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The kingdom of God is not just in words .........................................4 RE FLECT IONS
Seeking the Creator ....................8 D I SC I PL E SHIP
Healing in the Church ..............12 RE SO U R CE
R E VIE WS
Equipping you ..........................14 FA M I LY
N E W S
FA M I LY
Who is the Holy Spirit? ............22 C U LT U R E
Life in the Balance .......................26 LE AD E R SHIP
Seeing the Bible at work ...........30 GLO BA L
Our stories ...................................34 Business, Mission and the Gospel Thoughts from Karen Warner .....36 New Appointments Opportunities to serve .................39 D I RE C T ORY
A word from the Editor Fifteen years ago, I had a knee injury from playing netball that required surgery. One day the pastor of the church I was attending had a vision of a left knee that needed prayer. The way she described it was exactly as I would to my specialist. I quietly went up for prayer after church for my knee, it was a simple prayer and I left church that day with my knee completely healed. I know God heals because of my experience - a precious encounter of His love I will treasure! The power of God continues to transform me and renew my mind and understanding of our loving Father. This issue, we look at His power at work in our lives through the Holy Spirit- drawing us closer, eliminating doubt and fear, and bringing revelation of His Sovereignty and kingdom to us here on earth. Bless you! ~ Angela Pedersen.
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Baptist / F E A T U R E
IS NOT JUST IN
Partnering with the Holy Spirit to build His kingdom here on earth.
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“THIS THEN IS HOW YOU SHOULD PRAY: “OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN, HALLOWED BE YOUR NAME, YOUR KINGDOM COME, YOUR WILL BE DONE,
so we see Him as He really is, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. No doubts, fears or a reasoning mind can stand in the light of that glory.
ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.” Matt 6: 9-10.
ost commentators would agree that the central message of Jesus was the kingdom of God. The Apostles followed His lead and preached the kingdom throughout the known world. The book of Acts closes with Paul preaching the kingdom of God from imprisonment in Rome. It just makes sense that if the kingdom is the central message then it should be our central theme. “When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.” Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?” The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.” Matt 8:5-10 Many years ago I was a police sergeant, so I have practical experience in giving and obeying orders. If I was acting lawfully under government authority I could have absolute confidence that the New Zealand Government would back me up. It seems that the centurion applied this same logic to Jesus, whom he addressed as Lord, in effect placing Jesus above Caesar as God. He believed the spoken order of Jesus would overrule the circumstances. It seems to me that the strength of our faith correlates to our revelation of Jesus. As our spiritual eyes are opened and we repent of trusting in our flesh,
What is the kingdom? Traditionally, the Jews believed the Messiah would come and sit on David’s throne to rule over Israel. The Jews would be his subjects, and the nations would be subject to them. Jesus contradicted this assumption and taught that the kingdom of God had to begin in the hearts of humankind. Most of the New Testament is devoted to addressing the fact that Jesus is not the ruler of the hearts and lives of many believers. The Apostles preached the kingdom because if Jesus truly became the Lord of the believers, most of the sin and division in the church would vanish overnight.
THE KINGDOM OF GOD HAD TO BEGIN IN THE HEARTS OF HUMANKIND
I can recall after several years in church leadership, I confied to my old pastor that God’s biggest problem was unconverted believers, who then became my problem. They outwardly believed the gospel, they confessed Jesus was Lord but their behaviour indicated that they served themselves and their fleshly appetites. “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight.
You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think scripture says without reason that He jealously longs for the Spirit He has caused to dwell in us? But He gives us more grace. That is why scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favour to the humble.’ Submit yourselves then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you doubleminded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.” James 4:1-10. Establishing the kingdom I have noted in reading the accounts of revivals through church history, that there is always an outpouring of repentance before and during a move of the Spirit. People would either repent of independence and their self-indulgent lives or they would immediately leave the area. The Holy Spirit was revealing who Jesus was so people plainly saw Him as the Lord of Lords, and many publically repented which left no room for compromise or pretence. “For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves.” Col 1:13. For that scripture to be fulfilled in us then we must have some sort of encounter with the Holy Spirit during which we act in faith upon a revelation of Jesus. When I came to faith there was no dramatic experience, the Holy Spirit just opened my spiritual eyes. I remember thinking, “Oh no, it is true.” I realised Jesus was Lord and
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He had died for my sins. I was actually horrified, because in that instance I also realizsed I was morally obligated to make this known and to turn away from the rather unsavoury lifestyle I was pursuing as a detective in the Dunedin Police. I was water-baptised the next Sunday with a young man I had previously arrested for theft. I spent the next while dealing with the obvious sins in and around my life. The man who led me to faith then taught me about the baptism in the Holy Spirit. I had an overwhelming power-encounter with the Holy Spirit, spoke in tongues and became quite drunk in the Spirit. This may sound strange to some of you but that is what happened at Pentecost, so why not now? I became very bold in witnessing about Christ. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”Acts 1:8. I have noticed that many of the problems that remain with believers are the direct result of failing to leave the kingdom of darkness. The Holy Spirit must establish the kingdom in you if you are to experience the fullness of a resurrection life, and you must make a clean cut with your old life. We can make the gospel look weak and ineffective because we have resisted the work of the Spirit to establish the Lordship of Jesus in our lives. I believe the gospel has the power to transform any person or organisation if we make Jesus Lord and resolve to humble our hearts before Him.
Overcoming To take an extreme example, you cannot help an alcoholic or a drug addict until they come to a place of utter weakness and defeat where they finally admit they are an addict. That is the beginning of establishing the kingdom and their healing. There will be many steps to come but they will lead to eventually overcoming the problem. One of the most searching questions Jesus asked was, “Do you want to be made whole?” The answer seems obvious but it is not. Many just want the pain and the consequences taken away, and being made whole sounds like you have to stop being a child and grow up and stand with God. They want the pastor to do that for them. Over the years I have had a huge variety of people walk into the church, some found healing and wholeness, and others came to show me that I could do nothing to help them, and in some cases I have had to have the courage to tell them to leave because their unrepentant behaviour was causing injury to the vulnerable members of the church. The process faced me with hidden kingdoms in my own heart, such as fear of failure or rejection, and they had to bow to Jesus before I could grow any further in His kingdom Your kingdom Come I quickly discovered in church leadership, that churches can be full of kingdoms and the king is often not Jesus. After two or three years of honeymooning with the congregation, some of them began to realise I
was not going to do their will. I was preaching the kingdom of God and wanted to see the kingdom established in the lives of the people. Some people were in the kingdom of self or worse and just wanted enough religion to keep their conscience at bay. At some time God allows conflict, because conflict exposes the false gods and idols in us. Often that is the only way any of us see we have a problem, and if we then humble ourselves we can be delivered and strengthened. You carry God’s authority for the sphere of influence He has given you, whether it’s in your personal life, a church group, or your place of employment. However, you must exercise it by praying, confronting where appropriate, or sensitively speaking out. In my context as a Regional Mission Leader, I have questioned pastors as to why they tolerate rogue powerbrokers and traditionalists who constantly obstruct them. Wouldn’t it be better to lovingly confront them with their behaviour, and question their motives, so they may then leave or change? Some of them were just fearful and did not understand, others however, believe they own the church and would do everything they can to prevent any change or growth. Growth without change is quite impossible. Change means some pain and discomfort, either at a church level or at a personal level. Emotional Wholeness In the last issue of “The Baptist” there were some excellent articles on dealing
THE HOLY SPIRIT MUST ESTABLISH THE KINGDOM IN YOU IF YOU ARE TO EXPERIENCE THE FULLNESS OF A RESURRECTION LIFE, YOU MUST MAKE A CLEAN CUT WITH YOUR OLD LIFE.
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“the Holy Spirit wants to partner with you to build the kingdom, firstly in you and your family, and then whatever sphere of influence or authority He places you in.” with lies and brokenness which are the foundations of false kingdoms. Some of those teachings I have been using personally to very good effect and in the lives of our people. I soon learnt that if I was going to survive, my fears and insecurities had to be dealt with. God wanted to heal us by renewing our minds, He wanted me to see the truth of His redemptive work so I would be able to serve Him without fear and worry when people left the church. His kingdom plan involved building the kingdom first in us and then in our leaders. “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” -Matt 16:18.
TAKE OUTS! 1. kingdom living was the
Partnership The Holy Spirit wants to partner with you to build the kingdom, firstly in you and your family, and then in whatever sphere of influence or authority He places you in. But first Jesus must be Lord over you, your dreams, ambitions, problems and your motives. He will then bring order and through you, establish His kingdom. — Story: Maurice Atkinson
Maurice and his wife Miriam have three children and have pastored Oxford Baptist Church from 1982 to 2015. Maurice is currently the Regional Mission Leader for Canterbury / Westland.
I love the flexibility of distance learning. I can watch my lectures whenever and wherever suits me and I know that the lecturers and librarians are merely an email away.
central theme of the life of Jesus. Would you say the same for your own life?
2. Are there areas of your life (independence, self indulgence etc) that you feel called to repent for?
3. Are there fears or insecurities you are believing that need to be replaced with God’s truth? Perhaps journalling these and finding scripture to replace these lies with His word will help to set you free?
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Rachel Thorpe STUDYING TOWARDS A GRADUATE DIPLOMA OF APPLIED THEOLOGY
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PHOTO BY WILSON LAM ® | flickr.com/kitkit201/
Baptist / R E F L E C T I O N S F R O M B E N W A K E F I E L D
We will see God in action when we have our attention and direction towards loving God. In Craig’s absence, I have been asked to write about the theme of this issue, God’s power. The idea of God’s power is going to be discussed in different ways throughout this issue.
hen talking about God’s power some might mean the supernatural work of sanctification, some might mean the outward expression of spiritual gifts given by the Holy Spirit, some might mean the breaking of hearts to see people who are oppressed free from slavery both systemic and personal. Yes, yes, yes and much more. God’s power is expressed in many and varying ways. We could describe and prescribe what the power of God is in more words than available here but I am not sure this is helpful. Instead I want to share some thoughts on following Jesus.
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When following Jesus Christ we are drawn close by God’s power giving us grace. Participating in church services, meeting in small groups, discussions on Facebook, tears over injustice, laughter in celebration, frustration in work, joy in families and the full experience of life is God giving us grace. Just think of the food you ate today, the water you drank, the breath you just took. These are God’s gifts to us and we are able to use them to turn our affection and hearts towards God. Then in turn we learn God’s heart and live a life of love and power. Getting closer to God means we see God working more. It would be weird, and idolatrous, for us to continually seek after the next cup of coffee. As if coffee is the way we can have life and live it to the full. In our eagerness and commitment to following Jesus we could only see
GETTING CLOSER TO GOD MEANS WE SEE GOD WORKING MORE. things happening day to day if the good gift of coffee was given. For all you parents of young children this is probably too close to home. If we then said to God… “Yes, we will direct our attention and love towards you... once we have our coffee” then we are seeking after the gifts of the creator before loving the creator who gives us the black elixir of life. —If you need to suspend your reading for a time of
confession feel free to do that now! God’s power is not separate from God. In Jesus Christ we see God showing to humanity the character and nature of the divine creator. Intimately linked is the revelation of God’s power. The story of God’s interaction with humanity shows that God engages and as a result, God’s power is shown. Creation, Abraham, accounts of kings, prophets and priests, healings, forgiveness, human successes and failures all show God’s power because God interacts. If we seek after God’s power (much like our hypothetical addiction to coffee) more than we seek after God, then we seek after the gift rather than the giver. Augustine writes: “CREATED THINGS KEPT ME FROM YOU; yet if they had not been in you they would have not been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.” - Augustine Confessions X.27
Seeking to turn his direction and attention towards God led him to love the creation before the creator. (Romans 1:25) In his journey, much like ‘The Preacher’ in Ecclesiastes, Augustine found it was easy to love the things that came from the creator more that the creator himself. In order to engage with the power of God we must engage with God; directing our hearts and attention towards the one who breathed and breathes life. Our first love (Rev 2.4), God’s power and the experience of it comes from the experience of loving God. We will see God in action when we have our attention and direction towards loving God. We will see the signs of God’s kingdom. We will see brokenness pieced together in people’s lives. We will see physical and emotional healing. We will see generosity scattered over the fields of greed. We will see stone hearts forgive stone cold actions. We will see violent oppressors bend down to lift people with dignity. May we draw closer to God, by following Jesus and being moved by the Holy Spirit to see and participate in God’s power. May we see God move in many and varying ways in the future.
