Baptist Churches of New Zealand
v.131 † no.4
CREATIVE EXCELLENCE: IDOL OR ANTIDOTE? WHAT IS YOUR SLAVERY FOOTPRINT? WHOSE CHURCH ARE WE BUILDING?
A LEGACY OF
WE LOVE BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US
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1 John 4: 19
Spirituality with children
Inside Marketplacers † A poem of hope
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18 Magazine Manager Angela Pedersen Editor Sarah Vaine Art Director Sue Pepper Global Mission Greg Knowles Business Manager Daniel Palmer __ Contact Editorial firstname.lastname@example.org Churches in Action email@example.com Advertising firstname.lastname@example.org Website baptistmag.org.nz Baptist Churches of New Zealand PO Box 12-149, Penrose, Auckland 1642, New Zealand Telephone 09 526 0333 __ Printing Image Print, Auckland Photography shutterstock.com and lightstock.com __ The NZ Baptist Magazine is the magazine of the Baptist Churches of New Zealand
Distributed through local Baptist Churches
FE ATUR E
Possessed by love........................4 A poem: Hope .............................7 RE FLE CT IONS
A legacy of others........................8 RE SO UR CE
R E VIE WS
Equipping you.............................9 D I SC I P L E SHIP
Creative excellence: idol or antidote?........................10 FA M I LY
C H I LD
FA M I LY
Spirituality with children..........18 C U LT U R E
What is your slavery footprint?…..................................20 LE AD E R SHIP
Whose church are we building?...................................23 GLO BA L
Marketplacers: God’s purpose in business ...................................26 In the business of transformation.............................28 Heading out with Transzend........31
in New Zealand and dependent on their contributions. Registered with POHQ as a
D I RE CT ORY
A Word from the Editor In the last issue, we considered some elements of the amazing love of God. This transforming love changes us to enable us to be conduits of His love and so this month, we consider a little about how we seek to love God and unashamedly express this and how we seek to live lives shaped by love for those around us. Throughout the articles, there are links to online content – baptistmag.org.nz is updated weekly and you can receive an update each week by subscribing to the newsletter on the website homepage ~ Sarah Vaine.
newspaper. ISSN 1176-8711
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Encountering and living in the love of God changes us and leads us to offer that love to those around us â€“ without agenda, because God first loved us.
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In our last issue, we shared some of Todd White’s story. A broken past caused Todd to reach out to a local church, where the love of God in one of their pastors spoke to him. From here, he spent time in rehab and fell passionately in love with his Heavenly Father. His testimony is an amazing reflection of God’s love, and out of this, he lives to share God’s love wherever he goes. Here is some more of his story. I’ve been possessed by the love of God since I got saved. I am possessed by the fact that God saw I was of great value so He sent His son. I am possessed by the fact that I am right with God and my Father is for me. I am possessed by the Spirit of God that wanted to live in me. I am possessed by the truth of what God says about me. I have a passion for Jesus and I will burn and light people on fire. Free to be you, free to love Life is not about living by what people think about you (or what you presume they might think about you). Life is about knowing what God says about you. Life is not about people noticing your gifts or receiving honour and respect from people. Life is about you knowing that your Father has noticed you. The strategy of hell is to make life all about you, but it will never fulfill you. The gospel sets you free from you, so you can find life and be who God created you to be. All God is asking you to do is to give up something you were never created to be, so that you can become who He says you are. God didn’t create you for you, He created you for Him. Life is not just about you getting to Heaven. If this is how you live, you will look at life and how hard it is and how
bad it is and all of a sudden that will become your value system and you will go looking for love instead of becoming love. God created us to become love, to love others because we love God and we love God because He first loved us. God saves us from ourselves, He sets us free from ourselves, so we can be free from others and so that no matter what someone says to us, we love them unconditionally, no strings attached. Take it seriously Here’s my fear. My fear is standing in front of my Father one day and looking at all these people in a line that’s not the line that’s going to enter in, looking at people I could have spoken up to. I fear that. You’re not just cruising through life. Life is about being possessed by love itself. Let me tell you about Bobby. Bobby was my best friend. After I gave my life to Jesus, I couldn’t stop talking about Jesus but my life didn’t reflect Him. I was still living the same way as before, because I didn’t have any clue who I was and there was no relationship with Jesus. When I went into rehab, Bobby said, “Todd, haven’t you shown by now that Jesus isn’t real? You’ve been doing this thing for the last six months. Nothing’s changed. It would be better that you go [into rehab] realising that Jesus isn’t real. Let them help you.” When I was in rehab, Bobby had a brain aneurysm. He was still in a coma when I came out of rehab and I heard in my heart to go visit him, that he wouldn’t be alive the next day. So I visited and for thirty seconds, all my hypocrisy passed before me. I didn’t represent Jesus to him; it was condemnation and it was hell. Bobby died the next morning. But God took that condemnation from me. I’m not guilty, I’m not ashamed, I’m not condemned but I am
GOD SAVED ME FROM ME, HE SET ME FREE FROM ME, SO I CAN BE FREE FROM YOU A N D S O T H AT N O M AT T E R W H AT YO U S AY TO M E , I LOVE YOU Todd White
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I talk to people everywhere I go and they make comments like, “you’re an evangelist.” My response? “No, I just love Jesus.” convicted. Life is short. We are here to leave a legacy. If people can’t see Christ in you, they don’t want what you say you have. The world is looking for the real deal. Burn I talk to people everywhere I go and they make comments like, “you’re an evangelist.” My response? “No, I just love Jesus.” We’ve boiled this thing down and made it, “well, that’s your call – you’re an evangelist but I’m not like that, I don’t talk to people.” What?! If you got swallowed up by the love of God you’d be real happy about it so you’d tell everybody about it. You wouldn’t just come to church to celebrate Him, you would celebrate Him every day, everywhere you go and people would know you were a Christian. I’m not saying stand on your desk in your office and clap your hands and say, “listen everybody...” I mean that’s cool too, but you don’t have to do that. It’s about knowing who you serve. It’s about knowing who is with you every day. It’s about knowing that “greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” People say to me, “man, you’re
the real deal.” I don’t understand; it breaks my heart. We all can be the real deal. But we just haven’t all said, “That’s it! I’m in and I’m not taking anything out. Here I am King. Show me who I am. Show me who I am because if you show me I will run with you, I will not grow weary. I will run, I am not afraid.” I live with the burning passion and desire that every day I’m going to walk out this gospel and nobody that encounters my life is going to have any doubt that Jesus is real. The gospel shouldn’t be known just by its doctrine. It should be known by its passionate heart cry. It should be known by a burning desire for people around us to know it. What are we doing with this kingdom of amazingness? We have a short time here and we are the resource of Heaven. We can’t afford to be so Heavenly minded that we’re no Earthly good. We have to be Heavenly minded so that we’re Earthly incredible. This is not about ministry, this is about
lifestyle. We don’t just become love part time. We become an amazing giver, not because that’s what we do but because that’s who we are. It’s time we wake up and see who we were created to be. __ Story: Todd White Todd White spoke at Cloud Festival NZ this year. You can check out further resources on his website lifestylechristianity.com. Excerpts used with permission.
