Chris Chamberlain is the chair of our Assembly Council as well as Senior Minister at Oxford Terrace Baptist Church in Christchurch. This regular update comes after the recent 2-day Assembly Council gathering.

Your Assembly Council acts as a kind of ‘committee' of our annual Assembly in between our gatherings, known as the Hui each November. We are eight members (four elected annually for two years, click here to see who the current members are), joined by the President of the Baptist Union of New Zealand, Vice-President, NZBMS Mission Council chair, Baptist National Leader and their Assistant, and the Baptist Support Centre Finance and Operations Director. We can co-opt additional members and currently several Te Kapa Rautaki members also join with us.

The photo above is from our most recent two day retreat held in Auckland (10-11 August), where we had a slightly extended period to focus on ‘big picture’ matters:

  • How to make progress on expressing Te Tiriti ō Waitangi related co-governance has been a recent big picture topic.
  • So too, learning together about governance- a constant risk is that we will fall into micro-management when in fact we have a brilliant National support centre staff team doing the hard work already.
  • Related to this we have been working on a Charter- a set of guidelines for the Assembly Council that has been an overdue resource for us.
  • We have also recently formed an Audit Finance and Risk Committee that reports to the Assembly Council. More on this committee will be announced soon- some people will be aware of a major property and finance risk the movement has been forced to deal with after a recent church closure that left us all dealing with poor historic property decisions. We need to do better in these areas, and this new committee will help us in this way.

Some of this might sound tedious but in truth we have spirited conversations! We love serving the movement, engaging with the National Leader in vision-related discussion, and working to bring greater strength to our background structures.

We often press ‘pause’ and pray for you (our 250 faith communities and team of 40,000 Baptists).

We often ask questions of "how a Baptist way of doing Church?" would deal with the topic at hand.

We need a wide range of big picture skills in the room! Treaty partners, commerce, ecclesiology, law, property, pastoral, governance- these are the sorts of experienced people that really need to be in the mix in order for the Assembly Council to run well, and to serve our movement of churches well.

Nominations for Assembly Council

It is the time of year when we seek nominations for Assembly Council, NZBMS Mission Council, Carey Baptist College Board and the Women’s Board, to be voted on at the annual Assembly; our national Hui (3-5 November 2022). Last week background information about these Councils and Boards were sent out to all churches to consider nominations. We’re also seeking nominations for Vice-President of the Baptist Union of New Zealand.

For Assembly Council we are looking for four new members. We need:

  • Christian people with a passion for the Kingdom.
  • Strategic and clear thinking with the ability to thoughtfully participate in robust discussion on matters pertaining to our common vision.
  • Diversity. Balance in terms of gender, ethnicity and Treaty partnership.
  • Members with commercial experience in the areas of finance and law. i.e. commercial, legal, finance, property, problem solving.
  • People who understand and have experience in Baptist ecclesiology.

If you have questions about the role, the skills and gifts we need, the time commitment required, and what you might bring to the role, please contact the Chair of Assembly Council, Chris Chamberlain.

If you would like to nominate someone who is a member of a Baptist church who may fit the above attributes, please fill out the nomination form provided here… For all nominations, the candidate must give consent to being nominated and the church of which the candidate is a member must give their support in writing. Nominations close 5pm, 9 September 2022.

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