“YOU NEVER GO AWAY FROM US, yet we have difficulty in returning to You. Come, Lord, stir us up and call us back. Kindle and seize us. Be our fire and our sweetness. Let us love. Let us run.” - Augustine of Hippo, Confessions __ Story: Ben Wakefield
Ben Wakefield is the current Baptist President and with his wife Tracey, Co-Pastor at Paraparaumu Baptist Church, they have three young children.
TAKE OUTS! 1. What does God’s power mean to you?
2. Where do you see God’s power at work in your life?
3. As you seek God how does He reveal His power to you?
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HEALING IN THE CHURCH
The gospel (good news) of the kingdom is about wholeness, which means it deals with more than salvation. It also includes healing for the body.
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A few months ago as I was preaching, I felt a sharp pain in my left eye that lasted just a split second. I have come to recognize this may well be an invitation by the Holy Spirit to partner with Him in something special. I have learnt that one way we can receive what the Bible calls a word of knowledge (1 Cor 12:8) is to actually feel physically the condition that someone is feeling. When I had finished my sermon I invited people to come forward for prayer ministry. I also shared about the painful eye experience and invited anyone who had that condition to come forward to receive prayer. A Chinese woman responded to the word of knowledge and shared that she had developed cataracts in that eye and suffered from pain. One of our team and I prayed for her, and asked her to test her sight out. One important step we have learnt when praying healing for people is, once we have prayed for someone, we always ask them to test and see if there is an improvement. She informed me that her sight had improved. We then encouraged her to return to her doctor and ask him to check her eyesight. We have since heard that the doctor has indeed confirmed that there is an improvement. This experience is not an unusual occurrence, in fact every week we hear stories from people in our church, of the people that they have had an opportunity to pray for. Over the last 10 years our church has been on a journey of discovery; seeing the kingdom of God released in our midst. As we read the gospels, it is clear and undeniable that the preaching of the kingdom was the central message of Jesus. Jesus not only preached the kingdom but demonstrated the power of the kingdom (Acts 10:38). The “word” about the kingdom and the “work” of the kingdom cannot be separated. The gospel (good news) of the kingdom is about wholeness,
which means it deals with more than salvation. It also includes healing for the body. Through the Old Testament prophets, God spoke of a day when “the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer and the tongue of the dumb sing.” (Isa 35:5-6) When Jesus began His ministry, these verses became a reality. Healing was part of His kingdom agenda (Luke 4:18). Applying this within the context of the local church, we believe that every believer has been given the authority to pray for healing as they present the gospel of the kingdom . Therefore we train all our people to engage with those that they encounter in their normal lives (at work, in school and amongst friends) and offer to pray healing, and to prophesy over them. This has resulted in our congregation to be available being used by God wherever they go, so that those they meet encounter His goodness. This has required a dramatic shifting in people’s thinking and practice. First comes the realisation that God does want to heal. The next step is understanding that God wants to use me (and not just the pastor or the church leaders). Finally, there is what we call “crossing the chicken line” – the actual stepping out, taking the risk and approaching people. Does everyone get healed? No, but an increasing percentage are healed the more we pray. In addition, the number of people that are impacted by the very
GOD DOES WANT TO HEAL GOD WANTS TO USE ME CROSS THE CHICKEN LINE! step out and do it!
act of care and concern expressed opens up dialogue and often significant encounters. This does raise a question that cannot be answered fully in this limited article – “Does God desire to heal everyone?” And related to that of course, is the question “Why doesn’t everyone get healed?” My answer, which will not satisfy everyone, and will disturb some, is I believe God does want to heal everyone, just as I believe that God wants to save everyone. I have yet to find a scripture where Jesus tells someone who comes to Him for healing that it is God’s will for them to have that sickness. Why doesn’t everyone get healed? - I don’t know. That is one of the mysteries of being in a healing ministry. But let me say this, I will never tell anyone that it is a lack of faith or because there is sin in their lives. That is contrary to what we see in Jesus’ ministry. I have sat and wept with families whose
THE “WORD” ABOUT THE KINGDOM AND THE “WORK” OF THE KINGDOM CANNOT B E S E PA R AT E D. T H E G O S P E L ( G O O D NEWS) OF THE KINGDOM IS ABOUT WHOLENESS, WHICH MEANS IT DEALS W I T H M O R E T H A N S A LV AT I O N .
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loved ones we have prayed for and they have not been healed but have died. I carry each one of those beloved people in my heart, but I also carry the conviction that Jesus has called me to represent Him to this world. This means that we are called to do the works of the kingdom (Matt 4:18-23, Matt 9:35, Matt10:8, Matt 28:18-20, Luke 9:2), as well as share the words of the kingdom. We are seeing a resurgence of the healing ministry within the church in the western world. This phenomenon comes amid the explosive growth of the Pentecostal/Charismatic/Third-Wave Movement. According to the Centre for the Study of Global Christianity at the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, over the last century, the number of Pentecostals, Charismatics and members of independent churches has grown geometrically from less than one million to nearly 700 million, The Global Medical Research Institute, a Massachusetts-based centre that seeks to apply the rigorous methods of evidence-based medicine to study Christian spiritual healing practices states that, “Much of this growth can be attributed to the fact that Pentecostals and Charismatics often pray for healing, and those receiving prayer often perceive these prayers to be effective.” A recent Pew Forum survey estimated 200 million Pentecostals and charismatics believe they have witnessed or experienced divine healing. Craig S. Keener, a professor of New Testament at Asbury Theological
Seminary and the author of “Miracles: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts”, says that, “In many countries, healing is the main reason for the explosion of Christian growth rates. As of about 10 years ago, it was estimated that perhaps half of all conversions to Christianity were because of experiences with healing.” Every week we have teams of our people go out on the streets in the surrounding suburbs sharing the good news of the kingdom and offering to pray healing for anyone they come across. These teams include people from 10 years old up to folks well into their 70s. We have seen many people deeply impacted through this kingdom ministry. One Saturday afternoon, one of our ministry team was contacted by an old acquaintance who had read healing stories on Facebook. The man had damaged his knee and invited our ministry teams member to pray for him, which he did. The acquaintance was on the fringes of the gang culture in Auckland and in a desperate way with his family. Our team member prayed for him. His knee was not healed, but the acquaintance was so impacted that he could not get out of his mind what had happened. On Monday, after he had finished work, the acquaintance came looking for our church because his friend had told him about what happened there. I met with him and led him to the Lord. Within three months I had the privilege of marrying him and his partner, and then I baptised them shortly after.
His post on Facebook on the first Christmas Eve after his salvation read, “At home relaxing with the family … coming home sober on the last day of work … saved a lot of money on booze … my wife is safe and happy and I get to come home and play with the kids … new life … relaxing, ready to go out and release the kingdom .” Today he is one of our church leaders and regularly shares the good news with people every week.All his family are active in our community. One Sunday morning a young man entered our auditorium on crutches. He had damaged his achilles tendon and was scheduled for explorative surgery the following week. At the end of the service in our ministry time, he came forward and was prayed for. Over the next 15 minutes as the prayer servants prayed for him, he felt a deep heat come onto his ankle and his tendon. Slowly but surely, he began to be able to move it without any pain. By the end of the morning he walked out of our building with his crutches over his shoulder and cancelled the surgery. This man had just encountered the love of a good God who cares for him personally. Dr R. Alan Streett, who is Senior Research Professor of Biblical Exegesis, and holds the W. A. Criswell Endowed Chair of Expository Preaching at Criswell College, in his very readable book “Heaven on Earth: Experiencing the kingdom of God in the here and now” states, “Healings and miracles are evidence that the eschatological reign of God is breaking into time and space.
EVERY WEEK WE HAVE TEAMS OF OUR PEOPLE GO OUT ON THE STREETS IN THE SURROUNDING SUBURBS SHARING THE GOOD NEWS OF THE KINGDOM AND OFFERING TO PRAY HEALING FOR ANYONE THEY COME ACROSS .
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HEALINGS AND MIRACLES ARE EVIDENCE T H AT T H E E S C H ATO L O G I C A L R E I G N OF GOD IS BREAKING INTO TIME AND SPACE. WHEREVER THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM IS PREACHED, THE POWERS OF DARKNESS LOSE THEIR GRIP ON THE AFFAIRS OF HUMANKIND.
Wherever the gospel of the kingdom is preached, the powers of darkness lose their grip on the affairs of humankind. Salvation is holistic and includes deliverance of both soul and body. On the cross, Christ reversed the curse, and healing is one of the first-fruits of the kingdom that is available to us.” He then goes on to say, “For the past 2000 years Christ has ministered through the church, His corporate body, which consists of millions of Spirit-empowered
believers. Jesus commissions us to continue demonstrating the power of the kingdom to the end of the age.” __ Story: Trent Hodson
Trent Hodson is the Senior Leader of Liberty Christian Church in Avondale. Trent and his wife Sue have a strong desire to see the church be all God has called her to be; connected to God’s heart and receiving everything that Christ has accomplished for us on the Cross.
TAKE OUTS! 1. Is there someone you can think of to pray for healing for? 2. Trent talks about stepping over the ‘chicken line’. Do you need to cross the chicken line and step out in faith to pray? What is stopping you? 3. Have you experienced healing before? If so have you shared your story?
References: 1.http://factsandtrends.net/2015/03/11/7-encouraging-trends-in-global-christianity/#. VzFuVoR97IU 2. https://globalmri.org/index.php/about 3. http://www.pewforum.org/2006/10/05/spirit-and-power/ 4. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/craig-s-keener/miracles-in-the-bible-andtoday_b_1274775.html 5. Heaven on Earth: Experiencing the kingdom of God in the Here and Now By R. Alan Streett, p125 6. Heaven on Earth: Experiencing the kingdom of God in the Here and Now By R. Alan Streett, p122
Preaching God’s Word
IN A SMART PHONE WORLD Exploring the place and shape of preaching in today’s world. Rapid and revolutionary changes in our culture and society are forcing preachers and churches to ask hard questions.
Professor William Willimon
Professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry Duke Divinity School
Dr Lynne M. Baab Jack Somerville Senior Lecturer in Pastoral Theology University of Otago
21-22 July 2016 Carey Baptist College
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Baptist / F A M I L Y N E W S
APOLOGY In the last issue the Leadership article was credited to the wrong person. The article was written by Sarah Rice (not John Tucker and Andrew Picard) Sarah is a recent Carey Baptist College graduate and along with husband Elliot, coordinated the Intermission Programme in 2015. Sarah and Elliot have accepted a call as Co-Pastors to Papanui Baptist Church, Christchurch.
60TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE AUCKLAND CHINESE BAPTIST CHURCH
P R E V I O U S B A P T I S T N AT I O N A L LEADER ACCEPTS MNZM
Rodney Macann, of Waikanae, received the MNZM (Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit) for services to opera and the Baptist Church in April 2016. Rodney Macann served as Senior Pastor of the Wellington Central Baptist Church from 1990 to 2006, Baptist President 2004 - 2005 and then the Baptist National Leader from 2006 to 2011. The New Zealand Order of Merit is an order of chivalry in New Zealand’s honours system. It was established on 30 May 1996 by Elizabeth II, Queen of New Zealand, “for those persons who in any field of endeavour, have rendered meritorious service to the Crown and nation or who have become distinguished by their eminence, talents, contributions or other merits”
Rev Rodney Macann (MNZM) and Lieutenant General Sir Jerry Mateparae, Governor General of NZ
Current Pastor Ken Choo and wife Lin - picture from a separate event.
On Saturday, 7 May the congregation and friends celebrated the 60th anniversary of the first Chinese church established in Auckland. Pastor Lo and his wife came from Hong Kong in 1956, and started the fellowship. Special guests were Sylvia Luck, Murray and Norma Beck ( the previous interim Pastor), Colin and Julie Crocker ( he was the 2nd Ethnic ministries coordinator for the BU, and involved in different stages of the church’s life), and Steve Davis, plus other Chinese Pastors in Auckland. Pastor Ken Choo and wife Lin welcomed the guests and congregation, and moments of community life were shared via pictures and stories- the link is coming out soon! May ACBC continue to be a faithful and fruitful church for another 60 years- or until Jesus comes back! _ Story: The current Ethnic Ministry Leader
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When the Baptist church in Pt Chevalier, Auckland closed down last year, the Love Your Neighbour team saw an opportunity. Could the building be used as a base to testbed ways that church can effectively engage their local community? Love Your Neighbour figured it would be great to have stories of their own to share as they consult with churches around the country on community outreach work, so they made a pitch to the Baptists to manage the building and use it as a base and they agreed! They are now the administrators of a great community space for hire in Pt Chevalier, which they have rebranded as ‘OneTwoSix’ (the street number). Running this facility gives them the standing to legitimately engage in community as locals in the Pt Chevalier area. They have a building, but no people to be ‘church’. Their plan is to borrow adventurous, pioneering types from partnering churches in the zone for one year, hoping that they will be replaced with locals in 12 months. Not a typical church plant then, and they can’t be sure that it will work - but they are going to give it a go and are determined to have some fun along the way! As this magazine goes to print, the very first gathering of interested parties will be on Sunday afternoon 29 May. Please pray that the Lord will do something surprising and encouraging on the day! You can contact Howard Webb at email@example.com
FA R E W E L L T O B R U C E PAT R I C K
A farewell from a lifetime of church ministry was held on Sunday, 24 April 2016 for Bruce Patrick at Orakei Baptist Church. Bruce has been tireless in his work with the Baptist Churches of New Zealand and the farewell service was a fitting tribute to a man who, alongside his wife, had committed his life to the call that God had placed there so early on.
After graduating BSc (in zoology and geology) in New Zealand, Bruce completed his BD (hons) at London School of Theology majoring in New Testament studies. He taught at Wanganui Collegiate School for a couple of years before being called into pastoral leadership at Wanganui Central Baptist Church. After nine years when the church grew from 120 to a community of over 700, Bruce was called by the Baptist denomination to be their Home Mission Director. During this seven-year ministry, in 1990 Bruce was instrumental in starting VISION New Zealand (now New Zealand Christian Network) and was in leadership roles for 20 years. His Doctor of Ministry (Fuller) is in Church Growth. He has edited and published four volumes of New Vision New Zealand to support mission in
NEW BEGINNINGS FOR BALMORAL BAPTIST CHURCH The Balmoral Baptist Church, formerly led by Pastor Graham Hight, had a vision of multi-ethnic ministry. But last year they felt God called them to discontinue their congregation to enable the start of a new beginning in an increasing multi-ethnic Auckland. At the same time, God put in the hearts of some of the pastors and elders of the Auckland Baptist Tabernacle a burden to launch another multi-ethnic community. Pastor Mike van der Vlugt and Heather Spinetto from the Global congregation of the Tabernacle had carried such a vision for over ten years. In this context, eight Tabernacle families with more than six different ethnicities (Japanese, Korean, Brazilians, Chinese, Dutch, Indonesian and Kiwi) felt called of God following a gathering on the 16th of January to commit to serving the Lord in launching a multi-ethnic ministry at the Balmoral Baptist Church building. That group and other
supporters have been praying together weekly since then to seek God’s will with regards to multi-ethnic ministry. After weeks of prayer, a vision to serve the increasingly ethnic Auckland came about: by providing a spiritual family for broken people, irrespective of their ethnic backgrounds. The new church plant community feel called to become the living water of the Lord Jesus Christ. Where the water flows and touches lives, there is healing and transformation. The Tabernacle has entered into an MOU agreement with the Northern Baptist Association Board to seek to establish this new church community, with review at the end of 2016. This work will initially be a congregation of the Tabernacle, using the name ‘Living Waters International’. Char-le and Margaret Wang have been tasked with leading the team.
New Zealand and he initiated and chaired a series of National Leaders’ Congresses. As senior pastor of the Baptist Tabernacle in Queen Street Auckland for 16 years until 2009, he led growth from 80 to over 700 attendees in five multi-ethnic congregations, and assisted with church planting. He served on the Auckland Baptist Association Board, the national Baptist Assembly Council, and was Baptist Union President through 2012. Bruce was married to Jinny for over 40 years and together they raised three adult children who are all married, with nine grandchildren. Sadly Jinny passed away suddenly in 2014. Bruce keeps fit by training for and competing in ocean swims, half marathons and triathlons and will continue to be engaged in research and writing.
Seeking Pastor Gleniti Baptist Church Timaru, South Canterbury We are looking for a Pastor who: • Has had formal training, • Is a teacher of the Word • Is visionary • Encourages use of gifts amongst the membership • Develops strategies to encourage church growth in lower age bands. Our church is a group of people who wish to impact our community and the world for God. We are looking for an enthusiastic Pastor to partner with us. Closes 15 July 2016. For an information pack, please contact Rosie: firstname.lastname@example.org
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1 0 0 Y E A R S A G O – A S E N S I B L E C H U R C H . B Y I T- D O E S - N O T- M A T T E R - W H O .
I have recently met what I call a “sensible Church.” It is not somewhere on the Pacific Slopes, but here in God’s Own Country. Its sensible conduct is worthy of imitation. I happen to know the minister of this Church, and was interested in watching him and his people erecting a new and beautiful building for worship. About six months after the Church moved into its new building, I enquired of him one day how the work was progressing, and was surprised to learn that the Church was experiencing a time of arrested progress and serious decline, With a sigh, he confessed that every department of the work was going back. I was also told in confidence that the state of things was such that he contemplated seeking work elsewhere, as soon as a suitable opening presented itself. There seemed to be no other alternative for him. A number of Churches were vacant—a change could soon be effected. But the change has not yet taken place, and it is now going on for two years since the new church was erected. I again met him about nine or twelve months after our first conversation, and we talked of the work of the Church. This time I learnt that the Church had been having a quiet revival. The old conditions of stagnation had passed away. Within the past few Sundays he had baptised and received into the Church about twenty people. Everything in the life of the Church was steadily going up. He could not explain why things had gone down and up so, except that members were working more actively . I was interested. I had a chat with a worker in that Church a few days afterwards, and spoke to him about the work of his Church, asking an explanation of the new and improved conditions. He replied, “The work of our Church went down terribly. We could not account for it. We saw that if things remained as they were or got worse, the first effect of present conditions would be that we would lose our minister. What we did was this: We talked matters over among our members, and decided to begin doing things with a view to improving matters, to interest ourselves in the work of the Church, be loyal to it,
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and do as much personal Christian work in seeking conversions as we could. The results have been very encouraging. The situation has been saved. The crisis is over, and we are glad that the mind of our minister is at rest again.” After these statements were confirmed by the testimony of two of the officers of this Church, I said to myself, “What a sensible Church.” Am I right? Yes, it is a sensible Church, and it still remains such, for the last report I heard of the Church a few weeks ago was of still further prosperity. These were men who had understanding of the times, who knew what they ought to do, and did it; and I have thought that if the Editor of the N.Z. “Baptist” will permit, I would like to pass the facts on to our Churches. The action of this sensible Church—which, by the bye, was not a Baptist Church—provides a splendid example which I think we sometimes need. There are times when some of our Churches are not sensible Churches. The time of arrested progress visits many of us. Sometimes we can account for the decline; often the cause is hidden. How can we act when it comes? It is easy to work the Church when all is well, but when a period of drought comes, how then? Look at this magazine. From Church News I cull a recent example. The Church at Waipiro reports that it has just welcomed its new minister, and states that since his arrival there is great prosperity; congregations have grown in a phenomenal way. That is very good, but the previous minister has settled in Waitangi, and is doing well, but his people read about Waipiro with a funny feeling. But the same thing happened in Waipiro when the Waitangi man went there, and it will probably happen again and again. Indeed, it is beginning already, so I hear. Now, my faith in Baptist Churches and love for our Baptist principles keep growing. Our Church policy is ideal. I glory in the work of our denomination. Its influence goes out into other denominations, and I believe exerts a fine influence on them. I am a Baptist by sheer conviction. As Baptists we move in a very roomy atmosphere; we walk in a large liberty. Out of even our little
Bethels great men have come. I believe we are second to none in our loyalty to, and proclamation of, the great evangelical verities of Christ, and the emphasis we place on character, service and Christian citizenship commands admiration. But our work has, I fear, a weak spot here in some oases, and if we could tackle things as my sensible Church did, I am sure we should do better work in the service of Jesus Christ. Times of arrested progress come upon nearly every Church. They are a challenge to our faith and courage—aye, to our commonsense, if we happen to have it. One thing is certain, that to allow things to drift and drift again and again is a senseless business. A vacancy in a Church every two and three years is a bad business. It offends the public. I want you, therefore, to take careful notice of what my sensible Church did. It went to the root of the matter. It did not merely try to right numbers or finance. The cause lay deeper, and the remedy was no mere surface facing. They secretly banded themselves together to seek the conversion of individuals by prayer and personal effort. Here is a very commonplace fact, which we often either forget or ignore—viz., that our Churches cannot succeed unless by securing the conversion of men and women, who then unite themselves with us, thus increasing our strength and efficiency. My sensible Church discovered in the hour of its need a most practical and sane way of doing real Church and Christian work. The winter is coming, which is always recognised as the best and most suitable time for Christian work. Put this method into your winter Church programme. Try it. If the birth-rate declines, the result is—”Exit the nation.” If the New Birth declines—”Exit the Church,” and the kingdom of God. As an individual, begin to pray for the conversion of definite individuals; get others to join with you; keep it up. Then seek an opportunity to lead your subjects of prayer to know Christ and trust Him; and then get them to confess Jesus Christ as Lord in His way, by baptism. Thus the Church will grow and His kingdom be established among men.
Baptist / F A M I L Y N E W S
16 NORTHERN EASTER CAMP This was the biggest camp we’ve ever had with over 5100 people from a number of denominations. Our speakers brought amazing messages and we are always amazed to see how God meets young people. We’re excited that other denominations are wanting to be a part of this and we know it’s because of God’s presence at Easter Camp. In our response times there are thousands that respond
BYM Easter camps are legendary and 2016 was no exception. Run in 3 regions (Northern, Central and Southern) plus E camp for Intermediate age, young lives are changed dramatically under the work of the Holy Spirit.
to the activity of God and we empower youth pastors to engage in conversations with their youth about God. We create an environment that God works with that speaks into people’s lives and youth leaders process with youth what they are feeling, what they think God is saying to them and journey with them. It may mean they are wanting to become a Christian that night or it is revealing to them another layer that God wants to work through with them. We were overwhelmed at the powerful God worshipping Haka performed by over 5,000 - it could well be the biggest
TESTIMONIES I LOVED EASTER CAMP BECAUSE THE ATMOSPHERE WAS SO WELCOMING AND MADE YOU FEEL OPEN TO LEARNING NEW THINGS ABOUT GOD AND HIS PATH.
