Baptist Churches of New Zealand
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STANDING IN THE GAP SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT IN FAMILIES: IT WORKS BOTH WAYS
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Magazine Manager Angela Pedersen Editor Sarah Vaine Art Director Sue Pepper Global Mission Greg Knowles Business Manager Daniel Palmer __ Contact Editorial email@example.com Churches in Action firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising email@example.com Website baptistmag.org.nz Facebook facebook.com/baptistmagazine
Breaking disciples free.................4 RE SO UR CE
RE FLE CT IONS
In Christ Alone............................8 D I SC I P L E SHIP
Seeking the good.......................10 FA M I LY
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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 in NZ and dependent on their contributions. Registered with POHQ as a newspaper. ISSN 1176-8711. A member of the Australasian Religious Press Association.
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FA M I LY
Discipling the family.................16 C U LT U R E
Dwelling on the other side of the bridge.....................................19 LE AD E R SHIP
People who stand in the gap......................................22 GLO BA L
Our stories....................................26 NZBMS and Baptist Youth Ministries...........................28 Tranzsendâ€™s work in East Asia......................................29 D I RE CT ORY
A word from the Editor Halfway through this issue, our Editor Sarah Vaine went on maternity leave. She finished on a Thursday, and her beautiful daughter Maisy Hope was born the following Tuesday! Sarah reports that Maisy is doing well, and although Sarah and Matt are a little tired, they love being parents. What a special time for them both and their journey ahead as they lead and disciple their daughter through life. This issue is themed discipleship. We look at the ways people in our Baptist family are coming alongside their neighbours, communities, and their family and discipling one another; sharing life together, and showing the love of Jesus through His Holy Spirit. Bless you! ~ Angela Pedersen.
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Our deepest selves being transformed.
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Writing helpfully about discipleship is not easy. Watchman Nee’s books were widely read, yet he lamented of his best known book, The Spiritual Man: “It is too good, and it is the illusion of perfection that troubles me... too perfect to be spiritual. They lend themselves too easily to a merely mental apprehension”1 Likewise fine sermons and great discipleship studies fail, if in satisfying the mind, they evade the soul. God must address our deepest self, and his invisible Spirit works uniquely in each believer to renew us into his image. God accomplishes this transformation in a person using all the tools of the Gospel of Christ. He enlists help from many, works deeply through his Spirit, and crafts the mixed stuff of one unique life to create a disciple. Paul’s description of this process was “... the Lord – who is the Spirit – makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image” (2 Corinthians 3:18). As the people of God we are called to work as assistant disciple makers with God. And anyone who helps others grow in Christ faces tough work. Paul of Tarsus felt it was as close as a man gets to experiencing birth pains. He moaned: “I feel as if I’m going through labour pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives” (Galatians 4:19). Just as all pregnancies share much in common, so all disciples of Christ share common growth features. And we, like midwives, may facilitate this growth. We may guide, assist development, and address problems, as we teach the Word, encourage service to develop faith and gifts, facilitate connection with supporters, build inspiring worship services and persist in believing prayer. Yet for all we can do to help people, we cannot make anyone grow. In fact, despite all our efforts, some never grow! Growth remains in God’s hands. In 1 Corinthians 3:6 Paul writes, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God
gives the growth.” Wherever the Word of Christ is received with gladness God is able to work. And so each disciple becomes a unique example of God’s craftsmanship. Here are a few examples. Rupert: it is never too late Rupert tramped the farm roads during the Great Depression, begging for work in return for food and a bed. Farm labouring became his life. He never married, but Jesus sustained this swagman through lonely days and nights. After he retired to a rest home, Rupert joined a church where he began to unveil images of his unique life to new friends. He also spoke of regrets, including a sense that his lifestyle prevented him serving God as he ought to have done. One time I asked, “Did you ever sense God calling you to some particular work?” and he responded, “I felt called to be a writer.” Rupert was now over 70 and writing seemed an impossible dream, but God nudged us both to believe all things are possible with him. I encouraged him to start writing and soon he presented his first story, rich in content but poor in most every other way. I had hoped for more, but felt I couldn’t give him the critique he needed. Instead, a Christian lady, Dorothy, who was a member of a local writers club, agreed to edit his story: she was tough and pushed Rupert to develop his skills and shape his story. From here, The duck which started a Sunday School became his first published gospel story, followed by several other short stories, to the delight of Rupert and his Lord. Rupert always reminds me that it is never too late to obey God, and that an essential role of those in church is to be friends who draw close enough to listen and encourage, guide and champion, and join others in believing God will enable them to accomplish the dreams he births in their minds. Alois: not a project but a friend Alois appeared as a stroke maimed alcoholic tramp, his frequent residence
being under Auckland bridges. He first claimed my attention when I refused him entry to a rescue hostel, where alcohol was banned, and no one under its influence could enter. Alois was drunk that night, and threw feeble punches at me before staggering away. He returned the next day, sober, and we talked over a cup of tea. I listened, and learned. Alois, a Czech, was a violinist and qualified engineer, whose wealthy family thrust him into exile to escape the Soviets. He landed in Auckland, a refugee with little English, and all his papers and qualifications in Czech. No translators could be found; no one understood him or employed him, so he fell into deeper exile on the streets of Auckland. Alois went to church but was refused baptism, and with rejection deepening, his drinking expanded. I slowly realised he was not an alcoholic, but a broken neglected man.
WHEREVER THE WORD OF CHRIST IS RECEIVED WITH GLADNESS GOD IS ABLE TO WORK. Alois had lost so much that I struggled to find ways to help him. I made a special fork for use in his stroke maimed hand, we read the Bible and prayed, but I think a turning point came for Alois when I asked him to join my sister and I for dinner and a presentation of Handel’s “Messiah.” He needed to know he was not my project but a friend, one who believed his story. Respect and friendship were enough from me. With encouragement he found another church where young people befriended him and with their support he found a church home, was baptised, and took a flat nearby. Alois taught me that rejection can be overcome by accepting
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love, and feeble though we may feel our efforts are, God becomes incarnate in our skin, working through us to bring freedom. Ann: the power of being present Ann broke the rules of her Christian upbringing. As a young unmarried woman, she’d fallen pregnant, and, as if this was the unforgiveable sin, she was sent away for a secret birth and blind adoption. She describes her pain: “The guilt and the shame I carried so deeply, through not being allowed to share it, was unbearable. I lived for twenty years with this secret, always believing if man couldn’t forgive me, God never would, because he was above all men. This was like being locked in a prison unable to be who I wanted to be, and controlled by the guilt inside.” She thanks God for those whose counsel and acceptance helped her to break free and find God again. “I was able to know God’s love in a new way. I was able to experience his forgiveness and see the prison bars fall down. I was free at last from all the hurt and pain, and all the guilt and shame. I was a new person in Christ Jesus and I was able to go forth in his name and serve and live for him. I felt God directing me to prison ministry but I thought I’d left it too late and said, ‘I’m 65... what use can I be to you? I’m too old.’ But we are never too old to do what God asks us to do. He’s been with me and my team, and we have been so blessed as well as being a blessing to those imprisoned. They might be imprisoned in different ways, and for different reasons than I was, but praise God – he is doing a great work in and through me, something I never thought could happen. Hallelujah! What an awesome God!” Through the story of Ann, I see that where Satan keeps many people bound, God wants them liberated. Those who are chained in guilt and shame need help to break free. This takes time and love, so for this work, he calls us to be ambassadors of his grace and forgiveness.
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God becomes incarnate in our skin working through us to bring freedom George: discipleship through the rocky road Over 20 years, George built a successful career in sport, business, and whatever else he turned his hand to. He was master of his own life and destiny. But with his success came money, alcohol, and deceit. George gradually lost sight of what was really important, until his behaviour threatened his home. It was a tough time for his wife who believed in God, and continued to pray, trusting God through a dark time. She trusted God’s assurances that he would not forsake her. George had always resisted Christ, but now, with his marriage and family on the line, God brought him to his knees. The hard crust of his excuses broke open and seeds planted over many years were exposed for a new beginning. At this right time, God in his grace brought a visiting evangelist, Tom Frew, to our church. George repented, received Christ, was baptised, and quickly moved into a full-hearted following of Christ. The years of his wife’s example and encouragement, and input from many believers, now bore fruit, and his management and leadership skills were quickly turned to the Lord’s work. George served on the streets with Drug Arm and later on its National Board. He became an elder of our church, and later a member of the Baptist National Assembly Council. George’s story hints at the place of hardship in disciple making. The rich young ruler in the gospels could not follow Christ, and nor could George, until the roots of his world were shaken. The apostles found the way of discipleship tough, and warned disciples, “We must go through with many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22).
these stories of growth in Christ? Firstly there is God, working uniquely in each believer, to shatter barriers and unlock their special gifts. Then the individual, bent and hurting, feels compelled towards a better future, and is ready to take courageous steps for growth. Thirdly, there are Christian friends who are there for them, helping them face their fears and encouraging them to trust in God and follow Christ. The Apostle Paul was a superb disciple-maker. His commitment to making and growing disciples was surpassed only by his commitment to Christ. Because he was so driven to help disciples grow in Christ, he felt compelled to grow in knowing and being like Jesus. Every true disciple follows Paul in this. This is surely our first calling. __ Story: Chris Finlay Chris lives in Upper Hutt, with his wife Chriss. Chris recently stepped down as pastor at Upper Hutt Baptist, completing 39 years as pastor in several churches. Now he is learning how to follow Jesus in a new phase of life, known sometimes as retirement.
