An update from our Operations and Finance Director, Wayne Schache, for 2022.

It’s a privilege to have served in this role for almost a year. And what an exciting time to come into this role, as the Baptist movement looks to the future and determines what gospel renewal looks like at the local church level. A time we work to utilise our resources better to support the local churches.

Once travel restrictions were lifted and we could get around the country, it was amazing for me to connect with people on the ground, particularly at the Regional Hui. I found genuine collegiality in re- associating, and I got a sense right across the country of a need and desire for positive change, despite the challenges of the last two years.

For me, the challenge is allocating resources to the right places. There have been some real wins this year, including a continued upward trend in Committed Church Giving, for which I am really thankful. This, along with restrictions around travel in the first half of the year, has resulted in a moderate strengthening of the financial operating position of the Baptist Union of New Zealand for this financial year.

We’ve also established an Audit, Finance and Risk Committee, which assists in identifying risks across the movement and seeing how these risks can be mitigated and turned into opportunities for strengthening the movement. There will be a strong focus on mitigating property risk and the liability of the Baptist Union (i.e. the 240 faith communities) over the coming year.

Some of the very real challenges last year for me have been jumping into some significant issues that have continued financial costs as we work through them. But I’m working hard to ensure that across our movement we have excellent decision-making processes, we are undertaking robust risk analysis and mitigation, and strengthening our governance practices. These actions will result in resources around the country being grown and utilised for gospel renewal purposes instead of being lost to us.

I’m also excited to see a future where the movement is strong, with our 40,000 Baptists contributing their skills and abilities to address the broader issues that confront us as a movement. Are you willing and able to contribute what God has entrusted you for the gospel renewal of people and places? I hope so because we need you and I’d love to hear from you if you’re interested.

This update is from the 2022 Annual Report of the Baptist Churches of New Zealand, which you can view here.

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