inspire, resource and mobilise New Zealand Baptists to reach the world. We have strategic partnerships with nine leading mission agencies. Prayer & Self Denial: NZBMS’s major annual fundraising appeal which also serves to resource Baptist churches for overseas mission. Skyline Academy and Happy Day Kindergarten: Educational Businesses in East Asia which provide an opportunity to show his love to the local community. St Paul’s: School and Hostel in Tripura which was originally established by NZBMS partnering with the local people. A number of the students who are sponsored through our student sponsorship programme are from St Paul’s hostel. Student Sponsorship programme: An NZBMS-run programme that sponsors the education of young people, mostly from poor homes, in India and Bangladesh.
Ba nzaid Man ag er Paul Thom pson wi th BBCF— Baptist Aid sta ff
ts in Tr te l studen
Tranzsend: A department of NZBMS whose focus is to mobilise and support New Zealand Baptists who wish to serve overseas with NZBMS. Village Education: A Banzaid project that focuses primarily on the education of children and preschool children who live in rural villages in Bangladesh.
v.133 no.6 † toru tekau mā rima 35
Baptist / G L O B A L M I S S I O N
A word from Rachel SO, THIS IS CHRISTMAS Christmas is coming, and fast! It was early October this year when I saw the first Christmas products for sale in stores—that seems far too early! And now, as we enter December, the pressure to get things done is on, thanks largely to New Zealand’s “shutdown-for-January” attitude which seems to proclaim that nothing is possible post-December 25. Serving in a mission context we are regularly reminded that the festivals, dates, and activities that are so important to us here, often have a far lesser place in the places overseas where our people live and serve. Some won’t be celebrated at all and may have never been heard of. In these societies—while we shut our offices, spend time with family, and overeat—Christmas may be just another day for the general population. However, for our Christian friends and colleagues in our fields in Asia, Christmas Day is highly respected. It’s a treasured time when being with fellow believers to worship and to remember the birth of our Saviour is not to be missed. How interesting that, in New Zealand, Christmas Day services are, with increasing frequency, being dropped from the calendar of many churches. Often our overseas New Zealand personnel discover that, with the stripping away of the distractions of a New Zealand season that tends to focus on shopping, summer holidays and food, Christmas becomes more real and significant. Perhaps a question for each of us to consider this year is, “What is Christmas really about to me?” and, “How does my attitude towards it share and show Jesus to those who don’t know him?” As we head towards the end of another calendar year and focus on the beginning of a new one, we can only be grateful to God and to you, our supporters and church family, for the partnership. God has again proven his goodness and we continue to trust him for the year to come. Have a wonderful Christmas and a blessed New Year. gā mihi nui, N Rachel Murray, General Director
36 toru tekau mā ono † v.133 no.6 baptistmag.org.nz
Stories of Treasure and Transformation
WE LOVE SHARING THE DIFFERENT WAYS GOD IS TRANSFORMING THE COMMUNITIES WE ARE A PART OF. IN THIS MONTH’S EDITION OF ‘OUR STORIES,’ WE FEATURE THREE ACCOUNTS WHERE THE SIGNIFICANCE OF JESUS HAS BEEN A GREAT INSPIRATION TO THE PEOPLE WE SERVE.
Encouragement A couple of days ago I was sitting with a dear friend in her closet of a room, listening to her tell me another portion of her story. She is an individual who doesn't need pity, rather she is a woman to be revered, a friend to be honoured, a sister whose trauma does not define her. We were holding hands across the bed as she pulled old memories from her mind and gave them voice, painting me a small picture of her life before she started walking along what she often calls “freedom road.” As we were talking, she paused momentarily and, after seeming to consider her next words, said with depth and clarity, “But Jesus’ path of truth is the biggest.” Tears welled in my eyes and, squeezing her hand, I said, “Thank you. I needed to hear that today.” She looked at me, took time for a breath, and unapologetically continued, knowing that what she had just expressed was right and was gold. In the Kingdom, encouragement flows both ways—remember that!