TAKE OUTS! 1. How have you viewed the discipleship process?
2. What do you see as God’s role and what is the role of each of us? 3. How much emphasis do you place on our own growth when you are walking with another?
Dongsheng John Wu. 2012. Understanding Watchman Nee: Spirituality, Knowledge, and Formation (p. 37). Eugene. Wipf and Stock Publishers.
Closing thoughts So what are the common threads in
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The Abundant Community: Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods – John McKnight and Peter Block This fascinating read seeks to encourage neighbourhoods to consider their corporate gifts and skills in building community. It challenges the ‘system way,’ in which services and leadership are outsourced to outside organisations. In an age where we don’t always know our neighbours, putting these shifts into practice could be daunting, but they are being done with exciting results. This challenges a common church mentality – the (well-meaning) question of: “What do we have to serve our neighbours with,”
by asking: “How can we seek out the gifts in our neighbourhood?” Approaches to such shifts would need wisdom and consideration, but there is something important here ~ Sarah Vaine. The 3D Gospel: Ministry in Guilt, Shame, and Fear Cultures – Jayson Georges Communication requires that a message that is delivered is understood by the receiver. When
The Common Good – Edge Kingsland Edge Church in Auckland has contributed significantly to the expression of corporate musical worship in New Zealand for a number of years, particularly observed with the song “Wairua Tapu.” Their desire for creativity in worship finds further articulation with their third and latest volume The Common Good. Exploring the theme of God in the ordinary and everyday, this volume moves with a laid back, unhurried manner utilising an unconventional Americana and Country music style. A great resource for personal reflection of God’s all-encompassing presence in our lives ~ Matt Vaine. The Forever EP – Northpoint Baptist Church This EP takes you on a journey through multiple genres, which is an interesting way to produce music, but Northpoint have done it with success! Their glitchy downtempo opener had subtle but effective beats that made it simply magical. This was followed up by a good old-fashioned rock worship song and a few emotion-laiden ballads. My favourite track has to be “The One.” Genuine Aotearoa roots have been poured into this track, giving it true heart and soul. A great addition to anyone’s collection! ~ Ezra Philip.
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interacting across cultures, do we consider how we might share the gospel to those who come from cultures who have a different worldview from us? In this book, Georges writes a very helpful explanation about how our gospel presentations should be framed differently for cultures with a worldview of guilt, shame and fear. He describes how all three perspectives are evident in the biblical world and gives examples of how you can share the gospel across different cultures. A useful resource for those who minister to those from different cultural contexts ~ Shireen Chua. Christ in You, the Hope of Glory – Randy Clark Dr Randy Clark takes us through the biblical understanding and scripture relating to glory and unpacks the verse “Christ in you the hope of glory” Colossians 1: 27 in it’s fullness. He helps us to understand that there is something greater in us than our own outward holiness – the working of the Holy Spirit in our life. In his own words “We do not have to be perfect to be used by God, because the perfect One, Christ, who lives in us, is the one that can use us. We need to believe that Christ in us is the hope of glory. And this is not just for the future when we die. It is for the future and now.” ~ Angela Pedersen.
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IN CHRIST ALONE Living a lifestyle in Christ doesn’t mean we’re taking the easy road.
iIn Mark, we read the followingi iinteraction between Jesus andi ihis disciples.i went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, ‘Who do people say I am?’ They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets” Mark 8: 27-33. “JESUS AND HIS DISCIPLES,
Jesus continued by questioning them: “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah” Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him and then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days would rise again. He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But when Jesus turned and looked at
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his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” Jesus tells Peter and the disciples that he’s going to be betrayed, he’s going to be scourged, he’s going to be whipped, he’s going to hang on a cross, he’s going to be left there to die. Understandably his friends say, “No! this is not going to happen to you.” Peter, in his innocence, tells Jesus that there is another way: not the way of the cross, but a better way that doesn’t lead to death. Peter thought he had a different plan for the son of God: where Jesus the Messiah was in, the Romans and Pharisees were out. According to him, the whole world was going to be put the right way up! There are two lessons for us here: The first is a really simple lesson about the art of leadership and was summed up well by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair: “The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes.” Jesus could
have turned to Peter and said, “Yes, I hear what you’re saying.” But there is something going on here that is much deeper that we need to understand. This is the second lesson. With the best of intentions and with a heart filled with love for his Rabbi, Peter was trying to talk the will of God out of Jesus, this is easy to do, when we don’t like the plan or the journey. The love within us tries to talk down the will of God. In this world of happy, happy, happy, talking the will of God out of others is a significant temptation. Even those we love... in fact those we love are the most vulnerable to our loving persuasion. Our eldest daughter just flew out to Fiji to scope out a mission opportunity that has been given to her. My second daughter and her husband have talked to Rachel Murray about the opportunity of going to Kolkata. My wife, Michaela, and I are wondering what we’ve done wrong... they both have university degrees and we expect them to have well paid jobs. So we ask
questions like, “Oh really... do you think that’s right?” But are we actually trying to talk them out of the will of God? Some time ago I was approached by a man in our church. Many years ago he made a fraudulent insurance claim and since then he’d become a Christian. He asked me if I could go to Auckland and approach the insurance company to put this past event right. He pulled out $23,000 in cash and put it on my desk. I was thinking to myself, “You know, repentance is probably good enough… some mission activity could have been furthered by this money.” But was I actually trying to talk him out of the will of God? Incidentally, I did go to Auckland and met with the manager and gave the money back. The manager didn’t know what to do with the money. I thought surely he would have an account to deal with situations like this, but the manager hadn’t had it happen before! I asked him what he was going to do with the money and he didn’t know! But at the end of the day, my friend’s conscience was clear and Gods will had been fulfilled. When we drill down into this story about Peter telling Jesus he should avoid the cross, we realise that there’s something insidious about what Peter was trying to get Jesus to do. And what makes Peter’s comments very sobering is that they were motivated
out of his love for Jesus. You see, Peter was preaching a gospel that has become so common to us these days – it’s the gospel of love. The gospel of love The gospel of love says you can become a Christian without repentance. It says you can become a follower of Jesus without having his lordship. The gospel of love says it doesn’t cost you anything, it says you just avoid the hard things he calls you to do. The gospel of love says, if it’s love it feels right, and if it feels right, it must be God because God is love. Therefore, if it is love, it must be the gospel of Jesus. We follow Jesus down a track where we think we know what is best for him. This gospel of love is preached by so many social agencies of this world: the Lions, the Good Samaritans, the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts. But this gospel of love is not the gospel of Christ. This gospel of love, that we can preach and that Peter was trying to preach is not the gospel of Scripture. That is why he was rebuked with the harshest of words, “Get behind me Satan.” You don’t say that to your friends unless you are deadly serious. This part of the gospel story has to be remembered. If this is lost the gospel is watered down to a series of feelings and emotions and we create a Jesus of
our own liking who says, “if it looks like love, it’s okay with me.” Yes, Jesus preaches love and in turn that defines the gospel, but it doesn’t work in reverse. We cannot identify love and say that because love exists, it means that Jesus approves. Love does not define the gospel. Jesus defines the gospel. Friends, we must preach the gospel that says, “Come to Jesus and you will come by the way of the cross. Come to Jesus – you too will know rejection, Jesus promised it, you will know trouble, Jesus promised it.” We must put the cross back into our preaching. We must call people to repentance, and a lifestyle that allows you to be defined by the one and only person that counts: Jesus Christ. That is who we are as Baptists historically, that is who we are today and that is all that we can ever be tomorrow. __ Story: Craig Vernall Craig Vernall is the National Leader of the Baptist Churches of New Zealand.
TAKE OUTS! 1. Is there someone whom you feel that you’re trying to talk out of the will of God?
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SEEKING THE “The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but reveal to them their own” ~ Benjamin Disraeli, British Prime Minister 1800s.