TAKE OUTS! 1. Are you free to be who God has made you and free to love? 2. There are people who you know who aren’t Christians. Do they see Christ in you? 3. What temperature is your thermostat at with God? Is this reflected in your life? 4. Are you feeling convicted or condemned? Conviction may be healthy, condemnation is not. Talk to God about this. 5. What do you need to do to know more of the love of God and to be who He is calling you to be?
WE DIDN’T TRULY KNOW WHAT IT WAS TO BE CONVICTED UNTIL WE SAW HOW UNAPOLOGETICALLY HE CARVED HIS FATHER’S HEART OUT OF HIS OWN LIFE RIGHT IN FRONT OF US. AND SUDDENLY I FOUND MYSELF WILLING TO DO ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING TO BE NEAR HIM. I WAS PRESSING INTO THE GOOD HURT OF BECOMING. I WAS SHEDDING MY EGO AROUND HIM,
THE SKY WAS BRUSHING SUNSET THE FIRST TIME WE MET HIM, MY BROTHER AND I HAD TOSSED OUR NETS OVER THE SEA LIKE MESH BED SHEETS FOR THE HUNDREDTH TIME AND THE CATCH WAS FULL THAT AFTERNOON, A PROPHECY OF MORE TO COME. WE DIDN’T EXPECT THIS MAN TO APPROACH WITH PRESENCE AS SOFT AND THICK AS SHEEPSKIN, BUT THERE WAS SOMETHING ABOUT THE WAY OUR HEARTS BOWED BEFORE HIM THAT TOLD US HE MUST BE THE ONE OUR PARENTS AND THEIR PARENTS AND THEIR PARENTS HAD HOPED WOULD FINALLY COME. WHEN HE TOLD MY BROTHER AND ME TO LOOSEN OUR CALLOUSED HANDS FROM THE ENTIRE DAY’S WORK AND FOLLOW HIM, YOU WOULD THINK WE’D RESIST, BUT SOMEHOW
OVER AND OVER, A FRIENDSHIP THAT CHISELED THE PRIDE FROM MY IDOL CHEST, WHITTLED ME INTO A MIRACLE-LOVING TRAVELER, A WALKING ALTAR OF REMEMBRANCE. I REMEMBER THAT NIGHT ON THE BOAT: THE WAVES WERE HUNGRY AND THEY ROCKED US IN THEIR GAPING JAWS. THE STORM, A SURE ENDING TO OUR GOOD STORY. WHEN WE NOTICED OUR TEACHER AND FRIEND WAS NOWHERE ON DECK, OUR CONFUSION SWELLED JUST LIKE THE WAVES DID: HOW COULD HE BE SLEEPING WHILE WE WERE SO SHORT OF DEATH? BUT SURE ENOUGH HE SHOWED UP, AS HE ALWAYS WOULD, AND SPOKE THE WIND INTO PEACE. EVEN NATURE KNEW TO OBEY HIM. THAT NIGHT, I LEARNED TO TRULY KNOW HIM WOULD REQUIRE OFFERING THE ENTIRE STORM INSIDE OF ME FOR HIS QUELLING.
WE COULDN’T HELP BUT OBEY THE HEAVEN IN HIS VOICE,
I LEARNED THAT FEAR NEVER GETS THE BOAT HOME SAFELY.
DROPPED OUR NETS FOR THE SAKE THAT THIS MIGHT BE
I LEARNED IT HAS NEVER BEEN SO BEAUTIFUL TO BE WRONG
THE MOST IMPORTANT MAN WE COULD EVER KNOW.
AS IT IS WHEN LOVE IS THE ONE DOING THE PROVING.
WE WERE WILLING TO SACRIFICE EVERY OUNCE OF DISDAIN
I LEARNED THAT TRUSTING HIM
AND DOUBT ABOUT THE WAY THIS NEW KING WOULD COME
WOULD BE THE END OF ME
JUST TO BE ONE OF THE FIRST PEOPLE TO SEE HOW IT LOOKS TO LIVE LIKE GOD WITH SKIN ON. IN THOSE DAYS, WE DIDN’T ALWAYS GET IT. WE DIDN’T ALWAYS KNOW EXACTLY WHAT WE WERE WATCHING
AND THE BEGINNING OF ME, AND THE BEGINNING OF A MOVEMENT CALLED HOPE THAT WOULD CHANGE EVERYTHING.
OR IMMEDIATELY SWALLOW THE LESSONS, BUT THERE WAS SOMETHING SO FIERCE IN HIS SPEECH, AND TENDER IN HIS EYES THAT KEPT US CLOSE. WE TRIED TO LEARN BY EXAMPLE HOW TO BE SOME SORT OF LAMP THAT DOESN’T HIDE,
Danielle Bennett is a spoken word poet who inspired those at Northern Easter Camp this year with a series of poems following the Easter story. The follow up poems will be online at baptistmag.org.nz.
AND A GOOD DEED DONE IN SECRET. THE SICK WERE BEING HEALED. THE HUNGRY, FED. THE BLIND COULD SEE. WE TRIED TO CATCH HOW HE FLAVORED EACH TOWN AND THE JOURNEYS IN-BETWEEN, WITH HIS SALTY LOVE: A COMMODITY THAT NEVER RUNS OUT OR LOSES ITS VALUE.
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A LEGACY OF OTHERS Did you know that our gospel records could have looked very different if it wasn’t for the selfless leadership of Barnabas? Barnabas, son of encouragement, is an exemplary model of Christian leadership. We first meet him at the end of Acts 4 graciously gifting the proceeds of a property sale for the Apostles distribution – such commitment! But it’s his ability to guide and mentor that we should be most grateful to him for. Consider the newly converted Saul of Tarsus; he needed an advocate who would testify to his genuine conversion. Before anyone else would trust him, Barnabas took the bold step of believing in him (Acts 9: 29). Together, Barnabas and Paul became the alpha missionary team. Barnabas was clearly the team leader and yet a leadership evolution occurs; not a takeover but a mentored emergence of a gifted leader. With Paul’s compelling apologetics and signs and wonders, God appears to be positioning Paul for a legacy of ministry more influential than that of Barnabas. There are two principles of good
leadership here. Barnabas risked believing in Paul before he became popular; he took his own credibility and gifted it to the unknown and untested Paul. Yet Barnabas was also prepared to let Paul grow beyond his own leadership and then step aside for the talented young Paul. This was one of the most defining characteristics of Barnabas’ ministry. And what a legacy! Sadly the ministry partnership between Paul and Barnabas dissolves in disagreement at the end of Acts 15. Barnabas, being true to his character, wants to support John Mark and bring him on their next missionary journey. But Paul wouldn’t trust John Mark again given that he’d for some reason abandoned the missionary team on a previous journey. It’s somewhat surprising for us that Paul didn’t acknowledge that Barnabas was simply being true to his character, in expressing to John Mark the same values that saw Barnabas stand alongside him. Yet I ponder on what this dramatic show of loyalty must have meant to John Mark; to have Barnabas stand with him in his time of need must have strengthened
him for his future ministry. The opposite could have been devastating; imagine if John Mark had been abandoned by these two influential men? Would he have gone on to write the gospel credited to his name; the gospel of Mark? For all the courageous work that Barnabas did as a missionary for his generation, I suggest that his finest moment was to stand with John Mark; the legacy was the gospel of Mark. Good leaders are those who stand with others during challenging times. Both Saul of Tarsus and John Mark realised their full ministry potential because Barnabas took a risk and stood with these men during their most vulnerable point of need. A good leader invests their own credibility into that of an emerging leader to give them a place to stand and grow. A good leader will then step aside when appropriate to allow others to come through. There is no greater legacy we can leave than leaders who are better than us. __ Story: Craig Vernall Craig Vernall is the Baptist Churches of New Zealand National Leader.