It was also such a great way to meet new people and learn about their experiences with God and relate to them on a more personal level. The highlights for me were: • The amazing worship put on every morning and night • Developing new and stronger relationships with my youth, friends and God • Being in a new encouraging environment making me more open to God and becoming more aware of God Before I went to camp I felt I didn’t really have a relationship with God if I’m being honest, I didn’t know how to find
haka ever. We were honoured to have a Maori carver carving the Easter story in a Maori design onto a cross made of Totara. We were keen to create a space where people could sit, watch, listen, and talk about the Maori designs being carved that portrayed the story of Easter - it was a powerful thing that we’re looking forward to seeing complete next year at camp and proudly displayed at camps into our future. _ Story: Blue Bradley Blue is the Northern Easter Camp Director.
Him or see that He was there watching over me always. I wanted to find Him and feel the Holy Spirit so I felt by going to Easter camp was a step in my faith towards finding God. At camp I found God during the Holy Spirit seminar, He showed me He is present and He is real. After camp I have joined my own church and youth group regularly and each time I go I feel my faith becoming stronger and my relationship with God developing further. I have also begun to pray and speak to Him when I feel it is right or when I feel I need Him most. I also have begun to pray for others to get Him to watch over them and guide them on the right path. __ Testimony: Ruby Ruby is 16 years old and went to Northern Easter camp with Mt Albert Baptist youth
WHAT I REALLY ENJOYED ABOUT EASTER CAMP WAS THAT IT WAS SO GOOD TO MEET PEOPLE FROM OTHER CHURCHES AND TO MAKE FRIENDS.
As I look back to the moment where people were giving their heart to God asking God to forgive them and I also liked when there was a scripture about a story in your life where if people think you’re not good at something or not good enough to participate, well have another think. Again God thinks you’re good just the way you are so from this I learn that never put people down because Jesus did not put people down. He always loved them so much and was very kind so this story has kept within me this whole time during Easter camp. __ Testimony: Isaiha Isaiha is 13 years old and went to Easter Camp with Edge Kingsland
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CENTRAL EASTER CAMP
This year we had 1820 young people attend Easter camp at Manfield Park, Feilding, probably about 50/50 Baptist vs non Baptist. Our theme centred around the word ONE based on Ephesians 4:4. We focused on One saviour, One Hope and One Body. One saviour died on the cross for our sins; One hope is what the resurrected Jesus brings us all; And One Body because that’s how the message of hope is released to all around us, near and far, so that others might see that we are united by our differences as we share in God’s glory and as we outwork this in the way that God intended our church to operate. The top three highlights of seeing God move at camp: • The first youth group after Easter Camp we saw, for the first time, all the young people we took to camp step up and act as leaders, getting alongside some new people at youth and helping
SOUTHERN EASTER CAMP
Was held at Spencer Beach Holiday Park, Christchurch. This year we saw 3372 young people, made up of 86 youth groups, 29 Baptist, 57 non Baptist, attend camp. Every year we focus on and retell the Easter story, the power is in the story so we stick to it. One of the main session speakers, Esther Greenwood shared a prophetic word one morning about God desiring to heal scars. Since then we have had 20 young people testify that their scars (mostly self-harming ones) are completely gone. This is a highlight, praise God. __ Story: Laura Hughes Laura is Southern Easter Camp Director
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them feel more a part of the group. • One youth whose parents told him not to come back from camp a Christian was hugely impacted by the positivity and people getting excited about God. One of our girls was filled with a passion for Jesus and excited about pursuing a holy lifestyle - was also filled with compassion for others. Another boy had a unique spiritual experience where he felt Holy Spirit literally remove built up bitterness and anger from within. • Several of our guys struggling with some real deep issues, opened up for the first time at EC and have greater freedom, and have grown in trust and dependence on God as a result. We continue to hear story after story
coming from around the region of how Easter Camp brought people to Christ and is continuing to impact the lives of those who came. __ Story: Damon Fitzpatrick Damon is Central Easter Camp Director
Baptist / F A M I L Y N E W S
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camp for intermediates at Finlay Park, on the shores of Lake Karapiro, was another fabulous experience for all involved. Approximately 910 youth from 29 Baptist and 12 non Baptist churches between Whangarei and Whanganui, attended. Our guest speaker was Jeremy Suisted from Cambridge and he related his well-crafted messages to the camp theme of “Star Wars – a new hope” through the metaphor of light. 1. God shines bright. We need light. 2. You were made to shine. 3. Love involves choice. Satan blocks out light. 4. We need saving. Jesus shines bright.
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Jesus for the first time, recommitting their lives to God or asking for prayer. Highlights for leaders were seeing young people spontaneously coming to pray for leaders or for each other in groups, some totally overwhelmed with the Holy Spirit and experiencing being truly set free. We are still getting reports from leaders about youth who went home and shared some of Jeremy’s messages with older brothers and sisters and of formerly unchurched youth now attending church with the friends who invited them to Ecamp. We continue to pray for these youth and their leaders and families as they follow up and disciple these precious kids.
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Getting your 2degrees discount. • To get the 7.5% Pay Monthly Plan discount, all you need to do is become a 2degrees Pay Monthly customer and register for the discount using your registration code at baptist.2ddiscount.co.nz. • You can bring your whole number when you change to 2degrees, even the 021 or 027 bit. • If you are already a 2degrees Pay Monthly customer, simply go to baptist.2ddiscount.co.nz to register your details to receive your discount. • Please note that the discount will apply on your second month’s bill. • The discount applies only to the plan charge (including GST) of the Pay Monthly Plan, being the monthly access fee, and excludes any out of bundle charges, international calling and roaming costs, Value Pack charges, early termination charges or plan transfer charges or other costs associated with the Pay Monthly Plan.
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Raewyn Moodie is the Northern Children and Family Ministries Regional Coach.
Over 340 young people responded on Sunday night either for coming to
Baptist / F A M I L Y N E W S
KERRYN+PETER CHRISTENSEN | A LONG JOURNEY
Graduating with a Bachelor of Applied Theology has been a long journey for recent Carey Graduates Kerryn & Peter Christensen, who started study in 1998. They moved to Whangarei after graduating University but were always keen to do overseas Mission work. The Mission agency encouraged them to do theological study first and Carey seemed like a natural fit as they attended a Baptist Church at the time. In 2003 Peter and Kerryn departed for China where Kerryn worked with children with disability and Peter was engaged in development work. “There were so many opportunities to share our faith; people asked a lot of questions, which was a marked difference to New Zealand,” Kerryn recalls the paper Theology of Mission
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was an excellent foundation for helping her think more broadly “about how Christianity fits with different cultures.” After a stint in Christchurch they were soon ready for their next adventure. From 2010 – 2013 they were based in Chiang Mai, Thailand working at The Well; a counselling and member care centre supporting other missionaries and aid workers from around the Asia region. This still didn’t stop them continuing their study and they were completing papers via Carey’s Distance Education. They returned to Christchurch in 2013. Peter is working as an engineering consultant while Kerryn is a Workplace Chaplain for Workplace Support and “doing the mum thing” with their two girls, aged 11yrs and 10yrs. “I
wanted to come home and help the Christchurch community after the earthquakes” Kerryn says. For Peter, having a strong theological, biblical and missiological framework, “helps in thinking about the way our society is changing and how the Church carries out its mission in that context.” Heavy involvement in recruiting a new Pastor for their church has made them realise the benefit of theological training of Pastors. “We’ve recognised how important it is; it really should be compulsory.” “Carey is great at critical thinking and all the lecturers are passionate about what they teach. Study at Carey has been significant in changing how we’ve thought.”
H AY D E N A L L E N | G O I N G F U RT H E R I N
HAYDEN ALLEN was one of the recent graduates at Carey Baptist College, completing a Bachelor of Applied Theology and the Pastoral Leadership Training Track. It had been a long journey with a few years of unease wondering if God was leading him out of paid ministry before he started study at Carey. Hayden juggled work as an electrician and Youth Pastor and then Associate Pastor at Wellington South Baptist Church, and Easter Camp Director for the BYM Central Easter Camp, before God spoke to him clearly at a Baptist Assembly in Tauranga. “I had a very clear sense that He was not calling
me out of paid pastoral ministry but calling me further in.” A few years later, after being recommended by a friend to study at Carey, Hayden moved his family to Auckland. Studying at Carey provided a rich theology and brought together some of the puzzle pieces of his faith. “I came away from lectures buzzing with excitement as I learnt more. It wasn’t just the practical skills learned but the theology that prepared me for pastoral care. The how is important but the why is perhaps more important.” Commended by Carey Hayden has recently taken up the role of Pastor at Upper Hutt Baptist Church and is
excited about applying his training. “Ultimately I would like people to know and feel genuinely loved by me. I would like to know that God has fed the people each week as the written word is proclaimed and the living word is encountered in our lives.”
G R A D U AT I N G S T U D E N T S 2 0 1 6
Certificate of Christian Studies Ivy Lam* Anna Schroeder* Nikki Trowbridge* Certificate of Applied Theology Lorenz Romuel Enriquez Arabelo Danielle Jade Mackay Susan Joy McLennan Jessica Ang* Joel Daniel Carter* Arlene Chi* Linda Ann Rangimahora Kaukasi* Benjamin Felise Joseph Mortimer-Vito* Wai Ming Pun* Lopeline Tonga* Hannah Louise Underwood*
Diploma of Applied Theology Hsiu-Feng Hsieh Jordan Luke Jones Albert Huan-Cheng Lee Grace Ching-Yung Young Zoe Forrest* Elizabeth Venimore* Bachelor of Applied Theology Carissa Marie Allen Hayden Matthew Allen Andrew Graham Beales Helen Patricia Brereton Kerryn Yvonne Christensen Peter Derek Christensen Gershon Shanley Cadelis Lyall Eugene Carter Graeme John Chamberlain
Caleb James Finlayson Abagail Isabel Flood Rachel Huang Jody Maree Holgate-Norton Sheryl Isobel Hunter Belinda Rachel Jacomb Sung Youl Kwak Justin David Lewis Timothy (Lingyun) Ma Jan Elizabeth Shapcott Lyndon Stan Twemlow Susan Yin Jordan Douglas Edgar* Bronwyn M Duffy* Jonathan King* Graduate Diploma of Applied Theology Philip J Brown Jamie Lee Bycroft
Laura Elise Hill Brett Llewellyn Jones Marisa Joy King Elizabeth Alice McGlashan Jamie Patrick Pearce Samuel Taylor Patricia Thomson Matthew Max Chamberlin* Joel Aaron Gordon* Brent John Morgan* Kwok Hei Ng* Sarah Jane Snell* Margaret P Young* Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Theology Fereimi Cama*
* IN ABSENTIA
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Baptist / Y O U T H
WHO IS THE
Holy Spirit Mike Pilavachi - founder and leader of ‘Soul Survivor’, spoke at Northern Easter Camp this year. Caleb Slaney attended Easter Camp and interviewed Mike about the Holy Spirit.
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To start us off, can you please explain who
How can we outwork this,
the Holy Spirit is?
both individually and corporately?
Well, He’s God. Sometimes we don’t realise that the Holy Spirit is just as much of a person as the Father and the Son and He’s not an ‘it’ He’s a ‘He’. He’s God, He’s a person and He has personality. The Holy Spirit has been described as the ‘go between’ God the Father and us. He comes to fill us, to give us revelation of who Jesus and the Father is and empower us for witness and all sorts of things like that. So the short answer is, He’s God, just as much as Jesus is and the Father is.