From Lizzie in South Asia
N Z B M S
R E A C H I N G
T H E
W O R L D
Journeys Recently I had the opportunity to travel to my local friend’s remote hometown village where I became the first foreigner ever to visit. The people there gave me a warm reception, treating me to the local wheat, garlic, and wildlife—the latter being large, juicy bugs (which were also quite chewy). One day my friend walked with me through the village, the place where he had grown up. He pointed out an amazing old building, now empty. “That was my grandma’s house,” he said. Further along the road, another old place came into view. “That was my grandfather’s father’s house,” he added. What a remarkable sight, to see several generations of family history alongside a single road. What happened next was very surprising. As we approached the house I noticed it was covered inside and out with decorations as is the custom in these parts—but these had a unique twist. There was a special symbol—a cross—and messages about Jesus. It appears that someone in his extended family is part of a much bigger Christian family—something my friend had not known until that day. Another significant moment came during an outing to a nearby city, when I was chatting to my friend’s cousin in a hotel room. He pulled up his phone to show me an English song that he had been listening to, explaining that there was something powerful about it. I was surprised to see that it was a worship song I knew well. Something about that song had grabbed him, even though he didn’t know what it was about. We had a good chat about what the song meant. Back in the big city, when a group from our club went to watch a movie recently, my friend came along. Someone asked him if he usually came to our Sunday meeting. He replied “No, but I’d quite like to!” So, now he comes along every week. He has a copy of the Bible and attends a regular Bible study group. Please remember my friend with me.
From a Tranzsend worker in East Asia R EAD M ORE
Significant things have been happening in the lives of people who we connect with. Some of you may remember the young Ugandan woman who was imprisoned here many years ago. She was recently released after serving a nine-and-a-half-year sentence. During this time, she came to faith and remains strong in this. She has now returned to Uganda, where her Muslim family want nothing to do with her because of her newfound faith. She has one friend in Uganda—a woman who shared a cell with her. Adjusting to life back in her homeland after such a long time away has not been easy. Adding to the adjustment challenge is that, since arriving home, she has been hospitalised. Her sister wants to bring a witch doctor to see her, which she is totally against. Her friend has managed to get her out of the hospital and is hiding her in a church for safety. Please keep her in your prayers, asking for recovery of health, that her faith will remain strong, and that she be able to get to her hometown. There, through contacts of ours in New Zealand, there are people waiting, willing and able to help her. Emily (not her real name) is another person we connect with. She is an English lecturer at a local university. She comes from a large nation close to where we are that is quite closed to the faith. She spent time studying European Art and Sculpture. As she learned about artists and sculptors, she became intrigued by the Christian beliefs that inspired their art. This was a significant part of her journey to Christian faith. It’s a fascinating story and an inspiring example of the variety of ways and events God can use to bring people to Himself.
From Tranzsend workers in East Asia
about the work of Tranzsend at tranzsend.org.nz. v.133 no.6 † toru tekau mā whitu 37
Baptist / G L O B A L M I S S I O N
COMINGS AND GOINGS It was a visit to Freeset, on a Freedom Encounter course, that changed Carol’s life. An early childhood teacher from Franklin Baptist, Carol’s interest was piqued when plans for an early childhood centre, based at the forefront of the largest red-light district in Kolkata, were shared. This is what has led Carol to commit to long-term service as part of the Freeset and Tamar team in South Asia. Carol will be instrumental in establishing and developing the early childhood centre at Gateway and in training other teachers who will go on to support children and families in the surrounding community. When asked about her hopes and dreams for her work in South Asia, Carol answered, “I’m looking to inspire teachers who then inspire the raising generation. To be a catalyst in breaking the cycle of poverty through education. To see freedom—physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually.” Carol was commissioned for this role at the Hui. To be a part of Carol’s support team, or to receive her regular newsletters, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also at the Hui, we recommissioned Pip who has resigned from Tranzsend. Pip has been instrumental in the establishment of Tamar—a place of safe refuge and peace for those working in, or who have recently left, the sex-trade. Pip’s commitment to this task, coupled with her wisdom, patience and compassion for the women of the region she worked, has led to lives being transformed. We are sad to lose Pip as a staff member but her legacy, Tamar, will remain and the transformation of lives will continue.