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R E SOUR CE
Encouragement – Larry Crabb To be a people of encouragement requires us not only to consider why and how we might encourage others, but also necessitates that we address our own emotional and spiritual health, to allow us to graciously and authentically help others. The practical pointers may appear a little didactic, but the focus is consistently and powerfully Christ centred. Crabb asks and explores some common concerns including what it looks like to remain an encourager in a place of loneliness or frustration – this is a resource that every church could benefit from exploring, with material for all disciples, as well as some pointers for church leaders ~ Sarah Vaine.
What’s So Amazing About Grace? – Philip Yancey Highly accessible yet deeply confronting, Yancey’s book outlines the transforming power of God’s unmerited, unconditional love. Using a combination of Biblical reflection, personal anecdotes, history, and other’s stories, he proceeds to ask, “if grace is so amazing, why don’t Christians show more of it?” The book is written firmly within a twentieth century American context. However it is still worthwhile reading for Kiwi contemporaries, if only to be reminded of our God-given calling to be “dispensers of the aroma of grace” ~ Linda Grigg.
Creating Welcoming Churches – The Disability, Spirituality and Faith Network Each of us have much to bring to the body of Christ. Those with disabilities however, have at times been impaired by a world without accommodation and sometimes even without awareness. This resource is a great starting point to begin considering your church inclusivity to those with different disabilities. The practical pointers throughout will help you to begin assessing your own church accessibility and there is a copious list of further resources. To see more on this resource, check out the article from the Disability, Spirituality and Faith Network at baptistmag.org.nz ~ Sarah Vaine.
R E VIE WS
Subversive Kingdom – Ed Stetzer Subversive Kingdom is an exhortation and inspiration for the church – individually and communally – to move out into the neighbourhood, rescuing lost and hurting people by announcing and living the good news in subversive ways. Prepare to act like Acts with lives sold out to God in Spiritled, prayer-soaked, faith-with-feet, radical discipleship as 24/7 agents of God’s kingdom ~ Lyn Chaston.
Finding the Forgotten God – Ron Hay When we are involved in sharing the love of Jesus with those around us, we often find that people have all manner of struggles and queries about the Christian faith. New Zealand Anglican author Ron Hay has provided us with a brilliant book that is written for a secular Kiwi audience addressing the most common issues people struggle with. Finding the Forgotten God is a very readable book that will make the faith intelligible for many spiritual seekers ~ Murray Robertson.
Home – Josh Garrels Home is Garrels’ labour of love produced in his purpose-built studio courtesy of the Kickstarter fundraising of his loyal fans. The album has a refreshing mix of symphonic orchestration, soul, folk and electronic arrangements that bring life to his thematic exploration of family, homecoming and God’s eternal welcome. Highly recommended! ~ Matt Vaine.
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CREATIVE EXCELLENCE AND CHURCH: IDOL OR ANTIDOTE?
When considering creative excellence and church, what comes to mind? Does your heart lift as you consider inspirational originality? Or would you label it a demanding, unnecessary indulgence, that misses the point?
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iSam Taylor is an Assistant Pastori iat Eastgate Christian Centre. He isi ipassionate about bringing creativei iexcellence to the church that hei iloves. I caught up with him toi ifind out more.i Sam, why is creative excellence in church ministry important to you? Sam: I absolutely love the church. I am so grateful that God found me and incorporated me into His plan to reach the world. I know that God doesn’t need me, just as He doesn’t need you, but I believe He wants us and He wants to use us. That I count a privilege. He gave everything for us and we were created to bring Him glory. So I want to make the areas that I am responsible for in church life (creativity and Sunday services) the best possible, using the resources we have, to honour God. I’m not talking about perfection, because perfection will never be achieved; the only thing in this world that’s perfect is Jesus, but I certainly believe in bringing God our best. How does seeking creative excellence help you follow and share Jesus? Sam: We’re aware that when we gather, people bring all sorts of baggage from their weeks and lives; these can be significant distractions. We passionately want people to encounter God and so by creating a place that encourages engagement with God, we hope we can help people to gaze on Him, rather than themselves. Equally, I find that if the sound mix is off, if there’s a flickering light, if the guitar is out of tune or the drums out of time, that these are distractions that take my attention off God, and onto the distraction. I’m sure it’s the same for many others. So we invest in reducing these distractions. I know the Holy Spirit can move regardless, but we want to do what we can as well. We need to remember that we must engage with people to share Jesus
as well. Some of our churches are shaped around catering to people who have always been there. We’re happy with the same people turning up each week, doing the same thing because it’s easy. But we can become apathetic and complacent. Excellence challenges apathy and creative excellence makes church an enjoyable place to be built up and somewhere that people want to invite others to. Shouldn’t we be attracting people by the message and not aesthetics? Are you just playing to consumer culture by maximising aesthetics? Sam: That’s a good question. Some people believe that the church is supposed to be completely countercultural, but if we were SO different, how would we relate to people? I certainly don’t believe the church should be shaped or defined by culture, but we can use culture as a means to reach people effectively. People at home sit on comfy couches, watch big TV’s in high definition with surround-sound, use their i-devices… so why not use such things to create a place and atmosphere where they want to be? You know, the message doesn’t change. Jesus deeply loves every person, and died on the cross for us because He doesn’t want to live without us. But the methods we use to spread this message change over time. So creating an atmosphere where people can be open to this message and encounter Jesus, in this day and age, I believe involves aesthetics. BUT, it’s only a part of it. Every other team has to do their job with excellence too – it’s about bringing excellence wherever you happen to be involved. How do you create space to acknowledge our need for Jesus if we are aiming to present our best? Sam: I think it comes back to remembering why we do what we do, instead of focusing solely on what we do. Every service, we gather as a team
and pray together, bringing it back to the fact that we are there to bring God glory, and to create an atmosphere for people to encounter God. We are all broken people needing Jesus, yet we remember that despite this, He wants to use us. This is what stirs the teams. Creatively, we rely on God for ideas, because He’s a creative God. We rely on Him for strength and for His grace to continually do what we do, and to continue to get better. The amazing thing that constantly blows me away is when things aren’t how you wanted them to be, the Holy Spirit shows up and works in profound ways anyway. That’s the grace of God and how amazing He is.