Paul says to the Ephesians at one point, “Do not be drunk with wine, but instead be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And that phrase “be filled with the Holy Spirit” is a continuous present tense so the best translation is “keep on being filled with the Holy Spirit.” The reason we need to keep on being filled is because we leak. The more we’re filled with the Holy Spirit, the more we’ll love Jesus and the Father, the more we’ll understand the Bible as the word of God, the more we will be equipped to serve God in this world. So in a sense we need to constantly be filled with the Holy Spirit. Paul says somewhere else that we are temples of the Holy Spirit and that’s a lovely description, the Holy Spirit makes His home in us.
As Christians, what sort of place should the Holy Spirit be taking in our daily lives?
We want to be so full of the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit reveals Jesus and the amazing thing about the Holy Spirit is that He never points to himself. So He doesn’t want to glorify himself, He always wants to give glory to Jesus and the Father to reveal them. Jesus says, in John’s gospel, that “When the Holy Spirit comes, He will take that which is mine and make it known to you, He will remind you of the things that I spoke to you, the Holy Spirit will empower you and I will come and live in you by my Spirit.” So we want to have a close relationship with the Holy Spirit because He draws us closer to Jesus and the Father.
T H E H O LY S P I R I T. . . HE NEVER POINTS T O H I M S E L F. SO HE DOESN’T WANT TO GLORIFY H I M S E L F, H E A LW AY S W A N T S T O GIVE GLORY TO JESUS AND T H E FAT H E R TO REVEAL THEM.
WE SOMETIMES TA L K A B O U T WANTING TO HAVE ‘MORE’ OF THE H O LY S P I R I T S O T H AT W E C A N U S E HIM FOR OUR ENDS. THE TRUTH IS, T H E H O LY S P I R I T WANTS TO HAVE MORE OF US SO T H AT H E C A N U S E US FOR HIS WILL, S O I T ’ S A C T U A L LY T H E OT H E R WAY AROUND.
What would you say are the biggest misconceptions about the Holy Spirit?
One misconception some people have is that only a few are filled with the Holy Spirit in the church. The prophet Joel who Peter quotes on the day of Pentecost in Acts chapter two says, “In the last days I will pour my Spirit on all flesh.” On everyone. And if you’re a Christian then you have the Holy Spirit, He’s for all of us, not just for a select few. That’s number one. The second misconception is we sometimes talk about wanting to have ‘more’ of the Holy Spirit so that we can use Him for our ends. The truth is, the Holy Spirit wants to have more of us so that He can use us for His will, so it’s actually the other way around. And once again, I never want to disconnect the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son, so it’s all those things Does the Holy Spirit seem to move more in spontaneous situations or do you think He visits just as strongly through plans and structures?
Absolutely both! It’s not one or the other. The Holy Spirit is not ‘anti-planning’ and He’s not ‘antipreparation’. There was one time when I decided that instead of planning my
sermon, years ago, I would not plan it and I would just trust the Holy Spirit to give me the words and I would get up and just preach the most wonderful Spirit-led sermon I’ve ever preached. It was a total disaster. I think we plan and we ask for the Holy Spirit’s help in our working and in our preparing and in our planning. Then sometimes He might want to do something spontaneous and we go with that. But sometimes we can say “Oh, we won’t prepare because we’ll just go with the Spirit.” Well that can just be an excuse for laziness. What thought process do you go through when writing a sermon and how do you leave room for prompting from the Holy Spirit?
Well, I hope that the Holy Spirit is helping me in all my preparation. When I read the Bible I ask the Holy Spirit “Would you show me what you want to show me? Would you open my eyes? Would you give me revelation?” Then often I’ll read stuff and I’ll try and work out what it is that the Bible is saying and I’ll meditate on that and I’ll think “Gosh, what’s that speaking to me for? What’s that saying? What’s the scripture teaching me? Holy Spirit will
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you help me to understand it?” But I’ll also read commentaries, I’ll read what other people have written and listen to other people’s talks and the Holy Spirit is in all that. Then gradually I’ll let it gestate and then I’ll put it together and I always hope that the Holy Spirit is there helping and guiding me. It’s never all the Holy Spirit, my thoughts are never that good! But I hope the Holy Spirit is helping in some ways.
pain will start coming up because it’s a safe place. We carry pain and when we know it’s safe, Jesus is here, His love is here, for the first time it’s like “Oh my goodness, I can let go of the pain or the un-forgiveness that I’ve been carrying.” Then there might be an emotional response. That’s okay, we don’t want to be afraid of emotion but we also don’t want to hype up emotionalism and that’s the balance.
Allowing space for the Holy Spirit in big gatherings can cause some crazy things to happen, how do you keep leading during those times when God comes in a powerful way?
I think we need to distinguish between the Holy Spirit moving upon people and people’s response to the Holy Spirit. You see we’re all built differently. Some of us respond more emotionally, others might respond more physically and some of us are built more rationally and might respond intellectually so we will respond with our minds more. One is not more or less spiritual than the others and are any of them the Holy Spirit? No they’re not! They’re our response to the Holy Spirit so we all respond in a different way. I try to explain to people, if someone starts to laugh or to cry, occasionally that happens, that’s not the Holy Spirit, that’s just that person responding to the Holy Spirit. We don’t all have to do that. Some people that are filled with the Holy Spirit they respond emotionally or physically the least. We don’t want to prescribe that you’re more spiritual when you fall down or if you shake, it’s not about that. What my job is, in a meeting like that where stuff’s happening is to keep trying to reassure people and pastor people. Often when the Holy Spirit shows someone more of Jesus’ love for them sometimes
WE NEED TO DISTINGUISH B E T W E E N T H E H O LY SPIRIT MOVING UPON PEOPLE AND PEOPLE’S RESPONSE TO THE H O LY S P I R I T. In these meetings ‘hype’ can sometimes become a factor, is it easy to mistake that for God’s moving?
What I often say in meetings like that is “Is all this God or our response to God?” No, probably not. Human beings are involved. Some of it will be us. What we’ve done in the church is we’ve so wanted everything to be ‘pure’ and ‘perfect’ so we’ve never allowed a bit of mess. Sometimes I’d rather allow the mess so that people get blessed. Sometimes I might see that there might be one or two people here who are responding, who just so want to meet God that they see other people are falling down and so they fall down. Well if they want to fall down, it’s a free country, I’m not going to stop
them, it’s just if they do it, after a while they’ll get bored and that’s why I say no-one has to do anything, no-one has to fall down, no-one has to cry, no-one has to laugh, no-one has to shake. Be yourself. Someone once said “It’s messy in the nursery, it’s neat and tidy in the graveyard.” I’d rather choose the mess of the nursery, where there’s new life, than the neatness and tidiness of the graveyard where everything is in its correct place and it feels dead. So I don’t mind living with a bit of mess. We just want to have integrity so we don’t have to pretend that the hype is God, that’s all. For people who haven’t ever encountered the Holy Spirit before and some of the things that are happening are really out there, how do you help those people?
First of all, you can’t be a Christian unless you’ve encountered the Holy Spirit. So to say yes to Jesus and to start a relationship with Jesus happens because the Holy Spirit has somehow opened your eyes. So every Christian has encountered the Holy Spirit and that’s the other thing. We don’t want to give the impression that there are first and second class Christian citizens. Someone once said to me “Have you got the Holy Spirit? Or do you only have Jesus?” Even then I thought, “what a stupid thing to say! Do you only have Jesus?” What more do you want than Jesus? When you have Jesus you have the Holy Spirit! They come together. So number one is that. Number two: In meetings I just want to say to people that if you’re not feeling what other people are feeling then that’s okay. To encounter the Holy Spirit isn’t to have a feeling, it’s to know Jesus. It’s to come closer to Jesus. So I try to help people not to feel left out or to feel
We carry pain and when we know it’s safe, Jesus is here, His love is here, for the first time, it’s like “Oh my goodness, I can let go of the pain or the unforgiveness that I’ve been carrying.” Then there might be an emotional response.
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TAKE OUTS! 1. Who did you understand the Holy Spirit to be? 2. Has this article expanded your understanding of who He is to you personally?
3. “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another
like there’s something wrong with them. Often I will say in meetings, if you’re not feeling anything, neither am I. It’s okay. I’m trying to demystify it if you like. Have there been any times where you yourself have actually started to wonder what’s going on? And what do you do in such a situation?
Fairly regularly. What I say is “Lord, I’m not quite sure about everything that’s happening here but we asked you to meet with us and you say in your Word, if ordinary children ask their fathers for a fish, their fathers aren’t going to give them a stone. That’s what you said. And you say you’re the ‘how much more’ Father. How much more will your Father in Heaven give good gifts, or the Holy Spirit, to those who ask him? So
seeing as we asked you, I’m going to trust that it’s you and you know what you’re doing.” I don’t have to know everything immediately. But I will try and use my discernment and if something is going on that isn’t good and isn’t helpful and is destructive, that’s why we’re there to pastor it and we want to make sure that we do our bit well. __ Interview: Mike Pilavachi is founder and leader of ‘Soul Survivor’, an organisation seeking to disciple, equip and empower young people to make a difference in their generation.
Caleb Slaney is 19 and in his second year at AUT studying a Bachelor of Communications. Meeting and learning from Mike Pilavachi was definitely a highlight of Easter Camp for Caleb.
Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever— the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive [and take to its heart] because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He (the Holy Spirit) remains with you continually and will be in you.” John 14:16-17 Meditate on the list of names used for the Holy Spirit above. What do these names show you about who He is?
YOUTH FOR CHRIST & KINGDOM FESTIVALS INTERNATIONAL
[a]Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—
3. Do these different aspects of His character encourage you to involve Him more in your life?
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Baptist / C U L T U R E
LIFE IN THE
Understanding the debate over assisted suicide and euthanasia.
annah’s father had always been a proud and dignified man, dedicated to his family and his work, and active in his community. Everyone who knew him admired him. One day he began to suffer from a series of small strokes. Over the next few weeks, this strong, vibrant man became completely paralysed on one side, lost the ability to control his bladder or bowels, and was unable to swallow or even speak. Doctors indicated that he would never fully recover. He would live, but he would likely never regain control over his body. Heartbreaking. It’s the only word we have to try to describe stories like Hannah’s. There are few things more difficult in a human life than watching, helplessly, as someone you love suffers.
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Individuals and families from around New Zealand have been telling stories similar to Hannah’s in their submissions to the Health Select Committee’s investigation into ending one’s life in New Zealand. This is an investigation set up in response to a Voluntary Euthanasia Society petition presented to Parliament last year by ex-MP Hon. Maryan Street and widower of Lecretia Seales, Matt Vickers. The petition asked Parliament to investigate New Zealander’s views about legalising assisted suicide and euthanasia. That’s no small feat—finding out what New Zealanders think about legalising assisted suicide and euthanasia. Two years into doing research in this area, and I find that most people I talk to don’t know what to think. The issue is
so important, so big, and so complex that it tends to leave people with more questions than definite opinions. But with the Health Select Committee due soon to hear from New Zealanders in person and to deliberate on the issue, and an End of Life Choices Bill, written by ACT MP David Seymour, waiting to be drawn from the Private Members’ Ballot, we can’t afford to be put off by the complexity of the issue. The nature and timing of this discussion demand that we engage now, and get up to speed on what we think about legalising assisted suicide and euthanasia. To aid you in this process, the Baptist Magazine asked us to overview the arguments for and against legalising assisted suicide and euthanasia.