Dave Tims is part of the Urban Neighbours of Hope (UNOH) team living in Randwick Park, Manurewa. UNOH is a Missional Order of the Baptist Union in New Zealand that seeks to be “immerse[d]... in the life of neighbourhoods facing urban poverty, joining the risen Jesus to seek transformation from the bottom up. [They] live and serve as small, responsive neighbourhood based teams within cities in Thailand, New Zealand and Australia.”1 Here Dave shares some of his journey.
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Dave, what is your story with God? Dave: I’ve always known God, even as a little child: I have Mum and Dad to thank for that. I think I made my first commitment when I was eight years old, but Jesus became very real when I was baptised in the Holy Spirit six years later. Suddenly, my prayer life came alive. Yet by seventeen, my faith grew stale. I was running a youth group and was involved in the worship team, but I just felt that I was missing something. I got involved in Te Ora Hou and Youth for Christ, and it was these groups that opened a new door for me in the area of justice and poverty. At
this time, I was sharing a room with a couple of guys who sniffed glue, I was learning about our New Zealand history and the injustices of the past, and I was exploring what Scripture said about the word ‘poor’ or ‘poverty’ compared to what it said about ‘rich’ or ‘wealthy’ – I was shocked! I discovered that Scripture had harsh words towards the rich (and I am included as ‘rich’), but there was compassion and love, God’s heart, for the poor. The contrast was massive. I came to see that those who were involved in Te Ora Hou and Youth for Christ lived what they preached and within me was awoken
a strong sense of God’s heart for the poor, and his desire to see justice rolling through our land like a river (Amos 5:24). It has been almost thirty years since this revelation. My wife Denise and I together have chosen to seek God’s heart and we are passionate to see Christ-justice outlived in neighbourhoods like Randwick Park. We have been invited to live intentionally loving our neighbours (literally) and to share God’s love with our local friends. You live and work in Randwick Park, and are part of UNOH. How did you come to be here? Dave: We worked for twenty-odd years with Te Ora Hou and Youth For Christ. This was great – we built relationships and saw transformation. But youth are connected to a family, families are connected to a street, streets are connected to a neighbourhood, and neighbourhoods are connected to a city. What we began to realise is that transformation is not just an individual thing: individual transformation
o how does transformation actually happen? Is it all led by UNOH or is it more about you coming alongside those in the neighbourhood and inspiring others to be the change? Dave: It’s both. In our individualistic world view, we have equality as a core value – we are all equal and the same. But the outworking of this value actually doesn’t help to bring transformation: it just doesn’t work. Instead we have a collective worldview. This is less about the ‘I’ and more about the ‘we’ – together we journey towards wholeness and transformation. It’s more hierarchical in terms of leadership and it recognizes that as a leader you have a place and a responsibility to speak into people’s
becomes very limited if it just focuses on the individual. Transformation and real change are both individual and collective journeys, and you need to think more widely than just the individual, or the family. We wanted to seek transformation for an area of poverty, so we moved into Randwick Park as part of an UNOH team. What happened from there? Dave: When we first moved into the area, we sought out people who we could dream with – people who saw what this neighborhood could be. Jesus said, “I have come to bring good news to the poor,” (Luke 4:18) and so we wanted to ask, “What is good news for Randwick Park?” We talked about this with some of the young adults we knew here and put up pictures of our old skate park. Some of them weren’t Christians, some of them were brand new Christians. We asked them what the pictures represented. They came up with words like “violence,” “gangs,” “drugs,” and “poverty.” So then we asked, “What would be good news for Randwick Park?” They identified “good
lives.3 Part of that is coming alongside others, recognizing their dreams and walking with them in that. And part of it is being prepared to say the hard words when they need to be said. We need to accept that we cannot always assume it is someone else’s job to fix something. That doesn’t bring change. Change comes when I decide to do something, and I invite others to join the change. Then the ‘I’ becomes ‘we.’ To me, that is a God given thing. But we are not trying to tell people
news” to include: “safe and beautiful streets, good education, decent housing and access to good health, employment, strong family units, places to belong and to participate in, food for hungry children, leadership, connection with God, healing of families.”2 Their definition of “good news” was much fuller and more down to earth than the definitions that we sometimes use. We also looked to celebrate the good in our neighborhood. The narrative around Randwick Park was heavily dominated by the negative – but as the saying goes, “words create worlds.” In telling and repeating a negative story, you will create a negative world. So we set out to tell the positive story of this area and we joined others, who also saw the potential to make Randwick Park an even better place to live. In saying that, we aren’t ignoring the reality by simply focusing on the good: there is sin in the world, both in individual lives and systems. Poverty isn’t pretty. But often our theology makes us focus on the brokenness and we want to also seek the good.
how to do life from the outside. Randwick Park is our home too and so we are dreaming alongside those who also call this area home. As people start to grow, they start to do this for themselves. We’ve talked a lot about ‘social transformation.’ Where does ‘spiritual transformation’ come into this? Dave: In Genesis, there are two stories: Genesis 1 and Genesis 3. Genesis 3 is about the fall – that is the
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PHOTO: DAMIEN POWLEY
PHOTO: DAVE TIMS
is that they will start to recognize that they are made in the image of God, that they will see who God is and will connect with God. That’s a journey and it is about who other people are. Let me give you an example. About five years, I got together with a guy who really liked horticulture. In a gang culture, he wasn’t able to express this, but this was part of who he had been made to be. So we applied for a grant, invited others to be involved and we started planting native trees along an area of bank that had been previously run down and covered in broken glass. Through this, he has seen that he is worth believing in and he is being transformed. Again, we don’t ignore the Genesis 3 story – we all need transforming. But we don’t solely focus on brokenness. We are called to live in the tension of both stories.
(Top) The neglected old skate park (Above) New skate park – part of the transformation of Randwick Park.
story that often dominates our view of Christianity. We can forget about Genesis 1 – Creation. But depending on which story you start with, or which one you forget, will define how you express Christianity. To start with Genesis 3 means you see the world as fallen, sinful and broken, and God’s role is to come and change it. As God’s people, our role is to come and save the world and make it a better place. But if you start with Genesis 1 – God created and it was good – then when you meet someone, they are not simply perceived as a broken person. This person was made as an incredible person and God was buzzed when he made this person. So then you start to ask, “What is good about this person, how does God see this person and what do I see of God in this person?” Our role calls us to walk alongside that person to help them create spaces to express their God-given self. My dream
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Would you call this discipleship? Dave: Good question. Yes and no. Discipleship, as well as evangelism, is about the intentional transformation of our allegiances. It is about our allegiance shifting from cultural idols, to Christ’s kingdom values, and it is a deliberate process that we work on. Discipleship is about understanding how much God loves us, and this frees us from the need for the cultural idols. This is just as much a journey as my previous example. I have been talking about God with another friend on and off for the last six years. I’ve seen him at his best, and his lowest, and we have walked together. Last week, we got to pray together because he wanted to make a commitment to Jesus. Yet I suspect if I’d pushed a commitment any earlier, he would have told me where to go! The ability to journey in friendship over a long time can create a beautiful story. The challenge in community ministries is that we don’t often do discipleship, and evangelism, well. We usually focus on either social transformation or discipleship and evangelism. But both sides are vital.
Having said all of that, I think the two sides are closely related. For example, recently some of our young adults decided to tithe their own earnings for the local youth clubs they run. Clearly inner transformation is happening and as a result, outer transformation can occur as they continue to love the youth in our neighborhood. What do you mean by cultural idols? Dave: So in our times, I think we often fall into the snares of “consumerism, individualism and entertainment.”4 We live doing what we desire, and we only ask for input when we stipulate. We think this is what freedom means. But I don’t believe these are kingdom values, I don’t believe this is freedom and I believe these snares need to be addressed. A key question you can ask yourself in considering this is, “How do I use my time?” We may live among others but use all our time to make money and entertain ourselves. It’s pretty difficult to love our neighbours when we do that. So how do you address this? Dave: One way we address this is by choosing to practice being a neighbour. We limit how much time we spend outside of the neighborhood (working and entertaining ourselves). We slow down to listen to the heartbeat of the neighbourhood and we make ourselves available to others. Interestingly, we have discovered that there is a real freedom when we restrict our options in this way – freedom to go deep in relationships, and freedom for transformation of ourselves and others. In the past I mistakenly believed that discipleship was only an information and event process – teaching, Bible study and worship. But when it is so compartmentalized, you can’t properly address some of the big subjects, and I would include things like parenting and money in this. You need to be positioned where you can do life alongside others consistently. Now
I see discipleship as a community, outliving God’s kingdom through osmosis, absorbing Christ’s values like a sponge, while living in close proximity with each other and with neighbours, especially those who have suffered from injustice. Many who have suffered from injustice have a different perspective of life and we have so much to learn from them. As Matthew 5: 3 says, “Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Part of my own Christ transformation is meshed closely with those who have suffered injustice. Closing thoughts Dave: I heard a survey some time back asking older folk what they would do differently if they could re-live their lives. One clear idea that came through was that life is too short to live safely, so take risks and live for a purpose.5 And yet, it takes years to learn how to partake in community transformation
and you can’t rush your own personal transformation. It is in the mundane, the hard places, and the pain that God does the most change in your life. So yes, live daringly, live boldly, be countercultural, and love God, yourself, and your neighbor. But don’t rush your own personal transformation. It’s not a sprint: it’s a story worth pursuing. __ Story: Dave Tims and Sarah Vaine Dave is part of the UNOH team living in Randwick Park. UNOH. 2015. As Urban Neighbours of Hope. Retrieved from unoh.org. 2 Warriors of Change. 2012. Warriors of Change. Retrieved from randwickpark.co.nz/youth/ warriors-of-change 3 Soong-Chan Rah. 2010. Many Colors – Cultural Intelligence for a Changing Church. Chicago. Moody Publishers. 4 Wayne Kirkland. 2009. Evangelism and Conversion in a Kiwi culture. Retrieved from ruminations.co.nz/?p=161 5 Tony Campolo. 2013. If I Had to Live it Over Again. Retrieved from tonycampolo.org/if-i-hadto-live-it-over-again/#.VrkLvBhQZNs 1
TAKE OUTS! 1. Dave talks about individualistic and collective worldviews. What is your worldview and has this article challenged that? 2. Have you seen the world through the lens of Genesis 1, Genesis 3, or both? 3. What do you think of this definition? “Discipleship, as well as evangelism, is about the intentional transformation of our allegiances.” 4. Are you challenged by how you use your time?