38 toru tekau mā waru † v.133 no.6 baptistmag.org.nz
NZBMS Administrator: Jonny Petterson has been appointed the new administrator for NZBMS. Jonny was previously youth pastor at North Porirua Baptist Church and is passionate about global mission, having spent time in South Sudan, Uganda and Mozambique with Iris Global. He grew up in Papua New Guinea and his parents continue to serve there with Wycliffe Bible Translators. Marketplacers Sales and Admin Manager: Mairi Barrett has taken on the role of Sales and Administration Manager for Marketplacers. Mairi has served two separate terms with NZBMS in South Asia. In her most recent time overseas Mairi worked as part of the Freeset team; a role that allowed her to get an up close and personal view of the communities our freedom businesses are a part of. Over the last couple of years, Mairi has been a gracious volunteer for Marketplacers; flying the flag in the name of freedom business.
E-LEARNING AND BANGLADESH Each year three million students enter the Bangladesh Education System. That means the supply of quality, thought-provoking resources in Bangladesh classrooms can be limited and the current curriculum is restricted to Bangladesh Government textbooks. It’s a challenge, but with challenge comes opportunity and Ross, Cindy, and the team have a plan that will benefit millions of students across Bangladesh. Recognising the fantastic contributions our team are making to the education sector in Bangladesh the authorities have provided them an opportunity that is unlike any other in Bangladesh; they have granted permission to establish an e-School. An e-School, or learning over the internet or by digitised information, will mean students have access to up-to-date resources and teaching methods. It also means those who live in villages with mobile technology or internet can assess education. This is a mammoth project and one we are privileged to be in on the ground floor of. We have the opportunity to help revolutionise education in Bangladesh in a 21st Century way.
N Z B M S
R E A C H I N G
T H E
W O R L D
OPPORTUNITIES TO SERVE
NZBMS, through Mission World, present the following opportunities to join in God’s mission with one of our other strategic mission partners. • Paediatric Physiotherapist (Mongolia) with Interserve. To assist a development centre for helping disabled children through intensive two-week sessions of physiotherapy and/ or speech therapy. Commitment of 1 year or more. • Building & tradespeople (globally) with Wycliffe. Needed to assist in building & maintaining facilities including housing & and schools. Also, skills for electrical & pipe work, vehicles and machinery maintenance. • Intern (Uruguay) with SIM. For one year to help in a Christian organisation focused on the needs of children. Assist in a daycare, local Churches (Sunday school), and children’s programmes. • Office Assistant (Nepal) with SIM. To help with correspondence and paperwork. This role would also allow time to serve in other ministry areas. • NGO director (Cambodia) with WEC.
• Youth Camp (East Asia) with OMF. Six weeks from July or August 2018. Help in a café, cook, English teaching, homework programmes, art, music, sports. • Youth worker (Belgium) with WEC. Help pioneer a youth ministry at a growing church. • Finance personnel x2 (PNG) with MAF. Responsible for all aspects of the finances of PNG Operations. Includes: reporting to the local Board of Directors, all tax and legal matters, internal management accounting, external financial reporting and annual planning. • Quality & Safety Manager (Arnhem Land, Australia) with MAF. Responsible for the QMS system with the MAF Arnhem Land Programme. • Financial Manager (New Zealand) with Tranzsend. To oversee all financial operations of the organisation focused in NZ and overseas.
For more information and to express an interest email email@example.com or phone 09 526 8446.
tr a n zs e n
Register your church today! .n
December 2017 / January 2018