Some basics In order to start discerning whether or not we think euthanasia and/or assisted suicide should be legalised, it is good to establish a few facts and a few vital pieces of context. First, some definitions. Assisted suicide involves a doctor prescribing a lethal drug to a patient with the intention that the patient will take the drugs themselves and end their own life; it is sometimes referred to as facilitated dying. Euthanasia differs from assisted suicide in that the doctor administers the lethal drugs directly to the patient rather than the patient taking the drugs themselves. Euthanasia is sometimes referred to as administered dying. The often-heard phrase assisted dying can encompass both assisted suicide and euthanasia. Currently in New Zealand, both assisted suicide and euthanasia are illegal. Sections 63, 164, and 179 of the Crimes Act prohibit anyone from assisting in the suicide of another person, while sections 63 and 160 prevent anyone from killing anyone else, even if the person being killed has given their consent to have their life ended—in short, these sections prohibit euthanasia. Parliament passed these laws out of a desire to protect all human life, viewing life as inviolable— that is, that it can neither rightfully be taken away nor given away. Overseas, ten jurisdictions have legalised euthanasia and/or assisted suicide (EAS): Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Columbia, the Canadian province of Quebec, and the US states of Oregon, Washington, Vermont, and California. The Canadian federal government is currently drafting a regulatory framework for the legalisation of EAS across the whole country, which will likely come into law later this year. Euthanasia and assisted suicide: yes or no? Should euthanasia and/or assisted suicide be legalised in New Zealand? Recent polls of the New Zealand
public indicate that a majority of us believe that the answer to this question is yes. But the answer to a question in a poll and a well-considered response to the reality of legislation can and do often differ. Those who have considered the issue in-depth differ in their responses to the question of whether or not EAS should be legalised. Some—like the Voluntary Euthanasia Society, ACT MP David Seymour, widower of Lecretia Seales Matt Vickers, and ex-Labour MP Hon Maryan Street—say yes. Others—like the New Zealand Medical Association and the Care Alliance, which includes the Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine, Hospice New Zealand, the Salvation Army, Family First, and Not Dead Yet Aotearoa—say no. Yes – the argument for legalising EAS Those who want EAS legalised believe that people should be able to request that their doctor help them to die at a time of their choosing. They argue that competent adults should have the freedom to decide when their lives are no longer worth living—be it because they are in too much pain or because they feel that the conditions under which they are living are undignified. While a human life may have inherent worth and value, such things as terminal or chronic illness or disability can take away that value for the person living the live. In these instances, they hold, allowing that person legal access to EAS is the best way to uphold that person’s dignity and rights. Stories like that of Hannah’s father are common ones told by those who support the legalisation of EAS. People like Hannah have experienced caring for someone whose life post-illness or accident is unlike that before: strong, active men and women now confined to hospital beds, in need of assistance with everyday tasks like washing, dressing and eating, and often suffering. Their partners, children,
and friends watch them and wish that there was a way they could end their suffering—and avoid suffering a similar fate themselves in the future. Those calling for the legalisation of EAS acknowledge that granting doctors the legal power to end the lives of their patients is a potentially dangerous thing to do. In order to guarantee the safety of all those who would not wish for their doctors to end their lives, advocates for EAS insist on the need for safeguards in any legislation, such as: limiting access to EAS to competent adults who are either terminally ill or who have an irreversible condition that makes life unbearable; having two doctors review a patient’s request for EAS; requiring that doctors check to make sure their patients are not being coerced into requesting EAS; and setting up a review committee to oversee the functioning of the law. Proponents of EAS contend that such safeguards are working well in overseas jurisdictions, and that there is no evidence of abuse in the laws. Allowing a few highly independent people to have the right to ask a doctor to end their lives, proponents argue, will be a compassionate and respectful response to their suffering and will not put others in danger. No – the argument against legalising EAS Those who are against the legalisation of EAS argue that granting doctors the legal power to end the lives of their patients undermines the purpose of medicine, puts vast numbers of vulnerable people at risk of an unconsented death, and changes the society and culture that we live in, to the great detriment of the elderly, disabled people, and those at risk of suicide. Doctors and nurses are trained to heal their patients. When a cure is not possible, either because of a terminal illness or an irreversible chronic condition or disability, a special branch of medicine called palliative care steps in to help patients manage their pain and discomfort, and to provide patients, their
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families, and caregivers with whatever assistance they may need, be it physical, social, emotional, or even spiritual. Most of the medical bodies in New Zealand, and especially those representing palliative care medical professionals, have publicly stated their opposition to legalising EAS, describing it as unethical, damaging to the doctor/ patient relationship, and harmful to doctors who entered the profession to heal people, not to kill them. Pain and suffering, they say, should be met with better care and support, not with ending the life of the patient. Opponents of EAS are concerned as well by the worrying reports they see coming out of jurisdictions where EAS has been legal for a decade or more. Safeguards being dismissed, worked around, or undermined; increasing categories of people (including children and those with mental illness) being made eligible for EAS; and evidence of subtle pressure (be it emotional or financial) coming to bear on people’s decisions to end their lives. People who are seriously ill, suffering from a chronic condition, or living with a disability can be vulnerable, and opponents of EAS worry that overseas’ trends would be replicated here to these people’s very great disadvantage. Added to that, those against legalising EAS see in the international experience a gradual but definite shift
in the societies and cultures that have legalised EAS. Public sentiment about the value and worth of disabled people and the lives they lead diminishes; the elderly, already a community at heightened risk of abuse and neglect, become even more marginalised; and those contemplating suicide—be they young or old, physically healthy or ill— are presented with mixed messages about seeing suicide as an appropriate response to pain and suffering. Those opposed to legalising EAS can share stories similar to Hannah’s, but where proponents of a law change see the solution as EAS, they advocate for better and more comprehensive care and support. Legalising EAS for those hard cases, they hold, is an inappropriate response to pain and suffering and presents too many dangers to individuals and society to be a good solution. What do you think? Much is at stake in this debate. How do we compassionately respond to pain and suffering? What makes a human life valuable and in need of protection? How do we best balance individual freedom and public safety? There are no easy answers here, unfortunately. The above have been but brief overviews of the main arguments presented by each of the prominent sides of the debate over the legalisation
Equip Empower Engage
DOING MINISTRY IN A KIWI WAY
of EAS. Use them as a starting point to help you navigate the conversations going on across the country on this very complex, and important issue. Before the polling questions turn into legislative votes, make some time to think and discuss with your community how you believe we should respond to the pain and suffering of others and what this means for the law. __ Story: Jane Silloway Smith Jane is a Research Fellow at Maxim Institute. To see Maxim Institute’s research and other resources, and fint out what we think, visit: www.maxim.org.nz
TAKE OUTS! 1. Euthanasia and assisted suicide is a complex debate. This is an opportunity for us to be in prayer for the outcome of End of Life Choices Bill and discuss and pray with your church family.
LEAD LEAD CONFERENCE CONFERENCE
27-29 June | Hutt City Baptist Key Speaker:
Nick Field The Street City Church, Wellington
RE VI E WS
The Power of God’s Names – Tony Evans The Power of God’s Names offers an in-depth introduction to many of God’s names. “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe” (Proverbs 18:10) Evans points out that names in scripture have great meaning. Names can signify purpose, authority and character. God’s names reflect His character and His power. Evans explains that in understanding the nature of God through His names, we can learn to identify and understand which name relates to God’s promises for us. “I will reveal my name to my people, and they will come to know its power.” Isaiah 52:6 The Essential Guide to Healing — Randy Clark and Bill Johnson In the Essential Guide to Healing, Dr Randy Clark and Bill Johnson tag team between chapters sharing scripture, testimonies and their own personal experiences of healing. Dr Clark outlines the theological background and basis for healing and both share the practical side of praying for healing. The Walk of the Spirit, The Walk of Power —Dave Roberson This book is a how to guide on activating God’s power in your life through praying in tongues. Unlock one of the keys to growing in ‘devil-stomping, mountain moving faith’. Take your prayer life to a new level and discover your divine calling. ~Abby Cummins
The Holy Spirit an Introduction – John Bevere One of Manna’s top selling books on the topic - John Bevere introduces the reader to the person of the Holy Spirit, dispelling the misconception the Holy Spirit is an ‘it’. There are five main sections in the book: Who is the Holy Spirit? The Personality of the Holy Spirit. Three Levels of Relationship, Empowered by the Spirit and The Spirit’s Language. Each section ends with 5 days of devotionals, discussion questions and room for notes. If you have a desire to grow in understanding God, Christ and the Holy Spirit, this book is a great read to add to your research list.
The Servant Queen and the King She Serves The true extent of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Christian faith is revealed in a new book titled The Servant Queen and the King She Serves. The Bible was central to the start of Queen Elizabeth’s reign when, at her coronation, it was described as “the most valuable thing that this world affords.” Now 64 years later, the role of the Bible and her christian faith in her reign as Queen has been detailed in a new book to commemorate her 90th birthday. Published by Bible Society UK the book is available through the Bible Society New Zealand.
War Room — Produced by the creators of Fire Proof and Courageous – War Room tells the story of married couple Tony and Elizabeth Jordan, the breakdown of their relationship and the power of prayer. Elizabeth meets a new client Miss Clara, a prayer warrior and quirky elderly woman. Miss Clara introduces Elizabeth to her “war room”, a prayer closet in her house and teaches her how to pray and bring her cares before the Lord. Once Elizabeth starts to pray her life and marriage are turned upside down.
Have it All | Bethel Music Recorded live, Have it All features 14 new songs focussed upon the nature of God, His promise and presence. The album’s ‘reason for being’ could be summed up by these lyrics from the song “Have it all”: “You can have it all Lord, every part of my world, take this life and breath on this heart that is now yours.”
PODCASTS NT WRIGHT New Testament scholar, retired Anglican Bishop, author and now Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity. Available on iTunes, Tom Wright’s insight and depth of knowledge and understanding of the life of Jesus and Paul and his ability to communicate it so articulately, make his podcasts unstoppable! Be prepared to take some time out of your day to be enriched.
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Seeing the Bible at
When we ask not only “What does the Bible mean?” but also “What does it do?” we can see God at work as the Bible engages those who read and respond to it.