ministry CAN MEN AND WOMEN PARTNER IN MINISTRY? Join researcher, author and global leadership consultant Dr. Halee Gray Scott PhD exploring her research on the benefits and challenges of men and women partnering together in ministry. She has unearthed some challenging issues. Halee will present a lively and informative seminar where she will unpack her research, answer questions and allow collaborative solutions.
Auckland | 30th April Wellington | 7th May
For more information and to register go to www.carey.ac.nz or phone 0800 773 776
90 years Anniversary 1926-2016
Baptist / F A M I L Y N E W S
A morning tea was held 18 March 2016 to mark Iosis’s 10th anniversary. The Manurewa-based organisation began as a merger of the work of Baptist Family Services, Baptist City Mission, and the Merivale Women’s Refuge. Today Iosis focuses on helping parents in vulnerable situations to make changes to improve the lives of their children and the future of their family. Its 50+ staff provide counselling, experiential
PHOTO: LINDA GRIGG
Iosis CEO, Tunumafono Tracey-Leigh Peters, is to represent Baptist social services on the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS). Tracey replaces Ruby Duncan and joins fellow Baptist representative and current NZCCSS President, Lisa Woolley. NZCCSS represents six church networks (Anglican Care, Baptist and Catholic Social Services, Presbyterian Support, and the Methodist and Salvation Army churches). It provides a collective voice for its member organisations, through policy critique and submissions to government.NZCCSS is also an active advocate for those in New Zealand who are poor, disadvantaged, or vulnerable, and it researches and publishes reports on current social justice issues. Tracey says, “I was honoured to be asked to represent the Baptists on the Council. I am an elder in a Presbyterian church, but was selected because Iosis is part of the Baptist Family. I look forward to learning from, and contributing to, the group’s collective knowledge and experience. NZCCSS enables us, as Christian organisations, to be a real voice for the powerless, and one that is heard at a top level in government.”
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learning programmes, parent coaching and practical support. Merivale is now a therapeutic community for mothers who have experienced violence and addiction. “Around 1,500 individuals and families engage with Iosis each year, so the number of lives positively impacted through our work would run into several
thousand,” says Iosis CEO Tunumafono Tracey-Leigh Peters. “We’re grateful to those who have supported us over this time, and who continue to share our vision of future generations of NZ raising strong healthy families.”
Tracey-Leigh Peters, Iosis CEO, and Daniel Palmer, Baptist National Administrator, at Iosis’s 10th anniversary.
S TA F F C H A N G E S AT C A R E Y B A P T I S T C O L L E G E
New staff Chris Berry has been appointed Executive Director, working alongside the Principal in the development and implementation of the College’s five-year strategic plan. Chris has 17 years experience in tertiary education management and strategic leadership at both the University of Auckland and the University of London. Kathryn Heard has also been welcomed as Marketing and Events Coordinator. Kathryn is a seasoned marketing professional with extensive experience in marketing management, integrated marketing campaigns, communications, events and promotions in a variety of industries – including tertiary education. Bridget Barnard has joined the team at Carey to coordinate the Intermission programme. Bridget has
been involved in the strategic leadership of Urban Vision, was the Tohu Project Coordinator for Praxis Youth Work Training, and for many years worked with The Leprosy Mission. Intermission is an important part of Carey and to have someone with Bridget’s knowledge and experience working to develop a radical discipleship within our young adults is fantastic. Farewell Carey said goodbye to Chris Lucas at the end of last year. She served at Carey for nearly nine years in the capacity of Executive Assistant to the Vice Principal (Administration). Karen Schilperoort also left in October and Jo Robertson has been appointed to this role. Graeme Smith finished in his role as Vice Principal (Administration) at the end of March.Graeme will be finishing up at Carey at the end of March. Graeme has been a faithful and loyal part of Carey for the last nine years.
PHOTO: JASMINE MACLEAN
IOSIS TURNS TEN
Whakamānawa Val! 18 Months ago the congregation of Māngere Baptist were praying for all our local marae that God might bring revival in all of them, establishing marae as hubs of transformation that would become self-sustaining faith communities. In approximately the same week as these prayers were offered, Val Teraitua, manager of Papatūānuku Kokiri marae, had a dream from God and promptly gave her life to Jesus. The months since have seen her enthusiasm and spirituality grow. Baptism had been in her mind from an early stage but it was when a milestone birthday approached recently that she decided the time was right! We Baptised Val on 6 March on the marae, where Māori can most easily be Māori, and be baptised as Māori. It was an amazing afternoon, with kōrero (speaking), whakawhanaungatanga (relationship building), waiata (songs) and kai (food). Many whānau came to witness, including her Cook Island side, her Māori side and her Mangere Baptist side! Val was possibly the first person in history to be baptised in a bin (see photo), since the pool had a hole in it and there was no plan B. I was reminded of the story of Philip and the Ethiopian where essentially they saw some water and said “that’ll do!”. As Val came out of the water she whispered “I feel like an angel.” Val has a very clear kaupapa (agenda) in her heart to lead others on the marae to Christ and grow the faith community that was prayed about. Lyndon Drake of Auckland Baptist Tabernacle has been appointed Mission Coach for the Northern Region in 2016. In the absence of a Regional Mission Leader, the plan is for Lyndon to work alongside
a half dozen churches that wish to move along their missional efforts, providing insights and advice to the churches. Several upcoming meetings will focus on missional strategy, following which churches can apply to participate. 2016 will be testing the water with this role as part of identifying the best strategy for mission engagement... watch this space for ongoing news!
HOPE PROJECT BOOKLETS Who could you reach? The Hope Project team are offering their booklets to all New Zealand churches for free. These booklets explain the Christian belief in God, the Bible and the place of Jesus. They have been distributed to 1.4 million homes, but 15% of New Zealand homes have ‘no circulars’ stickers (or similar) on them... you can drop them to your neighbours. You can ask your friend or colleague if they got a booklet and ask what they thought of it (if they didn’t see one, give them one from your pocket!) You can add them to your church welcome packs for visitors and have them available for your community ministries to give to people at special events. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with a description of which booklet(s) you want, how many, and your address. For more information check out: altogether.co.nz/printmaterial.
Lalduhi – Lover of the Lord On Christmas Eve 2016 Joy Valerie Smith passed away. Joy served in Tripura, India with NZBMS from November 1950-December 1973. Joy once said, “I reflect how transient life is and realise how it has been deaths that has given me new life”. It seemed fitting that, as we celebrated Jesus birth, Joy’s death and new life in Him was being celebrated both here on earth and in heaven. As a child, Joy attended Ropeholders. It was here that her heart and mind was captivated by a love for India. She went on to serve first as a nurse and midwife in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and then in Tripura State. After 15 years, being proficient in the Bengali language, she was commissioned as an evangelist to the villages for eight years. As she and her Indian “daughter” Lalpari travelled together, Joy prayed for revival in the Tripura churches and witnessed many miracles of grace. She once said, “I had gone to teach them but they taught me so much.” On return to New Zealand, Joy continued to teach the need for repentance and forgiveness and although her heart never left the Baptist denomination she found release in counselling within the Assemblies of God. Later, Joy had three missionary journeys around Pacific countries and in Asia and Africa. In 1998-1999, before retiring to Blenheim Joy made a final six month visit to Tripura and the people she loved. In her own words, “To God be all the praise in Jesus’ name”. Joy’s story is told in the book, ‘Joy to the World: A Journey with God’. It is available through the NZBMS office.