I’M NOT TA L K I N G A B O U T PERFECTION… B U T I C E R T A I N LY BELIEVE IN BRINGING GOD O U R B E S T. Is there a risk that excellence can determine your worth? How would you guard against this? Sam: Yes absolutely, but that isn’t an issue limited to excellence. It’s so easy to find yourself in a place where you determine your worth or value by what you do, your job title, your salary, or your relationships. None of these things are certain or constant, and so when a job title changes or salary decreases, so can one’s perceived worth. And yes, you are right, people do the same thing with their abilities. You have to come back to what defines your worth, and for everyone of us, our worth is wrapped up in Jesus on the cross with His outstretched arms. We shouldn’t define our worth in any way other than the fact that God the Father sent His son Jesus to die on a cross so He
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could make a way for us to Him. It’s this love that defines our worth, and we need to keep that at the forefront of our minds and hearts. Can you be authentic in seeking excellence or does placing value on excellence risk covering over the deeper issues? Sam: I believe you can be authentic in seeking excellence; the authenticity is found in why we do what we do, not the what. Authenticity is lost when you begin comparing yourselves to others, or other churches. This doesn’t do any good, and it’s a dangerous trap that can lead down a dark path of feeling inadequate and constantly not where you want to be. Referring to deeper issues, we work hard to cultivate relationships within the creative teams. We enjoy each other’s company, we share what’s going on in our lives, we spend time together socially and in worship and prayer. So we make a conscious effort that excellence doesn’t dominate relationship, because relationships are so important. In saying this, some people choose to wear a façade, and you can’t always tell what’s going on. So it can take time for them to open up. Equally, for others, until they come to a place of healing, their contribution to a team may be limited and so we journey with them. The important thing is that excellence isn’t over and above people or relationships. Is excellence more important than inclusion? Sam: I believe excellence and inclusion are both really important, and how this is outworked is different for different teams. In some teams, there are roles for everyone; it doesn’t really matter
how skilled you are, and so it’s easy to be inclusive. In the worship teams, it’s a little bit different. We’ve been on this part of the journey much longer, and as our level of excellence has increased, we’ve had to work hard to be inclusive. At Eastgate, we do audition new team members, both singers and musicians, before they’re accepted onto the team. If someone isn’t at a level to be involved here, we give feedback for improvement, recommend lessons, give support, or redirect them to another ministry. Sometimes people are just looking for a place to be a part of, and they think of the worship team because they see that all the time. Does excellence equate to the spending of significant amounts of money? Sam: It can but it doesn’t have to, it’s contextual. Twenty years ago, we didn’t own a building, we had to set up a sound system every week that wasn’t purposefully designed for the rooms we used it in and we had gear that we could only just afford, but the teams did excellently back then with what we had. Twenty years on, our level of excellence is significantly different. We own a building, we have a sound system designed purposefully for our auditorium and we are specific about equipment that we purchase. The church has grown as well as our creative abilities, so the budget to spend also has as well. But it doesn’t have to cost a lot. We’ve been experimenting with stage sets that work with the theme of our church series, and it’s amazing what you can do when you get creative and look for resources through people you know. I learnt a phrase from
The amazing thing that constantly blows me away is when things aren’t what you wanted them to be, the Holy Spirit shows up and works in profound ways anyway.
† v.131 no.4 baptistmag.org.nz
my studies years ago – “who do you know that knows that knows...” We apply this in looking for resources and supplies. How do you rest when excellence is sought? Sam: I’m not going to lie, excellence is hard work. On a personal level, it means practicing and getting better at your craft and we all have other commitments. But if you’re playing at the same level as ten years ago, one might ask whether there is a bit much rest and not enough hard work. I do believe in moving forward, increasing your abilities and getting better. When it comes to the worship teams, we have an expectation that people turn up prepared. If people show up unpracticed or unprepared, we do address this. But to allow the team time to do this, we have the song list out ten days in advance to give time to practice. That way it is up to individuals to organise their time and fit the preparation in. Our worship teams are rostered and we usually take what people are prepared to give, so that they aren’t stressed out. Personally, I’m a strong believer in having a Sabbath, a day that is focused on rest, recreation and relationships. It’s a day where I don’t think about work, and that keeps my mind fresh for when I come back into it. Excellence when applied to aesthetics, gets criticised. Why do you think that is? Sam: I think there are several reasons. If we compare ourselves to others and find ourselves not measuring up, we become critical because we can’t have what others have or be as good as them. I’ve been here, it’s not nice. Also, it’s easy to judge what we haven’t been a part of; so in looking at the bigger churches that are ‘successful’ in excellence, it’s easy to say that it’s all about the performance, when I don’t believe it is. Often we look at the outcome, the performance and not the
It’s easy to judge what we haven’t been a part of. heart behind it or what goes on behind the public image; we can find ourselves easily criticising performance. God doesn’t want flawless perfomances, He wants our hearts, and we need to remember this. You do need to contextualise your outworkings to your environment though. In a small church, expensive moving lights and multi-screen equipment would be weird! Closing thoughts Sam: Some of this might sound a little idealistic, but it is the heart behind it that we seek. Also we remember that different people have different gifts and we will be passionate where we are gifted; it’s about bringing excellence where you can be excellent, whether that is in hospitality, pastoral care, following people up, wherever. The consistent factor is seeking to be a good steward of the gifts that you have; practice, get better and ask for feedback. One final thing that I would encourage you to do; celebrate the successes with your teams and celebrate when your teams achieve stuff that you’ve stepped out in faith to believe for. This is really important. May your heart to serve increase, keeping Jesus at the centre of it all so that God may be glorified through your ministry, teams and churches. __ Story: Sam Taylor and Sarah Vaine Sam Taylor is an Assistant Pastor at Eastgate Christian Centre in Auckland.
TAKE OUTS! 1. What are your thoughts about this article? Do you agree or disagree and why?
2. How do you bring glory to God? 3. Apathy and seeking excellence were used as opposite ends of a spectrum in this article. Where are you on this spectrum and are your reasons healthy? 4. What are your gifts and could these be improved?
Sharing in God’s Mission
with George Wieland and others
ission is much more than an activity of a few special people in faraway places. It involves living and working towards all that God wants for the world, whether that’s overseas or right where you are. Carey’s whole Applied Theology programme is relevant to understanding and participating in God’s mission, and alongside that there is the option of joining the Carey Mission Track that provides spiritual and practical formation for participation in mission. Carey’s Director of Mission Training is Dr George Wieland, who taught New Testament at Carey for several years. Before that he and his wife Jo were engaged in various forms of mission in Brazil, the North of England, and inner-city Edinburgh. They currently try to live authentically and missionally in Mangere, South Auckland. Contact George to talk about how Carey might be part of your journey in mission. firstname.lastname@example.org
Baptist / F A M I L Y N E W S
A tribute to Hugh and Joan Nees, who died June 23rd 2015 – a much loved couple who gave their lives sacrificially and willingly to serve in various areas of leadership over their lifetimes. This included pastoral leadership at the Sunshine (Dunedin), Levin, Gisborne Central, and Taumarunui Baptist Churches between 1947 and 1981, Hugh as the General Secretary of the Baptist Union of NZ and the NZ Baptist Missionary Society between 1966 and 1975 and two years between 1981 and 1983 as Field Team Leaders in Papua New Guinea. During twenty years of ‘retirement,’ Hugh and Joan gave themselves to helping smaller and growing churches including Whitby and Paraparaumu, as well as individuals. During a service to celebrate their lives on 30th June, the extent to which they inspired and blessed others through their hospitality, encouragement and honest wisdom was very evident. The faithful support they gave to many and their consistent love of NZBMS was remembered. What a privilege it is to remember the lives of two followers of Jesus. Baptist Hui 2015 – save the date! We gather as Aotearoa NZ Baptist Churches with humility, unity and intimacy. 4-7 November Bethlehem Baptist Church Tauranga
URBAN NEIGHBOURS OF HOPE “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,” Luke 4: 18. The sense of unity around this verse from the gathered UNOH workers of Thailand, Australia and NZ in July made for a fantastic evening of hope proclaimed. The covenant that was renewed during this time was explained by Pastor Lynette Leach (UNOH pastor for the workers); to be obedient (in discerning God’s will as a community and responding in faithfulness and integrity), to serve (in deeds, truth and supernatural power in the community) and to live simply (to be living sacrifices and humble servants of the poor and
YOUTH LEADERS TRAINING
The North and South Island youth leaders training in May and June this year was a great time of encouragement and refreshment, with space to learn from speakers and each other, to share ideas and heart-breaks and to worship, pray, eat and play together. We also have a stream for intermediate ministry – this is an exciting area as the young people are still engaged with church and not ashamed to bring their non-churched mates along. The South West Baptist Crew extended this further and had training for children’s, intermediate and youth teams. These times are a great space for inter-denominational learning, to journey together with others in this great mission. We are spoilt to have so many excellent contributors and are grateful also for the wisdom of Duffy Robbins and Marko Oestreicher from the USA. We share an interview with Duffy at baptistmag.org.nz.