A few months ago several groups gathered to hear or read together passages from the Bible and talk about them. Nothing too unusual about that, but those particular groups were participating in a research project as part of a Carey Master of Applied Theology course in Intercultural Bible Reading. What we wanted to explore was how the Bible was heard and responded to by people of different cultural and social identities and locations. What would they make of it, and what would it make of them? Each student enlisted a group that had some cultural or social characteristics in common. There was a group of Fijians who form a worshipping community in Auckland; Burmese refugee women; Filipinos attached to a Baptist Church in East Auckland; first generation immigrants in a Pentecostal congregation; Ni-Vanuatu women seasonal workers in the South
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Island; a home group comprising recent immigrants from China; young people whose parents immigrated from Hong Kong who continue in their parents’ church but in a separate, Englishspeaking congregation; a Tamil group (from both India and Sri Lanka) in an Auckland Presbyterian Church; Cook Island born adults who have all brought up their families in New Zealand; a New Zealand born Samoan group representing diverse experiences of life and stages of faith; and a mixed group of café customers who have no church affiliation and choose to describe themselves as “atheists and non-godbotherers.” Two passages were chosen, the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32) and the account of Saul’s encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-18). The process was simple. A group would meet, the passage for that session would be read, and, acting as facilitator, the student would invite the group
to comment on what they had heard and how they responded to it. The conversation (running for about an hour) would be recorded and transcribed and those transcripts (with English translation where necessary) were brought to a block course at which the students discussed the experience, analysed the responses of the various groups, and considered what could be learned about the Bible passages themselves, about those groups of readers/hearers, and about how the Bible engages people in various contexts. Reading the Bible through others’ eyes All of us who participated in that process learned new things about the two Bible passages. Most of us were startled to hear from the Fijian group that on reading Jesus’ parable two members were so scandalized and upset by the younger son’s demand for an inheritance before his father had
T H E N AT U R E O F F A M I LY D Y N A M I C S IN DIFFERENT C U LT U R E S C A M E TO THE FORE, AS DID DIFFERING ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT SOCIAL R E L AT I O N S H I P S AND HIERARCHIES. actually died that they wanted to leave the group. The visceral impact of that act of disloyalty and family rupture opened a window onto the possible effect of the story when Jesus told it, sanitized for many of us both by familiarity and by different cultural attitudes. The experience of feeling less favoured by parents particularly among male siblings evoked in two Chinese women considerable sympathy for the elder brother, again casting into sharper profile the shocking import of Jesus’ parable. Understanding those we are reading with. At the same time as illuminating aspects of the Bible passages the
responses and conversations in the groups gave significant insight into the values, attitudes and experiences of the readers themselves. The nature of family dynamics in different cultures came to the fore, as did differing assumptions about social relationships and hierarchies. Experiences of being far from home and vulnerable resonated with refugees and other migrants. And what about educated, middleclass New Zealanders? We were confronted with the reality of how remote contemporary New Zealand “non-god-botherers” may be from the cultural understandings assumed in supposedly well-known Bible stories. The celebration on the younger son’s return provoked this perplexed response: “They’re just like, ‘And because you came back we’re gonna kill this animal.’ Like, I don’t know, I just found that really weird.” Seeing what the Bible does In reporting back on the groups a common theme was the way that those Bible passages engaged the readers emotionally, connecting with the realities of their own lives and experiences. There were tears, deep hurts and shame were brought into the open, anger was expressed, attitudes
and assumptions were exposed and challenged, hope was felt, direction found. For the students, the immediacy of connection that their groups found with the text was striking. Rather than listening to a series of points of information and suggested application mediated to them by a leader, those readers located themselves directly inside the stories, seeing themselves in its characters, reading and responding as participants as the story unfolded. Readers were interpreting aspects of their own lives within a framework, discerned in the stories, of the purpose and activity of God. As one student reflected, “Instead of seeing the text objectively and as separate to the readers I now understand that as the text is interpreted, the text and the readers become intertwined in a process of meaning making that cannot be separated from the readers’ lives, experiences, and worldviews.” In every case the experience of reading and being engaged together by a Bible passage produced relational gains. One group after another reported deepening of understanding of each other, often with mutual support and prayer. Leaders who had thought they already knew
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groups that they pastored or taught learned new and surprising things and reached a deeper level of relationship. Learning for ministry and mission For preachers, teachers and students of the Bible it was not always comfortable to be in the position of listener and facilitator rather than instructor. It could be difficult to hold back from “correcting” interpretations, and steering discussions towards “the main points.” To be fair, there was also some discomfort in the groups themselves if they had expected an authorized person to tell them what was in the Bible and had never been asked to express their own responses to it. Pressing through that initial discomfort, however, proved immensely worthwhile for the groups and yielded significant learning for ministry. Listening in as the Bible engages people and evokes responses in the contexts of their realities offers profound insight into their attitudes, assumptions and experiences. When it is appropriate to speak it will be with fuller understanding. In the very diverse contexts of contemporary ministry and mission, the Bible can be a place of encounter with God and with each other. Engaging together with the Bible, people who are different from each other see the
“INSTEAD OF SEEING THE TEXT O B J E C T I V E LY A N D A S S E PA R AT E TO THE READERS I N O W U N D E R S TA N D T H AT A S T H E T E X T IS INTERPRETED, THE TEXT AND THE READERS BECOME INTERTWINED IN A PROCESS OF MEANING MAKING T H AT C A N N OT B E S E PA R AT E D F R O M THE READERS’ other with fresh understanding, and begin to see themselves through others’ eyes. There is great potential here for relationships within churches that include congregations or groups of different cultures. The enrichment of understanding of the Bible itself through this process of intercultural Bible reading encourages us to ensure that the preaching and teaching that feeds our congregations is not restricted to one cultural perspective, but that we learn together with the whole body of Christ.
And above all, this project has encouraged fresh confidence that the Bible can and will do its work when it is simply opened and read. It is not only a record of, but also a living and dynamic act of the continuing mission of God. __ Story: George Wieland George Wieland is the Director of Mission Research and Training at Carey Baptist College
TAKE OUTS! 1. Have you ever considered starting an intercultural Bible study? 2. What could that look like? 3. Consider the two Bible stories in the research and the responses. How do you respond to those stories? Does it differ to other cultural responses you read of? Does this expand your understanding of scripture?
150 Years OVER THE LAST 150 YEARS OUR CHURCH HAS BEEN KNOWN BY MANY NAMES; LINCOLN ROAD BAPTIST, LYTTELTON STREET BAPTIST, SPREYDON AND HALSWELL BAPTIST AND NOW SOUTH WEST BAPTIST CHURCH. WE’RE ‘LOOKING BACK…STRETCHING FORWARD.’ JOIN US AS WE CELEBRATE OCTOBER 14 - 16, 2016. FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT WWW.SWBC.ORG.NZ/150
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Helping bring our communities to Life…since 1866
G L OBA L
†PHOTO OF THE MONTH
He waka eke noa – everyone in one canoe with no exception. The theme of this year’s Prayer and Self Denial Appeal reminds us that the work of NZBMS is the work of all New Zealand Baptists. To be a part of this year’s appeal and receive a resource pack, contact the NZBMS office; firstname.lastname@example.org.
A WORD FROM RACHEL – COMINGS AND GOINGS – WHO’S NEXT?
iOver the last six months or so - i ithe New Zealand team here in i iAotearoa and overseas has seeni ia number of changes. We recently welcomed Andrew Page to the role of Tranzsend team leader and are thrilled to have him on board. Our administrative assistant, left that role as Stephanie Haskett and returned in mid-May as Stephanie Nayagam. Newly married, she has taken up the role of Communications Manager. We’ve also seen some movement in and out of New Zealand, much of it from our short termers. After a year teaching in South Asia, Eugene (Hosanna Porirua) is due to return to New Zealand in July; Gary and Jude (Wainuiomata) left in March for a year in South Asia assisting with the development of Freeset Fabrics;
Jake and Megan with their three young children (Waihi) will head to South Asia for a year at The Loyal Workshop from late June; Bella (Mt Roskill) will spend six months assisting in apparel production at Freeset. We’re also thrilled to have Ilkka and Maree (Te Puke) rejoining the Tranzsend family as longtermers having already served in SE Asia for 6 years. And, with three other families currently support raising (Josh and Robyn, John and Helen, Roger and Carolyn) we hope to have further outward movement within the next few months. That’s what we know about at the midyear mark in 2016… so who are the ones we don’t know about? Who will help fill the needs of teachers, finance managers, maintenance managers, designers, youth workers, counsellors, IT personnel and so on?
T OG E T HE R
There is more than enough to do and in many of our fields we have open doors to do so. In the pages that follow you’ll read some more of the stories of transformation and hope that we began sharing in the April issue. We hope that these, like those before, will not only offer further insight but encouragement too, of how God is working in and through the lives of people overseas, because His people listened and obeyed the call to go and because His people here prayed. He Waka Eke Noa: everyone in one canoe with no exception. Nga mihi nui. __ Story: Rachel Murray Rachel Murray is the General Director of NZBMS.
R E A CH
WOR L D
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We’re excited to share more stories of what our family in the mission field are seeing God do in the lives of the communities in which they serve. Holding God’s Glory. Sometimes God does His most extraordinary work in ordinary situations, so much so that, if we are not careful, we may miss it! As we walk along the riverside where we live and work we see potters at work. Row after row of clay cups and vessels are drying in the crisp South Asian sun. Then I remember that we are like that clay cup (2 Cor. 4:7). At times we are fragile and our contributions may seem humble, but that’s exactly where God wants us to be. We are meant to be empty of ourselves but not without a purpose. We are empty so we can hold His glory. Behind our house is a slum
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community, these are the ones who have the treasure within. What a delight to disciple people who are so hungry for God’s word. Lately we have been learning how Jesus taught us to pray for each other and we have held small workshops to practice what we have learnt. Our prayers have been answered and healings have begun to happen. The first was a throbbing toothache that was completely healed overnight. That brought much joy. A greater challenge, however, was for a woman in our group who had throat cancer. This woman lived in a little shanti on the side of a busy road. Every morning at 3am she would rise to pray. Her husband was a jute mill worker
but, because the mills here have long been closed, they are very poor. This woman, however, possessed a tremendous inner strength that shone from within. Did we see her healed? Well, we saw evidence of healing but in the end she became so weak that she died of IV fluid overload. Once in poverty now received into the grandeurs of Heaven. My friend, I am sorry to lose you but I am rejoicing for you also. Rejoicing that you are in the arms of the One whose face you always beheld. This is my tribute in honour of you. A testimony of God’s choicest clay cup, because you knew how to hold His glory within. From a Tranzsend worker in South Asia.
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Healed to Tell Others Steven is a driver for a company we are associated with. He’d heard about Christ many times but didn’t want to know any more. About two years ago he became sick with lung disease. The doctors told him it was terminal and there was nothing they could do. In desperation, Steven went home and began to read the Bible. He read about prayer and about how Jesus had healed people. He prayed to God
Joining God’s Team The daughter of a poor rice farmer, Dom is a Christian. She teaches me the local language. One day I asked her how she became a Christian. Here’s what she told me. “I used to walk past a Christian church often. I’d see people coming and going and they always looked so happy. I wondered what was happening in that building that could make them feel that way. I was too shy to go to church on a Sunday but discovered the church had a soccer team that played on a Saturday afternoon so I joined that. “It was fun playing but I was still full of questions about that building
and what happened inside it. So, one Sunday I put on my soccer team t-shirt and went and stood outside hoping the shirt would somehow earn me an invitation to go in. “It worked. The pastor saw me and invited me inside. That morning’s sermon was about creation. While I had never believed the scientific explanations I’d heard at school, everything the pastor said seemed to make sense. In a very short time, I became a Christian.” Dom went on to complete four years of study at Bible school. Her husband is now also studying with the intention of becoming a pastor once he graduates. Dom’s dream is to teach in a Bible
for his own healing. When Steven next went for a medical check-up the doctors were amazed. The tumours had gone; he was healed. Steven responded as so many before him have responded; in the way he’d read about others doing when touched with the healing power of Christ – he committed his life to Jesus and went to tell others about what had happened. From Tranzsend workers in East Asia.
school so others may live with the same passion for the faith that she has. Roanna and her family are Tranzsend workers in South-East Asia.