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1 0 0 Y E A R S A G O – A M O D E L W O M E N ’ S M E E T I N G , A U C K L A N D B . W. M . U .
A very happy United Meeting of the Auckland and suburban brandies was held at the Tabernacle on Wednesday, March 8th. In the absence of the Vice-President (Mrs. Lambourne), through illness, Mrs. Smeeton occupied the chair. There were present about sixty members from various branches. After singing, reading of Scriptures, and prayer, the Dominion Secretary (Miss Spedding), was asked to present a few business features of the work. Mrs. Smeeton gave a brief, but heartfelt address on the power of our womanhood to influence for good or evil our race, and urged, especially, that, in these times when truth is brought to the bar, and questions on the very foundations of our faith are on every hand, that Christian women, especially, educate and inform themselves in every way possible on these lines:” lf we cannot answer the questionings of our children,” she said, “others are waiting to answer them to the detriment and ruin of their faith. The
Theosophist and Unitarian, and those who do not acknowledge our God and His Christ, are ready on every hand with plausible explanations of the thing’s which are dark.” She appealed to all present to wait upon God, who would give wisdom and strength for our otherwise impossible task. In India, the object of our work and prayers was evident, on every hand, an awakening to a desire to know the truth, and Indian women, especially, were emerging from their apathy, and looking to us for loading and light, and we must answer the call in His name. A collection was taken up, and some amusement was caused by the Treasurers coming forward for their branch’s share. The members then partook of afternoon-tea, generously provided by themselves, and dispersed after a happy meeting, closed by the Benediction. __ Story: Baptist Magazine, April 1916
Semester Two start s
14 June 2016 8.00am-3.00pm
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Spend the day with us as a community and explore what God might be calling you to. Free breakfast and lunch included
Come and see how theological education and training can prepare you to make a difference. Register your interest by calling 0800 773 776 or email email@example.com
90 years Anniversary 1926-2016
FA M I LY
DISCIPLESHIP AT HOME Discipleship at home is a mutual journey of faith as our teaching as parents creates an environment where we in turn learn so much from our children. Discipleship at home is a mutual journey of faith as our teaching as parents creates an environment where we in turn learn so much from our children. As parents we are the primary disciples in the lives of our children, they see us
‘do life’ all day everyday. Imagine them years from now, secure in who they are in Christ saying “I know God because I saw God’s love in my parents, and that equipped me to live a fearless life.” Now, imagine yourself saying “I know God because I saw God’s love in my children, and that equipped me to live a fearless
life.” While we are to teach our children in the ways they should go, we in turn can be taught so much by them... mutually discipled together in what God is teaching us through our connection and relationship. What a beautiful thing. I asked two brothers aged ten and 11 years what it meant for
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them to be a follower of Jesus. The 11 year old responded, “For me as a follower of Jesus I try to tell my friend about Jesus, (he needs to know) Jesus died for Him, can forgive him and he can choose to follow Jesus.” The ten year old replied, “People should know Jesus is good, he heals people, can be your friend and he cares for us.” The boys talked about prayer as being part of their lives as followers. They regularly pray for people who are sick, and for their own family, friends and neighbours who need help. The boys discussed with me answers to prayer they had experienced, such as when their cousin was healed. One shared that
he had prayed about a wart on his foot which then disappeared and he thanked God for that. They both shared that they felt great when they knew God had answered prayers. They regularly ask God to look after them. The older brother told of a time on the trampoline when he had been aware that God was with him. He was trying a trick move which went wrong and he thought he would be badly hurt but he sensed God helping him and he ended the move safely. The younger brother shared that he had sensed God speaking to him about being baptised. He responded in faith and was baptised last year and he felt it had been
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a special time in deepening his relationship with God. When I asked how their mum and dad helped them to follow Jesus they shared that they often have a ‘soaking’ time of lying on the floor and listening to some music and focussing on Jesus. They have a journal in which they write down the things they sense God saying to them through this time. I asked, “What has God said to you?” “I’m a good person.” “I’m helpful.” “I’m gentle.” Through these times and hearing these words from God they feel really loved by God. Mum and Dad also read the Bible with them and help them to learn memory verses. They are currently learning Ephesians 6 and they understand that the armour of God can help them in their everyday lives. At bed time they share their highs and lows of the day and something they are thankful for, then they all pray together and
sing “My God is so big so strong and so mighty.” It is clear to see through talking to these boys that these regular routines are helping them in their daily walks as disciples of Jesus. During the Advent season, Mum had focussed on the names of Jesus and asked each of her boys to share what the names meant to them. For ‘Word of Life’ the 11 year old wrote, “If we listen and obey and believe His Word, we will have eternal life.” The 10 year old wrote, “Jesus speaks life into us.” For ‘Son of God, Son of Man’ the responses were, “No one is equal with him.” “Jesus came to us and He became a man, let no one say Jesus does not understand.” The boys have two younger siblings, whom I did not interview but Mum showed me what they had replied when she asked what it meant to them that Jesus was our ‘chief cornerstone’. Six year old: “Jesus is our foundation.” Four year old: “We build our house on rock not sand. Our rock is Jesus.” For ‘true vine’ they replied, “If I believe in Jesus and obey Him, I will bear fruit.” (11) “Apart from Jesus, I can do nothing.” (10) “He gives us
fruit.” (6) “I don’t want to be the broken branch.” (4) It is so encouraging to see the discipleship journey that this family is taking together. Judith Gundry-Volf writes, “Children are… sharers with adults in the life of faith; they are not only to be formed but to be imitated; they are... capable of receiving spiritual insight; they are not “just’ children but representatives of Christ.” This reminds me of the words of Christ in Matthew 18:2-5. “So Jesus called a child, had him stand in front of them, and said, “I assure you that unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the Kingdom of heaven. The greatest in the Kingdom of heaven is the one who humbles himself and becomes like this child. And whoever welcomes in my name one such child as this, welcomes me.” (Good News Version). May we all be blessed and enriched as we journey together as disciples of Jesus. __ Story: Raewyn Moodie
Gundry-Volf, Judith M., “The Least and the Greatest: Children in the New Testament”, Chapter 1 in Bunge, Marcia J., ed. The Child in Christian thought. Grand Rapids, Mich:Wm B. Eeerdmans Publishing Co., 2001. P 29-60.
KOINONIA KIWISAVER SCHEME
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FA M I LY
WHILE WE ARE TO TEACH OUR CHILDREN IN THE WAY S T H E Y S H O U L D GO, WE IN TURN C A N B E TA U G H T SO MUCH BY T H E M . . . M U T U A L LY DISCIPLED TO G E T H E R I N W H AT GOD IS TEACHING US THROUGH OUR CONNECTION AND R E L AT I O N S H I P
TAKE OUTS! 1. What does discipleship look like in your family?
Raewyn Moodie is the Regional coach for Children and Family Ministry, Northern Baptist Association.
2. What have you learnt from your children directly or through your parental relationship with them? 3. Do your children see God in you?
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Baptist / C U L T U R E
DWELLING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BRIDGE The bi-cultural journey brings the uniqueness of each identity together to enhance each other, with a commitment to seeing us all reach our full potential in Christ.
As I sit to finalise this article today, my husband is descending on parliament with hundreds of others, in order to present a petition to see the NZ Land wars recognised with a public holiday – just as Anzac Day is. I am pondering on the various ways this will be received by the NZ public, and the way the media will potentially portray the petition and the intent behind it. If we don’t check ourselves, it could become another reason to divide
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and isolate... however it is also an opportunity to acknowledge and honour our national history and partner with one another as we continue to journey forward in authentic relationship together. I will be the first to acknowledge that navigating relationships, with all of their complexities, can be one of the greatest challenges of our lives. I have been on a bi-cultural journey for the past 20 years. I am in a crosscultural marriage and have children that represent two different cultures
(Māori and Australian). I spend much time within a Māori context and I am greeted with challenges on a daily basis. Take family size for example – I have two first cousins, my husband has 200! Or consider the highly inclusive community oriented approach to doing life that causes my introverted self to want to run and hide. Because when it is all said and done, the bi-cultural journey is no different to any other journey that we find ourselves on in life – it is simply about people and about relationship.