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marginalized). Dave Tims (one of the Auckland UNOH members) summed it up; everyone is made in the image of God, but sometimes we have to remind others of that truth and provide space for that to be realized. Pray for this group to know more of the Spirit’s leading as they seek to bring hope. In 2006, the Baptist Magazine published an article about the fact that I was one of the recipients of the 2007 Wayne Wright scholarship. At the time, I didn’t know what God would do with a Fine Arts degree but in 2010, I became involved with Partners Relief & Development, helping facilitate an art exhibition comprised of artworks by children from an Internally Displaced Persons camp. As part of the preparation for this, I had the privilege of visiting a refugee camp, to lead a day of art for the seniors in a school and through this, God showed me His way of working through artistic creations, and its ability to communicate and heal. I am now one of the therapists of Renew & Restore Therapy, a community service started by Grey Lynn Community Church, which addresses some of the needs of those suffering mild to moderate mental health issues. I cannot express enough thanks to Wayne Wright for his legacy, and to the trustees. For more information, contact me via Grey Lynn Community Church on 09 376 3549 – Catherine Polman.
Subscribe, save and win! ––––– $20 for six issues each year! We’ll put you in the draw to win one of these beautiful bags from Marketplacers – worth at least $21!* baptistmag.org.nz/subscribe *See website for terms and conditions
PHOTO: PATRICIA JANES
CARING FOR THE HOMELESS
FAREWELL WARREN The Reverend Warren Prestidge has resigned after eighteen years as Minister of Remuera Baptist Church. He arrived on an interim basis in 1997, but after a short time the church called him to permanent ministry. During his time, the church has undergone much redevelopment. Warren’s wife, Jackie, has also served in both adult and children’s ministries and in community outreach. Warren’s belief is that the minister should be sure not to overstay his time, and should allow a new minister room to move. He and Jackie will be sorely missed and we wish them well, as they search for their next job and calling in God. Remuera Baptist Church welcomes Murray Jenkins as their new Pastor, with his wife Kelly and three boys.
Jeremy Nicholls and his family, affiliated with Titirangi Baptist Church, are currently back in New Zealand for a holiday. Born and raised in New Zealand, Jeremy now lives in the Uptown neighbourhood of Chicago with his wife Beth and two children, Cyrus and Muriwai. They are part of Jesus People USA, an intentional community caring for the poor and homeless of Chicago. After a long battle with anxiety and depression as a teenager, Jeremy surrenderd his life to Christ near the end of his teenage years. He continues. My re-dedication stemmed more out of fear than love and I still struggled with injustice running rampant. I read the words of Jesus and questioned why His words aren’t always taken seriously. But over the next few years, through prayer, church, many discussions with friends and Bible College, I started seeing God as one who deeply cares and loves the poor, who wants to liberate those in bondage and doesn’t always focus on rules and regulations. A new relationship was beginning to form and it was beautiful. Upon graduating, I worked as a taxi driver – this opened my eyes to what’s really happening in the world and helped me realize that the poor often get blamed, condemned and imprisoned for things that people from all walks of life regularly do in secret! During this time, I also visited Jesus People USA; I wanted to learn how to put what I believed into practice. At this point, it was my desire to learn and bring back gems to Auckland to work amongst the poor and disenfranchised in my home city. Read more of Jeremy’s story at baptistmag.org.nz.
Something remarkable has been ignited in our country. The Hope Project is a powerful multi- church initiative that’s working for Christian churches throughout New Zealand. The first two phases have used TV and online advertising to engage audiences with content and with local churches – with interactions being counted in the tens of thousands. An important ingredient has been the creation and distribution of high quality booklets, with two in the series now delivered to 1.4 million Kiwi homes. That’s 2.8 million booklet deliveries – each containing reflections on our Christian nationhood, the authenticity of scripture and why Christians believe what they do. Plus stories from everyday New Zealanders which link to online videos and more. The third ‘hope’ booklet is now in production and is due for release at Easter 2016 – but now is an important time to help with funding. To assist, please go to:
www.AllTogether.co.nz/donate Through your giving, prayer and conversations, you can help ignite even more hope in our nation.
Baptist / F A M I L Y N E W S
We recently shared a story about Roi Nu Maran, the first recipient of a scholarship for migrant Baptist Pastors to study at Carey Baptist College. Here she shares a little more of how she has come to be in this place. I was born in a small village in Myanmar. I have eleven brothers and sisters and because of the size of our family and the cost of living, my parents sent me to a Christian Boarding School with some of my brothers, when I was six. Most of the other students were without parents, and a few of them had experienced traumatic problems. I still remember a Saturday night when one of the girls from our hostel suddenly became mentally unwell. She was taken to hospital, but the doctor didn’t think she could be healed and said the hospital had no place for her. The next day the
Principal brought her back to the hostel. We all prayed regularly for her and after a time she gradually healed, little by little. Although she wasn’t able to continue her studies, what impressed me was the way in which the Principal and leaders simply served and led us with love and helped growth even in the most difficult situations. The Principal often comforted and reminded us to love one another as God loves us. He and the other leaders understood this love and as a result they served us like we were their own children. Even though I was without my family, this meant I felt so warm and secure. It also inspired me to want to become a servant of God, like them. Read a longer version of Roi Nu’s story at baptistmag.org.nz. Paeroa Baptist Church ran the Becoming a Contagious Christian course last year as the evangelism focus for the year. The course equips people to communicate their faith, tell their story, identify their style and lead others in committing themselves to Jesus. Through different mediums, the course equips participants to share their faith naturally. After the course,
H A P P Y 2 5 T H B I R T H D AY M A I N LY M U S I C !
1990 was the year in which a couple of mums from Hillsborough Baptist Church in Auckland took the gift placed in their hands, and planted it to become something more. mainly music was that gift – gathering families with pre-schoolers from the community into the local church for fun, music and connection with their little ones, one another and ultimately connection to church and to Christ. An overarching verse for mainly music is Ephesians 5:1-2: “Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behaviour from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with Him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of Himself to us. Love like that” (Message). When that extravagant love we have received is considered, it’s hard not to love families with that same love. We must make ourselves available, speaking out when the Holy Sprit leads us, but without demanding response. Read more at baptistmag.org.nz.
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one of our ladies, who is over seventy, had her first ever spiritual conversation with her neighbour!