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Baptist / G L O B A L M I S S I O N
THOUGHTS FROM KAREN WARNER
NEVER TOO YOUNG When you meet people who are missions’ legends you can feel somewhat daunted. That’s how I felt when first meeting John and Susan. The awe I have for such people goes back to my childhood. I remember sitting in Ropeholders and hearing stories of Baptist missionaries in India. I thought they were so brave leaving the comfort of home to serve in such a strange, faraway place – they seemed to me to be somewhat God-like. To meet two of these people forty years later felt a real privilege. They won’t like me saying this, but I felt (and still do feel) in awe of how they, and others like them, have served God. As a child stories of missionaries impacted me hugely. I grew up knowing missionaries were called by God for special work and I became aware that one day He might call me for something special also. Having been so impacted I grew up with an openness to going to the mission field. I served on the church Missions Committee, I ran Ropeholders, and my husband and I went to Bible College; all so we would be ready. This all began as a child holding ‘the ropes of prayer’ between New Zealand and the ‘big wide world’ that needed to hear the Gospel. You see, God calls children. He speaks into their hearts and He whispers, “I have work for you to do. I have people for you to serve and love”. When we talk to children about our missionaries, when we run Self Denial in our churches, when we hold Mission Expos, we open the ears of children to those God-spoken words, and they listen. For many years, Baptist Children and Family Ministries have been partnering with NZBMS in the development of the children’s Prayer and Self Denial material. We know that together we can make an impact not only on the children of this nation but on the nations that God may be calling them to in later life. We are also talking together about ways we could have a greater impact, and are looking for opportunities for families to engage in short-term mission trips. Thank you NZBMS for impacting my life, those of the nations you serve, and the many children around Aotearoa, New Zealand who God is calling into His service. __ Story: Karen Warner Karen Warner is the National Team Leader for Baptist Children and Family Ministries
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BUSINESS, MISSION, YOUNG PEOPLE, SOCIAL JUSTICE, AND THE
GOSPEL Not long ago social commentators were making sweeping, often derogatory, statements about the interests and concerns of younger generations. In particular, the attitudes associated with Generations X, Y and Z – those born since 1975. Individualism, consumerism, and self-centredness were words typically used to characterise these generations. While it would be true that some members of all generations have exhibited these traits, the reality has proven to be that these younger generations may be nowhere near as self-centred as predicted. In fact, increasing numbers of young people are becoming involved in the community through volunteering and social justice activities. But wait, there’s more… We were also told that, as time went on, spirituality would play a lesser part in the lives of newer generations. This has been called into question also. A recent Melbourne study showed that many young adults, while being critical of the structures of the Church, affirmed social justice initiatives as a practical expression of their faith, more so than many of the typical activities we would describe as worship. Social Justice and NZBMS NZBMS is involved in a number of social justice initiatives. A significant proportion of New Zealand Baptists who have chosen to commit themselves longterm to working in those initiatives are under 40 years of age – some are under 30. These are young people who have been challenged by the life of Christ and chosen to respond to His call to treat others as He would by taking the Gospel message to the
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spiritually poor and needy overseas. But what about those who have not been called to typical missionary service? A growing number of younger men and women are choosing to connect their everyday lifestyles and careers with a social justice cause. Two such people are Julia MoorePilbrow and Melissa North. We asked them about their work and how they link it to a heart for social justice.
Introducing Julia Moore-Pilbrow Julia, a former Baptist pastor, and her husband support The Loyal Workshop through their professional photography businesses. We talk to Julia about her motivation to do this. What do you enjoy most about having your own photography business? I love the buzz of bringing together all the elements of a shoot and getting that image you and your clients love. Also it’s flexible enough to give us freedom to follow what God is calling us to do pastorally, exploring connecting with people on the fringes of faith, outside of the traditional church. What does it mean for you to be “ethical” in your line of work? The wedding business can be a beast of consumerism. That made us ask, “How can we do this in a way that reflects our values and who we are?” We met Sarah and Paul from The Loyal Workshop a few times when they READ MORE
visited our church. Inspired by what they do and how they do it, we see this as a great way to raise their profile while making our daily work more meaningful. You’ve chosen to enter into a longer term commitment with The Loyal Workshop. Why have you taken this approach? The opportunity to raise their profile gives a sense of greater purpose to what we do. It was a tricky decision to go public with our support – it feels a bit like advertising how nice you are, but once that’s overcome, it’s wonderful to have the opportunity to tell others the amazing story of this organisation’s work. (Julia and her husband also give 10% of wedding booking fees to The Loyal Workshop – Ed.) Is there any benefit to you and your business supporting and promoting The Loyal Workshop? Clients have an opportunity to see our values and hopefully resonate with them so they can feel a part of The Loyal Workshop’s freedom story too. The Loyal Workshop are also working on a leather product for presenting photos to clients in – we are really looking forward to having The Loyal Workshop’s products as part of our branding. Check out more on Julia’s website, juliamoorepilbrow.com
Introducing Melissa North Melissa North is an Auckland fashion designer who won a university scholarship to India. There she was
challenged to think about poverty and ethics within her industry. What are your ambitions in the fashion industry and what fuels your passion for it? I enjoy the bridal side which is where I’m currently working. I’m also passionate about helping people and I hope to have a business of my own one day that I can use to do that. I love the way an individual’s unique personality can be revealed through the clothes they wear. Tell us about your visit to India. It was an amazing adventure learning the culture and the fashion industry; so different from New Zealand. From the food and weather to the way everyone would stare at us because we were different; and then there was the poverty. Although sheltered from much of the poverty, it was still obvious and difficult to look at. Where did your interest in Freeset come from? I first heard about Freeset at the 2013 BYM Northern Easter Camp. It made me think maybe I could combine my skills in fashion with my passion for helping people, to make a difference. Since that time I’ve felt that God is calling me to go to India and work for a freedom business like Freeset. Can you see a way for fashion to help free people from slavery? Fashion is a growing industry. Many companies are expanding into India, often using cheap labour. I believe most people in New Zealand would prefer to buy clothing that has been made ethically. This means people within the fashion industry and businesses like Freeset have a huge role to play in providing employment and in showing a freedom business model to others. __ Story: Greg Knowles
Thinking about how you can be involved in the work of NZBMS? Contact email@example.com
about the work of Transend tranzsend.org.nz
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Care & Connect Minister (Full time) Hillsborough Baptist Church The successful applicant will become part of a dynamic Pastoral team that is focused on an Ephesians 4:11 Equip ministry. The team is strategically targeted at growing strong disciples and equipping and releasing people in Spiritinspired kingdom ministry. The position will focus on oversight and development of: • Connect ministry (integrating people into the Hills Church family) • Church care network • Small group ministry Get in touch with us if you: • Have pastoral and leadership giftings, including counselling, relationship building, encouragement, visionary skills, experience in pastoral care and small group leadership and development • Have a sense of God’s call to pastoral ministry and a genuine relationship with Christ that is infectious • Are passionate about the church and desire to see people discover and grow in the Christian life • Are a team builder and team player • Are personable, charismatic and have a sense of humour Email expressions of interest to Glenn Edmonds: firstname.lastname@example.org Position description available on request.
Gay & Christian? ––––– Ponsonby Baptist Gay & Christian support & discussion group monthly meetings Tel/Text: 027 279 4461 Email: email@example.com ponsonbybaptist.org.nz/gay-andchristian-information
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by Ps Douglas J Allington President of Youth for Christ NZ This book is a powerful testimony of God’s grace working in, and through the life of one unlikely indiviual. Be encouraged, inspired and challenged as you read about the revival fires in the villages and the youth of Samoa. Also featuring a preview of Allington’s other title, ‘The Church Under Siege’. ‘The Call’ can be purchased for $19.95 online or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
LET US HELP YOU THROUGH... Our dedicated team are available to you 24 hours to help put in place funeral plans. 31 Ocean View Road, Northcote Phone. (09) 489 5737 Email. email@example.com
www.thecall.org.nz Fresh Horizons Conference - NZ August 17-18 2016 Tauranga Yacht Club, Sulphur Point Fresh horizons is a Christian Ministry designed to raise awareness of the value of people in life’s “second half.” With international and local speakers to help inspire, educate and resource them for community involvement- it’s about making the second half of life the best half of life. For more info contact Faye Philp: firstname.lastname@example.org • Freshhorizons.org.au 07 544 8581 • 027 241 6871 ‘One approach doesn’t fit all’
Would you like to train as a Spiritual Director? ––––– Spiritual Growth Ministries offers a two year, part-time programme, designed to inspire and form you as an effective Spiritual Director. The programme includes: • Study of the theology and practices of Christian Spiritual Direction • Deepening spiritual formation • Regular workshops • Supervised one-to-one spiritual direction practice All enquiries to: email@example.com www.sgm.org.nz
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Stephanie Nayagam – Communications Manager - Commenced 23 May 2016. Stephanie has been a valuable part of the NZBMS team for some time now, filling the role of Administration Assistant. She married on 23 April and returned to her new role. In her role as Communications Manager, Steph will have oversight of all promotional and communications matters (media, print, and online). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
APPOINTMENTS NZBMS is thrilled to announce the following appointments:
Ilkka and Maree Tranzsend overseas staff heading to SE Asia in 2016. Ilkka and Maree served in SE Asia between 20042010. They are now returning to the same region. They have three adult children Lora (married to Matt), Emma and Micah. Their sending church is Te Puke Baptist Church. Please join with us by prayerfully supporting these folk. If you wish to provide financial support for Ilkka and Maree, email: email@example.com.
Andrew Page – Tranzsend Team Leader Commenced early April 2016. Andrew and Andrea, with their children Liam (13) and Mahlia (12), served with Tranzsend in East Asia for 13 years. They returned to New Zealand in January 2016. In his role as Tranzsend Team Leader, Andrew will have oversight of all field personnel from application and acceptance, support raising, care and on-field ministry partnerships and through to their return to New Zealand. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
OPPORTUNITIES TO SERVE
NZBMS, through Mission World, present the following opportunities to join with God’s mission in our world by joining with Tranzsend or one of our other strategic mission partners: •
Palliative care consultants (North Africa) – SIM for disabled youth and people at risk Counsellors (West Asia) - Interserve to help address the needs of both expatriate workers and local personnel Home schooling teacher (South Asia) - Tranzsend for two primary age children Guesthouse Manager (Senegal) - WEC. French language ability required
Finance manager (PNG) - MAF to provide effective financial management and services Primary and Secondary Teachers for international schools in a range of locations – serving with a range of organisations Marketing personnel (South East Asia) - OMF for a small business Motel Assistant Manager (Australia) - Wycliffe for general maintenance, administration and domestic duties
For more information and to express an interest email email@example.com or phone 09 526 8446.
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15 Organisations begin national Evangelism Conference. PARTNERING ORGANISATIONS
Youth With A Mission
New Zealand Christian Network
Ka mahi tahi, ka ora
YWAM MEDIA PARTNER
In September 2016 a national evangelism conference will be facilitated by the Shining Lights Trust in partnership with a wide range of outreaching organisations in New Zealand.
This conference is for pastors, passionate evangelisers and church members. It is purposed as:
1. A rallying point for evangelism.
Don McDonnell, evangelist and pastor Ps Don is one of New Zealand’s leading evangelists with over 15 years of experience in speaking in local and international settings.
2. A strategic equipping conference at which people can get inspiration and equipping to take back to their churches. Includes:
5 main sessions and 3 seminar sessions. 6 seminar tracks include Pastors track, Passionate evangelisers track, Youth Leaders track, Children’s Leaders track, Apologetics Track and Community Ministry track. 1pm Friday 2nd September to 8pm Saturday 3rd September
The venue: City Church Tauranga, 252 Otumoetai Road, Tauranga. The cost:
Dave Mann of the Shining Lights Trust Dave has a genuine, steadfast character with a passion to see the Church equipped to share the Gospel in a relevant and understandable way. Tony Collis, evangelist and pastor Tony brings highly motivated insights into the areas of missions, evangelism and prayer with proven experience in training and motivating others. Alan Vink of Willow Creek Alan presents an analysis of what is proving effective in evangelism – providing hope!
$120 adult ($90 early-bird registrations prior to 19th August 2016)
Dr Stuart Lange of Laidlaw College Presenting from History – The Ngati Ruanui Martyrs
$80 student ($ 60 early-bird registrations prior to 19th August 2016)
Paul Eardley of CAP NZ Paul brings an uncompromising passion for the gospel along with an ability to teach conversational skills helping people engage in spiritual conversations.
Includes tea breaks and Saturday lunch.
Registration online at:
EngageConference.nz FACILITATED BY (Aka, the Hope Project team) PO Box 6078, Brookfield, Tauranga 3146. Tel (07) 576 9083 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bring a Team. Get inspired. Be equipped.