It is assumed that the bi-cultural relationship for me was as easy as being married to a Māori and somehow by default I automatically knew all there was to know about the Māori world, however nothing could be further from the truth. I had to choose to engage, to be quiet, to listen, to be humble, and to learn so that I could best serve my family. That doesn’t mean it has been comfortable. The reality is that we all like to stay in our place of comfort and move other people toward that. After all, if other people did things our way, or the way we have always known, then life would be so much easier! But God made one point very clear to me – He has called us to LOVE our neighbours as we do ourselves, not MAKE our neighbours as we are ourselves. God also challenged me about learning to walk in two worlds using the example of a bridge. On one side stood Māori and on the other side stood non-Māori. In New Zealand we are excellent at meeting half way on the bridge. Many places will incorporate a pōhiri (welcoming ceremony) into their events, use the word Hui to describe a gathering, or even throw in a few words of greeting in Māori. This is often well intentioned, and assists us with feeling like we have ticked the boxes for incorporating some ‘Māori stuff’ into our times together. But at the end of the day, we all go back to our separate sides of the bridge. If we are honest, we non-Māori more often than not think that there shouldn’t even be a bridge and that everyone should simply come and dwell on our side and function in our way because, after all, that is where the majority dwells. In considering this, I have observed that Māori can dwell and function on both sides of the bridge. It may not necessarily be what is comfortable but they have learnt to do this over the past 150 years. However the same cannot be said for non-Māori. It was
P E O P L E A R E C O N C E R N E D T H AT B E C O M I N G B I - C U LT U R A L W I L L C R E A T E D I S U N I T Y. . . BUT WE NEED TO ASK “WHY CAN’T T H E U N I Q U E N E S S A N D TA S T E O F OUR DIFFERENT FRUITS COME TOGETHER TO FORM A FRUIT SALAD INSTEAD?”
at this point that I realised that Māori are already bi-cultural so if I wanted to succeed in this journey, it was actually about me changing. The danger of dwelling on only one side of the bridge, with a small amount of engagement mid-way, is that it can create a false sense of knowing. People assume that because they have a Māori friend, have learnt some Māori language, or have researched some Māori culture, that they now ‘know.’ I don’t think this is the case. Until we are able to dwell and function on the opposite side of the bridge, we have no grounds to formulate any conclusions. This is because our perception becomes our reality. Perceptions can be formed from many different mediums: past experiences – good and bad, ignorance, fear, pride... and these then become the lens through which we view everything. We begin to function and engage as if those perceptions are true. This then can play out negatively when engaging biculturally. Consider – if our perception, for example, is that Māori culture is evil or unnecessary in its fullness outside of a Māori context, we will approach the relationship and engage accordingly. In journeying this, I have heard the concern that becoming bi-cultural will create disunity. I have heard the preference for us just to operate like other countries whose people are like fruit smoothies: you throw your banana into the blender, I will throw my strawberries in, we will mix them together and become an unidentifiable smoothie. But we need to ask (as many here are asking), “Why can’t the uniqueness and taste of our different fruits come together to form a fruit
salad instead?” There is beauty and nourishment in the unblended version of both. Bi-culturalism will only cause disunity if we perceive it to, because in actuality, it should create a sense of oneness. Not the type of oneness where you leave behind your ways of doing things and take on my way of doing things, but the oneness that brings fulfilment and purpose that we see spoken of in the Bible through the example of marriage. In a healthy marriage one partner doesn’t lose their identity to the other – they do not have their identity consumed by the bigger personality: the uniqueness of both remains and is enhanced by the other, and they are committed to seeing that the other reaches their full potential. I am on a journey toward oneness because I know God dwells there. __ Story: Shaneane Totorewa Shaneane is a director of Island Breeze, a ministry of Youth With A Mission (YWAM). Her desire is to champion indigenous leadership and promote the power of unity through embracing and celebrating diversity.
TAKE OUTS! 1. How does this story challenge your bi-cultural journey? 2. Have you dwelt on the ‘other side of the bridge’? 3. How could each of our unique identities enhance our faith journey?
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PEOPLE WHO STAND IN THE
GAP Helping others – for whose benefit?
In the early church, God’s upside down kingdom was overtly obvious: masters met with slaves, the poor hosted the rich, and men were taught equally by women. This defying of cherished cultural norms of power and class was consistent with Jesus’ call throughout the gospels for his people to dignify each other.
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People were added to the kingdom in great numbers – because who wouldn’t want to be part of a community that is so liberating in its obedience to God? These days we still have a desire to love our neighbor, and care about their situations, and so churches have amazing social services available. I increasingly wonder, however, where
the people who receive the social services are on a Sunday? Why haven’t they become an integral part of the worshiping community? In thinking about this, two stories come to mind, one of which is my own. The routine of saying “thank you” My story Friend: “Sarah, good to see
you! Do you know anyone? Come here and meet some of our friends... This is Luka, Beth, Stanley and Sophia – they’re about your age. Sarah’s from Zimbabwe, everyone. I helped her family out when they came to NZ.” Me: “Hi everyone. Yes, thanks for that.” Friend: “Of course we helped them – that’s right isn’t it Sarah?” Me: “Yes, thanks. It was amazing.” Friend: “I cannot imagine what it would be like to move country like you guys did, but it felt so good helping you when you got here. We were talking about how every time we see you we just think of the good we did for you and how great that was.” Me: “Yeah, thanks. Hey I’d better go.” This happened often and I eventually started to dodge them. Nathan’s story Friend 1: “Guys this is Nathan – he
tatic identities The identities of both Nathan and myself became one of people who were helped by others, and we in turn were somehow indebted to the ones who helped. We both were grateful, but to say thank you again and again made the situation so uncomfortable. For my own part, I noticed myself becoming submissive and my confidence was low and I felt stuck in this dynamic. I hungered for change, for someone to come and remind those well meaning friends that there is more to my family and me. In trying to make sense of the situation of the continued need for being thanked, I hit the philosophy, development, and theology books
is a single teenage dad I have been hanging out with. You really enjoy it, right Nath?” Nathan: “Yeah, thanks. It is good to get out of the house.” Friend 2: “Oh yeah, Nathan, we’ve seen the pictures of you guys hanging out on Facebook. How’s your son?” Nathan: “He’s good. Spending the day with his mum, which he loves.” Friend 2: “Choice, let’s go to McDonald’s and hang out.” Nathan: “Thanks, I would love to!” Later that day, a photo was put up on Facebook from the time at McDonalds. People commented on it, and praised the friends for the time they spent with Nathan. It left Nathan feeling confused. Eventually he thought he had better comment to thank them for hanging out. That was the comment which got the most likes. Nathan finally got the courage to
invite the friends to come over for a BBQ. They all said yes, but when the time came no one showed up. Nathan: “Bro, coming over soon?” Friend 1: “Na man I’m busy.” Nathan: “Bro, coming over soon?” Friend 2: “Sorry mate, got to go to the gym.” Nathan: “Bro, coming over soon?” Friend 3: “That was tonight?” Next Sunday, Nathan was invited out again after church, with his son. By the evening, another photo appeared on Facebook – this time with everyone holding his son. The comments were the same as the week before. During the week, Nathan tried again to invite the friends over but when the time came, everyone was busy. Nathan felt rejected and the friends wondered why he stopped coming to church.
and took it all to Scripture to see what Jesus had to say.
meaning groups often communicate that you can be a hero to the poor. In that, an expectation is created that you therefore deserve to be publically thanked and elevated for the good done. But where does that leave those you have helped? Rachel Tallon at the IDC Conference, at Auckland University in 2012, gave a presentation on “NGO messages: Connecting or separating the world?”1 She showed pictures of popular NGO websites to school children all around New Zealand, asking them to say what first came to mind. Common replies included: “Are they thick or what?” “They need us.” “They’re all dying.” These are not uncommon responses and they reveal that perhaps we have not fully worked through such power dynamics. When we feed off the power of ‘making a difference,’ our ability to see those we ‘help’ as our equals is skewed. Yes, helping another person is important and something we
Drunk on power We all are made in the image of God and have an innate desire to care for each other, but if we are helping others for our own sense of fulfillment, we set up a power dynamic that could diminish the personhood of those helped. People in situations of need are often seen to be passive and without power, awaiting someone powerful to help. But in this is the often forgotten fact that there is more to that person than simply ‘someone who needs to be helped.’ This is a trap any one of us can fall into because of stories that we are consistently told. Consider the campaigns of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s). These well
If we are helping others for our own sense of fulfillment, we set up a power dynamic that could diminish the personhood of those helped.
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Baptist / L E A D E R S H I P
must do but it does not make us better than the person helped. Those who ‘help’ are the same as those who have been ‘helped’ in their humanity. So can this be done differently? Letter to Philemon This is a letter that brought profound healing for me, and cast a different vision of how life can be. The apostle Paul was in prison when he met a young man called Onesimus, who soon came to faith. In prison they had time to get to know each other and Paul heard his story of how he ran away from his slave owner Philemon – a Christian man Paul happened to know. Onesimus grieved not being able to return to Philemon, because the punishment for a runaway slave would be immense. So Paul pens this letter to his friend Philemon, pleading him to accept Onesimus back mercifully. He encourages humane treatment, especially given their new relationship as brothers in Christ. What blows my mind in this passage is that Paul empties himself of his power – he does not assume the role of helper of Onesimus, telling Philemon what to do. Instead, Paul pleads as if he is Onesimus, focusing on Onesimus’s intrinsic value! He identifies with a runaway slave and puts his name on the line.