PHOTO: JUDITH AITKEN
OUR FIRST SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT
Happy Birthday Marion! On Sunday 17th May, Village Baptist Church in Havelock North celebrated Marion Wiltshire’s 90th birthday. The first ever Baptist Leadership Conference, LEAD, was held in Wellington in June with over 230 delegates attending from around New Zealand. Craig Vernall was the Keynote Speaker kicking off, with a number of speakers and break-out workshops over three days, including Russell Watts on the power of the gospel and Len Buttner speaking into people’s lives. One workshop included outreach on the streets where people were prayed for and healed and given words of encouragement. God’s presence was evident in relationships, connection and worship. Congratulations to John and Sandra Alpe from St Albans Baptist, Paul Edlin and the Wellington Association, Hutt City Baptist’s workers and Fiona Maisey from National Office for bringing together a great conference.
100 YEARS AGO – FOR THE YOUNG PEOPLE
The flower of the
I wonder if you are fond of wild flowers. In South Africa you ought to be. There is no country in the world where they are more varied or more beautiful. There is a flower I wish to tell you of, which grows in some parts of the country on the veld and along the roadside. It is called Cryptostemma. But that is a Greek word, and unless you are a very learned person, like an Editor or a Professor, you mustn’t try to pronounce it. Its name in English is the Flower of the Hidden Crown. It is a flower somewhat like the dandelion, with a yellow head on a long stalk. This yellow head, as you will see if you look into it, is made up of a great number of little flowers, each perfect in itself. And if you look still closer, and take one of these tiny flowers out, you will find it is surrounded at its base by a tuft of silky wool. Perhaps you fancy that is all, but no! Just gently draw the woolly tuft away, and there round the base of the flower is a delicate and shining crown. And that is how it gets its name. It is the Flower of the Hidden Crown. Now, children, it seems to me that you and I, just like this yellow flower, should be wearers of a hidden crown. If you love the Lord Jesus and are trying to serve Him, He will give you His Spirit, and that Spirit will dwell within you like
a beautiful ornament. It will shine out in pure thoughts, in a patient and forgiving temper, in unselfish actions, in the love of everything that is brave and true. This is the Spirit of Jesus, and all those who have it are wearing a hidden crown. It is only Kings and Queens who wear crowns on their heads. But this is a crown for the heart, and the poorest and plainest may carry it. Did you ever hear of Ian Maclaren? When he was a little boy, staying with an uncle in the country, he went to church on a Communion Sunday. And he was greatly impressed by one of the elders, an old man with white hair, dressed all in black in the old Scottish fashion. Very venerable he looked to the little boy as he carried round the bread and the wine. But next day as he played on the road, he saw to his amazement this same old man dressed raggedly and breaking a heap of stones. He went to ask his uncle about it. “Yes,” said his uncle, “that is old John. He’s only a poor man, and a stonebreaker; but he is the most Christlike man I have ever known.” Let us all ask God to give us the Christlike spirit, and then, whatever we may be or do, we shall be wearing a hidden crown. __ August 1915, Baptist Magazine
Baptist / C H I L D & F A M I L Y
SPIRITUALITY WITH CHILDREN Our children have a wealth of spirituality that may be expressed and nurtured in a number of ways. Journeying with our children enriches both them and us and can help all know more of God.
Spirituality has been around for a long time and has developed and adapted through the ages depending on context, societal changes and various religious eras. Christian Spirituality has a long tradition and is firmly rooted in our belief that it is possible to have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. However, Christian Spirituality has often focused on adult spirituality. Children have been regarded as ‘spiritual beings in the making’ and much of Christian nurture has been based on the belief that children need to grow up to be mature, spiritual adults. This view assumes that children do not have the capacity to be spiritual or experience spirituality until they are older.
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Jesus turns this thinking on its head in Matthew 18 when he puts a child in the midst of an argument about status in the Kingdom of Heaven and says we should be like the child. Child theology engages with this and other scriptures to draw attention to the upside-down nature of spirituality and points to the child as an example of what it means to have a relationship with Jesus and enter the Kingdom of Heaven. This does not mean we elevate the child but rather that we are all equals in relationship with God and His Kingdom regardless of our age. Parents intuitively know that their children are spiritual as part of being human. Mostly they describe it through stories about what children do, what they say, how they act or how they see the world. Rebecca Nye, an influential
researcher in Child Spirituality says that Child Spirituality is a “child’s way of being with God and God’s ways of being with the child.”1 In her research (with British primary school children), where she listened to their talk about life, she identified that young children are spiritually aware from a young age: “As our research has shown, when they are very young most children are perfectly well aware that they have a spiritual dimension to their experience of life. The task of the teacher (parents) is therefore not at all abstract, though spiritual education has something of a subversive quality to it, since it is encouraging children to question the isolation and individualism that is bequeathed to them by European social history. It is to give permission for spiritual awareness to continue to flourish by pointing to it in
the children themselves and relating it to its cultural expressions in the great ethical and religious traditions of humanity.”2 So how can we help our children to develop a healthy, Christian spirituality? We need to recognise that spirituality is not only about extraordinary experiences or something only some children experience. It is evident in everyday, ordinary aspects of children’s lives. To help us further recognise spirituality in our children, some research by David Csinos (as well as others) has shown that children exhibit different styles of spirituality. He suggests four styles:3 • Word – these children value words and knowledge about God. They enjoy reading the Bible and love collecting cognitive knowledge about God. Reason and logic are seen as the avenues for knowing God and people of this style value clarity, accuracy, precision, and thoughtfulness as they examine ideas about faith, life, religion, and God. • Emotion – these children value the arts like drama, music and visual arts. They are relational and experiential in style. Worship and singing are particularly important to these children. • Symbol – these children value places where they can be alone and spend time with God in silence,
often in nature. Prayer in quiet places and privacy is important to them. • Action – while prayer, knowledge, and emotions matter to these children, what is most important is how they are expressed in acts of compassion and justice that seek to change the world. Csinos notes that children will not be purely one style and also that it is healthy to encourage children to try other styles so that they do not become extreme in any single one of them. Here are some steps for you to try: • Pay attention to your own spirituality and faith. Discover what your spiritual style is. • Discover your child’s spiritual style and ways of encouraging it. • Listen carefully to your child with spiritual ears to discover the insights and childlike faith they already have. • Learn spirituality from your child; see things through their eyes with awe and wonder, learn to trust from the way they trust you, see them as God sees them and you. __ Story: Elke Keeling Elke Keeling is a Children and Family Ministries practitioner, coach and national leader with a Bachelor of Applied Theology, in the process of doing her Master of Applied Theology degree in Child Spirituality Studies.
• Real Kids, Real Faith: Practices for Nurturing Children’s Spiritual Lives – Karen Marie Yust & Eugene Roehlkepartain. • Children’s Spirituality: What It Is and Why It Matters – Rebecca Nye. • Four Ways of Knowing God: Exploring Children’s Spiritual Styles – David Csinos.
TAKE OUTS! 1. What is the spiritual style of you and your children?
2. Consider keeping a journal each day of where you see your child’s spiritual awareness. How can you encourage them? How does this encourage you?
Rebecca Nye. 2009. Children’s Spirituality: What It Is and Why It Matters. London. Church House Publishing, 2 David Hay and Rebecca Nye. 1998. The Spirit of the Child. London and Philadelphia. Harper Collins. 3 David Csinos. Four Ways of Knowing God: Exploring Children’s Spiritual Styles. Journal of Childhood and Religion. Volume 1, Issue 8, December 2010. 1
Baptist / C U L T U R E
WHAT IS YOUR SLAVERY FOOTPRINT? What is modern-day slavery and are you unknowingly contributing to this?