Paul appeals to his friend Philemon to see Onesimus in a different light – less a fugitive, and more a human – in fact, a brother in Christ: “No longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a fellow man and as a brother in the Lord… welcome him as you would welcome me. If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me” (Philemon vv. 16-18). This story is a very tender one of the body of Christ learning how to embrace each other. Paul did not take on the helper status but instead stood in solidarity with Onesimus. Paul stood in the gap between Onesmius and Philemon and in doing so cast a new perspective of who we are in Christ Jesus. Helping those in need How we introduce someone if we have helped them will affect that person’s ability to be present in that community. Introducing someone through how they have been helped strips them of dignity for the sake of another person’s sense of significance. This is the same in telling a story about a person – it paints them in a light that can be hard to change. So instead, let us be people who introduce others through their strengths and the gold they have to
Equip Empower Engage
DOING MINISTRY IN A KIWI WAY
offer a community. Let us be people who stand in the gap, reminding each other who we truly are: brothers and sisters bearing witness to Christ. __ Story: Sarah Rice Sarah is a recent Carey Baptist College graduate and along with husband Elliot, she coordinated the Intermission Programme in 2015. Sarah and Elliot are currently looking to step into pastoral leadership in New Zealand.
TAKE OUTS! 1. Can you identify with either Sarah or Nathan’s story? Can you identify with the role of the friends? 2. Consider how you feel when someone helps you. Has this been a good experience? 3. Consider how you feel when you help someone out. What are your motives? 4. What might it mean for you to ‘stand in the gap?’
Rachel Tallon. 2015. NGO messages: Connecting or separating the world? [Powerpoint slides] Retrieved from devnet.org.nz/sites/default/files/ Tallon,%20Rachel%20NGO%20messages%20 Connecting %20or%20seperating%20the%20 world%20%5Bpresentation%5D.pdf 1
LEAD LEAD CONFERENCE CONFERENCE
27-29 June | Hutt City Baptist Key Speaker:
Nick Field The Street City Church, Wellington
G L OBA L
PHOTO OF THE MONTH
Over New Year, the NZBMS team met together in Thailand – over 60 overseas and New Zealand workers. An historic and hugely inspiring occasion, it was only the second time in history that the entire team has come together like this.
A WORD FROM RACHEL – TOGETHER FOR THE LONG HAUL
iMention any of the days betweeni i29th December 2015 and 3rdi iJanuary 2016 and you will see ai ismile on my face as my mind isi iimmediately filled with a wonderfuli iarray of images.i People meeting each other for the first time, the development of new friendships, laughter ‘til the tears flowed, too much good Thai food, inspirational input from Charles Hewlett, kids having fun just being kids, testimonies from 60 people sharing what God has called them to and stories of transformation and hope. Where was I? I was at the NZBMS staff conference in Bangkok; only the second ever held, the first being eight years ago. Rarely have we had the opportunity for all those serving with NZBMS to gather in one place. In fact, many of our wider team had never met each other so a highlight of the conference was observing the first-time meetings and knowing that
there are now ongoing connections between our people. But, here is one of the most amazing things about our time together; it was only when we arranged ourselves in an impromptu line according to age that we realised nearly 40% of the overseas and New Zealand team are under the age of 40 years. Many are still in their 20s. What we have seen in recent times is literally a new generation who have answered the call of God to serve in this way. Coupled with this were the marvellous times of storytelling as each person was given the opportunity to share what they do on the field and why. Even our own team had their eyes opened and their understanding broadened concerning what NZBMS is about. All in all, it helped us all appreciate once more, we are a team! We may be involved in different activities, and the cultural and linguistic contexts in which we serve may differ from one place to the next, but we share
T OG E T HE R
a common mission, to serve on behalf of the New Zealand Baptist Churches and in partnership with God, the One who has called each of us. Being together confirmed again that such a gathering is more than worthwhile... it is critical. Would you continue to pray for and support these people? These men and women sent out by our Baptist Family of churches are both conscious of and appreciative of your support. And that support is vital, whether they have been out 40 years or just one month. God is using them in incredible ways as He works in the lives of those they serve. He waka eke noa: Everybody 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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Rona’s story In this part of the world, there is constant tragedy and need; it’s natural that some people will touch your hearts more than others. Rona was one of those people. Rona’s father is an alcoholic and does not work. Rona’s mother has a damaged hand, making work difficult, and she is abused at home. Rona herself is always well presented and well dressed, almost always in the same colourful dress. Rona’s mother would invite me to her home and, while we talked together, she would mention her need for warm clothes ahead of the coming winter. Such requests present a dilemma. I’d like to do something but how do I help one family without helping them all. In the end I did give her a little food and clothing. Then, just a few weeks ago, Rona and her family were gone. They didn’t tell me they were leaving, they just disappeared. I heard later that they had moved to another city. I’m worried: Rona’s father will not work and her mother will find it difficult to find employment. That leaves eleven year old Rona... I’m concerned about what Rona may be forced into as this family’s need for money intensifies. Despite there being little I could do, I actually feel I have let this family down. It reminds us of the need for a business here in this village; a business that will mean a safe future for children like Rona. In the meantime, we pray for Rona and her family. Tania and her family are based in South Asia.
OUR STORIES A significant (and hugely inspiring) part of the NZBMS 2016 Thailand Conference was the time set aside to listen to the stories of others, and to hear again the commitment of our people to mission and transformed lives. On these pages are a number of those stories and we will have more in the next issue. We hope you also will be encouraged and inspired.
Banana lessons With each intake of ladies to Loyal, we spend time talking about life and how different it can be when freedom reigns. In one session I used three bunches of bananas to represent different stages of life. A green bunch, signifying childhood and the innocent potential that characterises that life-stage. A bunch that was ripe and ready to break free from the tree, signifying our maturing and ability to live life on our own. Finally, an old, almost rotting bunch, signifying old age when we can no longer do some of the things we once did. Before I could complete my analogy one lady pointed out that, as far as her life was concerned, the bananas were in the wrong order. She explained,
“The first bunch represents my childhood when I was plucked from the tree too soon and sent as a child to work in the sex trade. The second bunch should be the rotting bunch. That represents my life until recently; a life with no hope; a life that was as good as dead, trapped in the streets of the red-light district. The final bunch is the good bunch. Now I’m at Loyal I feel mature. I have a family that cares and I’m safe. I’m starting to know value as a child of God.” What wise words; what was dead can be resurrected. Jesus loves to do that in our lives and in the lives of the Loyal ladies.” Sarah and her family work at The Loyal Workshop in South Asia.
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v.131 no.3 † 26
G L OBA L
TRANZSEND WORKERS IN EAST AND SOUTH ASIA
Saved by Grace One of our roles is to administer a community centre where, amongst other things, we hold different types of courses – including parenting, marriage and the Alpha Course. Some time ago it occurred to us that many of our staff were helping organise and advertise these courses but had no idea as to what we were all about. We decided to invite them to an Alpha Course. Elizabeth, a young staff member, was particularly touched by the course and came along to church. One day, someone was saying grace before lunch. As part of their prayer they said, “God, you are the true God.” Those six simple words were enough for Elizabeth. At that moment it struck her that all she’d heard about God was true. She became a Christian. Then her boyfriend proposed to her. Elizabeth was very keen for him to discover her new faith and so,
when we later invited the staff to do the Christianity Explained course, she brought him along. He also became a follower of Christ – two new followers, all because of six simple words in a grace.
English Teaching as Mission Five and a half years ago we were invited to teach English at the home of a couple of new believers. These people had a desire to reach their neighbours with the good news that had transformed their own lives. Our first night there was a hot July evening and the sun beat down on us as we taught seven children in an open patch outside their house. Ants were biting my feet and I thought I was going to faint. My heart’s cry was, “Lord I can’t do this.” The following week, we found our classroom was now the dirt-floored
veranda running around the living area. On one side of us we had flies buzzing around the piles of rubber waiting to be taken for processing and on the other we had cows grazing from their manger. The warm smiles of the family made me realise we could not give up on helping them, however, so we have persevered. Over the last three years we have worked in cooperation with the team here, and have seen some children give their lives to Jesus, with several getting baptised. What’s more,
The Gateway Project’s first business Since the purchase of the Gateway building, various teams, many from New Zealand, have come to Kolkata to help Freeset. They have scraped wanted walls, demolished unwanted walls, installed electrical wiring for lights and fans, and cleaned and scrubbed from top to bottom to ensure the building would be ready to receive its first business. That first business commenced in February and the fourth floor is now the home to Sudara, an existing business with which the Freeset Business Incubator is partnering.