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I was recently applying for a student visa for my upcoming trip to the United States. Part of the process is an interview with a US immigration official and one of the questions asked was, “who is the sponsoring organisation?” I proudly replied, “Stand Against Slavery” and the follow up question was, “what does that organisation do?” The cynic in me wanted to respond sarcastically, “um, duh, we like, stand against slavery?” But I really needed this visa so thought better of it. More seriously though, over the last couple of years, I have had to learn to answer this question afresh about every three or four months. You see, if I answer along the lines of “we are an organisation combating slavery around the world,” I get nods of affirmation followed by a question like, “where do you do that?” Or a statement like, “it’s terrible all that prostitution in Thailand!” Because when people think of modern slavery, many think of sex slavery. Don’t misunderstand me, sex slavery is wrong and we are right to tackle it. But think on this; there are estimates of between twenty-one and thirty-six million people who are enslaved around the world, and sex slavery only represents around 21% – that’s between four and eight million people. Actually, forced labour is by far the largest form of slavery, and here in New Zealand that includes forced and bonded labour in the restaurant, entertainment, construction, horticulture, agriculture, dairy, viticulture, aged care and child care industries. I often get a reaction to this because there is disbelief that severe worker
exploitation (slavery and human trafficking) happens here in New Zealand. Yet when people begin to acknowledge that perhaps this is true, they lean into the conversation and ask questions about what that looks like and what can be done. Stand Against Slavery (SAS – and yes the military association is not lost on us!) was launched as a Baptist justice initiative in 2013. It strives to find a way to bring a missional response to an injustice that God calls us to actively respond to with justice and righteousness (Micah 6: 8, Proverbs 31: 8-9, Luke 4:16-21). We are well established in the anti-slavery movement in New Zealand and have good relationships with many people, from individuals and organisations, to government and media. Operationally we serve the enslaved through two broad divisions, SAS Consultancy and SAS Advocacy. SAS Consultancy We provide specific consultancy services into organisations, businesses and industry sectors that want to abolish exploitation, slavery and human trafficking practices across their spheres of influence. In the export industry in New Zealand, for example, there are possibly thousands of workers who are recruited by criminal intermediaries who exploit them out of thousands of dollars and treat them like slaves. We have the privilege of working with one export organisation keen to see how we can work together to eradicate worker exploitation across their industry. They are committed to putting this right because they believe in looking after their workers as well as recognising there is a problem. They also recognise that failure to do something could negatively impact their business
There is disbelief that severe worker exploitation (slavery and human trafficking) happens here in New Zealand.
relationships globally and possibly their contribution to the New Zealand economy. SAS Advocacy We provide support, education and resources to the general public and organisations who want to join the cause of fighting for a slave free world. We advocate for better legislation that helps victims, fair compensation for survivors who seek justice, promote conscious consumerism initiatives about the products we buy and engage the church in its response to the injustices that Scripture has mandated. For example, SAS is part of a research coalition of six organisations who have commissioned the University of Auckland to research the prevalence of slavery and human trafficking in New Zealand. We are discovering that our anecdotal evidence is well short of reality. We have been appointed to the steering committee of the New Zealand Network Against People Trafficking (NZNAPT) to bring leadership and new energy, and to facilitate it becoming a proactive presence in New Zealand. We have had good conversations with some of the enforcement agencies like Immigration, Police and Labour Inspectorate in terms of thinking about how we can work better together, and recently we joined with Justice Acts NZ to put a submission into Government in response to the Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Legislation Bill.
s I cast my eyes toward the horizon of where I believe SAS could extend, one thing I constantly reflect on is what is the tangible, missional response of the church? I believe without a shadow of doubt that in my calling to this work I am being missional in my dealings, but my challenge is how the church can be envisioned and mobilised. I’m a self-confessed abolitionist, I am a staunch
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follower of Jesus, and I have a cause that God has placed in my hands. I believe He is asking me to gather like-minded followers of Jesus to extend our tent pegs and embrace this invisible community in Aotearoa New Zealand, and around the world, and offer freedom to them. With everything else that goes on in the church, is there time for the least of these? I hope so, and I encourage anyone who is touched by God in this endeavour to join me. Here are some initial steps that you could take: • Measure – how many slaves work for you today? Scary thought isn’t it? Well there is a tool that measures your slavery footprint. Complete the survey at slaveryfootprint.org to determine how many slaves work for you. • Read – knowledge is critical in understanding the issue of slavery. Two books that I recommend are: – Disposable People: New Slavery In The Global Economy – Kevin Bales – Justice Awakening: How You And Your Church Can Help End Human Trafficking – Eddie Byun. • Watch – one of the best series of documentaries to watch was created by Al Jazeera in 2011. You can access eight twenty-five
minute documentaries at bit.ly/DocosOnSlavery. Consider watching these in a small group setting where you can watch an episode and then discuss your reaction over an eight-week period. Investigate – learn what abolitionists are doing around the globe by googling ‘modern day slavery.’ Look at the pages of five organisations (not media outlets) within the first ten pages. Pray – prayer is critical and there is an easy way for you to support the abolition movement and SAS through its prayer calendar options at pray.standagainstslavery.com. Support – there are many Baptist organisations to investigate and support. Some ideas include: – Stand Against Slavery standagainstslavery.com – Love Calcutta Arts lovecalcuttaarts.com – The Loyal Workshop theloyalworkshop.com – Freeset freesetincubator.com freesetglobal.com – Marketplacers marketplacers.co.nz. Question – when you are next in a clothing store purchasing something for your wardrobe, ask the sales attendant where the product was made and if any
slaves were involved in making it. Think about the response you get and push for them to find out. Social change comes when you persistently raise the question until others are motivated to think about it and act. • Buy Slave Free – this link provides a list of organisations based in NZ who sell slave free products. Check out bit.ly/SlaveFreeProducts to download the list and start purchasing. __ Story: Peter Mihaere Peter Mihaere is the founder and CEO of Stand Against Slavery. For more information, email email@example.com or phone 09 526 6361.
TAKE OUTS! 1. How much do you know about slavery in New Zealand? 2. Do you know if the sphere you work in involves slavery? Would you consider asking SAS to come alongside you in investigating this? 3. Which of the eight ideas listed here to further understand and act against slavery, could you take?
Go where you have never gone before!