Sudara’s primary focus is to work alongside those in business to set people free from the sextrade. Freeset are sewing their line of products which include “Punjammies” (loose cotton pants). Initially, the women working at Sudara were experienced sewers from Freeset Bags and Apparel... we have a plan, however. By the time you read this article, we expect that ten women who are currently standing in line right outside the Gateway’s doors will be working alongside those experienced sewers. Once these ten are trained, the experienced ones can return to Freeset Bags and Apparel. Sudara is exciting on so many levels. There is the opportunity for women who are experienced and part of an established freedom business to help establish a new one. There is the chance for those with the potential of leadership to be in leadership roles in this new business. Most importantly, however, there is the reality of new women starting their freedom journey where they can be mentored, trained in a new skill, and begin to hear the stories of the one who will set them free.
the formerly dour grandad of the family also gave his life to Jesus and gifted his property for the building of a training centre so all the village can gain life-skills training and get to know Jesus too. Lynley and Peter 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 GARY GRUT
NZBMS AND BAPTIST YOUTH MINISTRIES (BYM) In 2001, I sat with a team of 12 Kiwi teenagers in a refugee camp in Fiji. Displaced from their homelands and isolated from the surrounding city, the refugees we visited were too frightened to leave the compound for fear of arrest or beating. They told stories of persecution and abandonment. One young girl in our team spent a couple days with a family, serving them and sharing the hope she had found through a life with Jesus. On the last day, with a beaming smile, she explained how the family had accepted Jesus into their lives; we know that that family is still attending a church in Nadi. Mission for teenagers is a life-changing experience and it was always the highlight of my calendar when leading the young people at Titirangi Baptist Church. I wish all teens and young adults could engage on a journey of discovering Jesus and understanding his heart for mission – both global and local. For the past four years, BYM have been working closely with NZBMS to help open up the possibilities of world mission to teenagers. Together we have employed Joanna Lankow, who works two days a week with churches to help them engage their youth in an overseas missional experience. This experience is currently based in Fiji where teens from New Zealand get to live in a remote village for two weeks asking themselves three questions: 1. How do these people live? 2. What is God doing in this place? 3. How do we partner with God to live out the gospel amongst these people? These questions will help any teenager discover God’s heart for mission and open up the possibility of hearing God’s call to a possible long-term missional experience. The teens get to live in conditions unlike home, without any of the gadgets and devices that distract them from forming a deeper relationship with Jesus – IT IS LIFE-CHANGING! See bym.org.nz for more details on DO Team trips to the Pacific. __ Story: Gary Grut Gary Grut is the Baptist Youth Ministries National Team Leader.
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Knox St Columba Presbyterian Church
Mental health and the church
Minister Vacancy ––––– Located in Lower Hutt, we seek a Bible-teaching, Spirit-filled leader, with a genuine love for people, to help strengthen our vision and administrate and network as we move forward. If you sense God’s call to lead and serve a large, diverse Parish contact Rev. Allister Lane, MSB Convenor to explore this further. Parish Profiles available. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 021 466 526
Windsor Park Baptist Church ––––– 14 June 2016 at Windsor Park Baptist Church in North Shore, Auckland. A one-day conference taking a look at a range of mental health issues and the pastoral care of people with mental health issues. Speakers: Dr Andrew Darby, Dr Phil Halstead, Dr Mike Ang, and Amanda Christian. ––––– For more information: willowcreek.org.nz/events/mhac
ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS HERE
Every issue thousands of Baptist magazines are read around the country. Advertise your business or ministry with us to reach this broad audience. ––––– Email for more information: email@example.com
A congregation of the Auckland Baptist Tabernacle ––––– Part-time children and families worker needed to lead our growing ministry to families with young children, from the church and our CBD community. Great team of volunteers in place. Wonderful opportunity for discipleship and mission. Fixed term contract; funding in place. ––––– Contact Phillip Porter: 022 175 0533 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
I P R AY T H AT O U T O F H I S G L O R I O U S R I C H E S H E M AY S T R E N G T H E N Y O U W I T H P O W E R T H R O U G H H I S S P I R I T I N YO U R I N N E R B E I N G, 1 7 S O T H AT C H R I S T M AY D W E L L I N Y O U R H E A R T S T H R O U G H F A I T H . A N D I P R AY T H AT Y O U , B E I N G R O O T E D A N D E S TA B L I S H E D I N L O V E , 1 8 M AY H A V E P O W E R , T O G E T H E R W I T H A L L T H E L O R D ’ S H O LY P E O P L E , TO GRASP HOW WIDE AND LONG AND HIGH AND DEEP I S T H E L O V E O F C H R I S T, 1 9 A N D T O K N O W T H I S L O V E T H AT S U R P A S S E S K N O W L E D G E – T H AT Y O U M AY B E F I L L E D T O T H E M E A S U R E OF ALL THE FULLNESS OF GOD
Ephesians 3: 16-19
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G L OBA L
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: •
Maintenance Manager for freedom business (South Asia) – Tranzsend for buildings and day-to-day production facilities. Working with and managing local staff. Minimum two years. Primary and secondary teachers for international schools (globally) – with a range of organisations. Minimum one year commitment. English teachers (South Asia and East Asia) – range of organisations for both primary schools and specialist English language schools. Short and long-term options. Home-schooling teacher (Thailand) – for an expatriate family serving with Tranzsend. Mission Enquiry Co-ordinator (NZ) – Wycliffe to guide enquirers and applicants seeking to serve with Wycliffe. Sattha football team (soccer ministry in Thailand) – OMF coaching children, teaching English, working with churches. Three weeks in July 2016. Database Manager with Fundraising (New Zealand) – MAF preparation of data for fundraising campaigns and events including analysis of data. Medical personnel – doctors, nurses, physiotherapists or other medical professionals (Tibet) – WEC required for treating and training Tibetan villagers. For six months to one year. Nurse/Care Provider (Arab World) – Interserve for a twenty-four hour nursing home for the elderly. To be involved in the training of local care providers. Media and IT personnel (Ethiopia) – SIM for projects designed to help reach youth with broadcasts and websites.
For more information and to express an interest email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 09 526 8446.
TONIGHT I SAW A WOMAN IN A SARI Reflections from a short-term trip Tonight I saw a woman in a sari. I’d taken some evening time out to do the grocery shop and on my way, the car headlights illuminated the dark figure on the sidewalk. She caught me completely off guard and my mind was unable to stop a slideshow of recent images. There was the old lady chatting away to us about Jesus; I couldn’t understand a word she was saying, but I felt encouraged and uplifted. There were the girls painting the fingernails of the village grandmother. There were the beautiful, laughing faces of the women at Love Calcutta Arts (LCA), and there were the fields of rice and barley with the mist hanging low in the distance. For over a week now, I’ve been putting off thinking too much or too hard about India or Thailand, preferring instead to allow myself to be enveloped by the embrace of all that is familiar and comfortable. We were only over there for two weeks but it was enough for God to disturb my heart deeply. Before I went to India and Thailand, people asked me why I was going. My answer was, “that I can know more of the character of God.” I was not disappointed. I saw further into the depths of his faithfulness, his goodness, and his love than ever before. I also received more than I expected: I experienced an unwelcome heartbreak. My heart began to break for the women who were still standing in the line on the street outside, for the families that would be pulled apart as their mothers, sisters and wives were trafficked, and for the children whose lack of education and opportunity would ensure a lifetime of poverty. While the kingdom of God is breaking in on earth, with all its beauty, hope, and freedom, there, on the very same block, was oppression, poverty, and hopelessness. I haven’t figured out where I go from here. God isn’t giving much away at the moment. All I know is that my heart has been broken, moved, and disturbed. I can no longer relax in the luxury of apathy towards the brokenness I have seen. Freeset, LCA, The Loyal Workshop, the slums and villages of Thailand... they all have faces now. And I can’t simply look away. __ Story: Jessica Dixon In January 2016, Jessica was part of a group from Long Bay Baptist Church who saw first hand some of the overseas work of NZBMS.
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DEEP FAITH IN A SURFACE WORLD Scripture Union NZ’s Conference for all Children’s Ministry Leaders
Auckland 14 May Dunedin 28 May Wellington 11 June Discover how faith grows when the whole church comes together and learn valuable leadership skills to help you with the essentials of children’s ministry. For more information please visit www.sunz.org.nz/way2go
In this issue of Baptist magazine we look at discipleship: - Standing in the Gap - Spiritual development in families - it works both ways -...
Published on Apr 3, 2016
In this issue of Baptist magazine we look at discipleship: - Standing in the Gap - Spiritual development in families - it works both ways -...