L E A DE R SHIP
WHOSE CHURCH ARE WE BUILDING? Do our perspectives about growing the church need some adjusting?
iFor many of us, when we think about the missioni iof the church, we start with the church. We ask,i i“how can we grow our church?” But what wouldi happen if we started instead with the community,i asking, “how can the community be transformed?”i iThis challenges our perspective, including wherei iwe expect God to be at work.i What if we sought for it to be firstly God’s story, then the story of the community and finally the church’s story as we assist in whatever way is appropriate? Instead of centrifugal growth, where we add more and more ministries to the church until we take over the world, we aim to see the things that are already out there transformed, becoming a plethora of Kingdom expressions. The transforming of communities What if we were to pray for salvation in the community, for families, doctors, schools, police and social service providers and they in turn discover what it means to have the Kingdom of God at the centre of their mahi (work)? The job of the churches (who would be vital partners rather than competition), would be to support these hubs of salvation and mission, feeding and strengthening the people within them. Salvation in the community results in eternal life but also in social transformation as the Holy Spirit changes loyalties, values, behaviours and circumstances. Churches would fill up, but as a by-product rather than by design. With these ideas in mind, at Mangere Baptist Church we have begun laying a foundation of prayer for salvation in our
community. Some fruit has already ripened. In October of last year, I introduced myself at Papatuanuku Kokiri Marae. After a great korero (talk) with Wilz the youth worker, my spirit was filled with prayer for all of our marae in Mangere to firstly become places of widespread salvation, to secondly become self-sustaining faith communities in themselves, and to thirdly be places where Māori express faith in Jesus as Māori. It seems these three specific prayers began to be answered at almost exactly the time they were offered! During the very same week, Val Teraitua, the manager at Papatuanuku Kokiri Marae, had some very significant dreams, which amounted to her turning her life over fully to serving Jesus Christ as Lord. When she shared this korero with me it was amazing to hear that firstly salvation had come, secondly she strongly desired to lead the marae to become a community of faith in Jesus and thirdly she specifically talked about retaining tikanga Māori (Māori customs and protocols) in her worship of Jesus. Now THAT’S a hat-trick! Val is inspiring, with her natural boundless energy and a heart the size of a small planet. She describes the way she feels these days: “God is big and it makes other things small. I used to react quite negatively to some things but now kei te pai (all is good) because God is great. The world is our oyster. The old Val was sometimes short-tempered but now I’ve discovered a new patience. The way I see people is different. There’s always a way, everything is possible in Christ and everything is good! It’s starting to influence others around, like my whanau picking up new attitudes. People on the marae are noticing too.”
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“We’ll have to have you over to do this at our place sometime...”
Out of this place she expressed the desire to form a small fellowship to meet on the marae. There were a few others connected with the marae who were interested, plus a few from our church. The idea was not so much to have a church service on the marae, but to explore what it might look like to worship and grow under God authentically in this context. Our need for each other To journey this, a partnership developed between us; I was able to supply theology and Christian experience and Val was able to supply tikanga Māori. We meet weekly, with Val as ‘disciple-leader’ and myself as ‘apostle-learner.’ We each have something to give and something to learn; Val is inhaling “pure spiritual milk” and attempting to give it out in her position as fast as she can digest it. I am a ‘sent one’ helping establish a faith community, whilst trying to recontextualise my theology and practice in a setting I still feel so ignorant about. We collaborate on everything (including this article) and are equal partners. The fellowship has developed some key distinctives: • Layout – where we sit in a circle as in a hui (meeting held on the Marae),
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PHOTO: JOANNE LATIF
Baptist / L E A D E R S H I P
valuing the contribution of each member. This is different to cinemastyle seating where the emphasis is more on the programme and the people at the front. • Whakawhanaungatanga (the process of establishing relationships) – where all in the room can have their say and be valued as people. • Korero – where everyone who wants to can express their whakaaro (thoughts/ideas) on the kaupapa (subject). • Te Reo – where we have many songs, prayers and Bible readings in the Māori language. These tikanga, along with the people and the place, make it quite different from the church services most of us are used to. It was striking how many who came mentioned how they felt they were on home territory as they engaged with God – even those who already go to church found it an unusual (even first-time) experience as Māori, to worship in this way. Where will things go from here? A couple of months ago, Val shared a korero with me that many of the other marae in Mangere seem to relate best to Papatuanuku Kokiri
Marae; they’re a bit of a hub. Suddenly I sensed a whakaaro from the Spirit coming to me about Antioch, that international trade hub in the ancient Mediterranean world. Antioch became a crossroads for the spread of the gospel to many places, as Christians met people from all kinds of other places. Maybe Papatuanuku Kokiri Marae is the Antioch for marae in Mangere. Just a few weeks ago, whaea Rangi, (aunty Rangi), the kaitiaki (caretaker) from Mata Atua Marae down the road, came along to the fellowship. Her parting words were, “we’ll have to have you over to do this at our place sometime…” When we start with the community, the kaupapa of the church is reframed. This adventure is not a ministry of Mangere Baptist, owned and branded by us; it is God’s adventure with Papatuanuku Kokiri Marae, and we are coming alongside as required, as spiritual sponsors. If this kind of thing happens amongst many other groups in the community, and the churches play their part, then pretty soon Mangere will have a revival on its hands. __ Story: John Catmur and Valerie Teraitua John Catmur is Pastor at Mangere Baptist Church and Valerie Teraitua is the Manager at Papatuanuku Kokiri Marae.
TAKE OUTS! 1. What does church growth mean to you?
2. What might already be happening in your community that you could support? 3. Whose partnership would you need to explore this?
Applications for 2016 now open!
Seeking full-time Pastor
New Plymouth Central Baptist 150th Jubilee
Central House Wellington ––––– For young people coming to Wellington to study or work: A community to explore and strengthen faith, connected to Central Baptist Church. Self-contained, warden supported flats. Inner city, close to Victoria, Massey, and other learning institutions. For information see central.org.nz/central-house Email firstname.lastname@example.org Phone 04 499 8937
Snells Beach Baptist Church ––––– Snells Beach Baptist Church is seeking a full-time Pastor who has vision and passion to lead a growing church. Where? Situated one hour north of Auckland on the beautiful Mahurangi Peninsula. For more details visit our website sbbchurch.nz ––––– Email expressions of interest to email@example.com
16th-18th October 2015 ––––– New Plymouth Central Baptist Church will be celebrating the history of 150 years of Baptist fellowship in New Plymouth. Have you been a part of this journey? Would you like to join with us for this special occasion of thanksgiving and celebration? For expressions of interest/registration contact Karen by 15th September. Email firstname.lastname@example.org Phone 06 758 6512
Mairangi Bay Community Church ––––– We are an intentionally multi-cultural community who worship in English with translation into Chinese and Japanese. If you are a Pastor who loves people, enjoys preaching from God’s word, with a heart to reach nations and some level of cross-cultural experience, email email@example.com or phone 09 478 6314. Speaking Chinese/ Japanese is not essential. Expressions of interest close August 30th 2015
River Valley Baptist Church, Parakai ––––– Do you have a passion for God, building up His family and reaching local communities for Him? Are you skilled and experienced in leadership, teaching and relationship-building in a multicultural, multi-generational congregation and community? Have you even been waiting for an opportunity to work in beautiful, rural, north-west Auckland?! Sound like you? For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org Applications close 31st August.
Eastern Europe 2016
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
Jules Riding, NZs most prolific and accomplished Christian singer/songwriter is touring Eastern Europe Apr-July 2016. He is inviting Singers/Musos to Audition for this team in Auckland
Saturday Sept 19th, 9am. Venue: Church of the Saviour, 2 Heaphy St, Blockhouse Bay.
Also needed: SoundTech/Roadie, Co-ordinator, Cameraman.
Full info from firstname.lastname@example.org
30 † v.131 no.4 baptistmag.org.nz
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In this issue of Baptist magazine we look at the outpouring of God's love in our lives: - Todd White continues to share his testimony in par...
Published on Aug 2, 2015
In this issue of Baptist magazine we look at the outpouring of God's love in our lives: - Todd White continues to share his testimony in par...