Kawepūrongo | News

Women leaders in the North

Reti Ah-Voa, Northern Regional Leader (pictured), sent me the coolest email last week!

Reti writes, “I just wanted to share this exciting snippet. On March 5th, Henderson Baptist Church voted to call Sacha Olsen as their Lead Pastor—Sacha has just graduated from Carey Baptist College. Sacha will be the third female lead for Northern since November (she follows Mel Wilson—Beachlands and Shelley Motu'apuaka—Whangārei Central). Very very cool!”

I agree with you Reti—it was so very very cool for me to go home and share this news with my 16-year-old daughter. Go Baptist women!

The gift of mentoring

Ha, I had my counselling/supervision last Tuesday morning. How helpful it is for me to regularly share the many things going on in my head with someone much wiser than myself and to have them help me process some of the ways I might respond to the challenges I am currently facing. What a gift to me in my leadership!

Young leaders inspire

On Tuesday afternoon, Karen Warner and I spent some time talking ministry and mission with some of our leaders from the eastern side of Auckland. Wow!! Thanks so much, Matt, Nathan, Gabby, and Majela—I found your observations, ideas, and leadership inspiring! It is so important for us 'older' leaders to sit around the table and listen very carefully to our 'younger' leaders. Bring on the future. 

Farewell Kim Peters

On March 16, I travelled to Opawa Baptist Church in Christchurch to participate in Kim Peters' Farewell as Regional Leader for the Canterbury/ Westland/Top of the South region (pictured below with his wife, Christine). And to celebrate the voting in of Chris Chamberlain to be the next Regional Leader. What a great night of celebration!

At our Regional Leader's meeting last Tuesday morning, Kim's Regional Leader colleagues reflected on his leadership:

Peter Foster said:

"Whenever Kim is in a room, he brings a sense of calm—that everything is going to be ok. This comes straight from the Spirit and Kim's deep faith."  

Reti Ah-Voa said: 

"Kim is a person who makes me feel valued—he is genuine, caring and authentic."  

Rick Pierce said:

"Kim has made a hugely rich contribution to us as a team—he helps us realise we are in this together, that we are part of something bigger." 

Rachel Murray said:

 "I will miss our conversations—sharing celebrations, laments, and excitements. Kim, you have a huge pastoral heart—you have come alongside so many people. They love you and care for you!" 

Mike Warring said:

 "In this time in the role, you always encourage us to come back to Scripture. Your sage-like wisdom, deep faith, and reflection is something that is worth listening to."

Thanks Kim for doing such an outstanding job over many years. We will miss you!

Kupu o te wiki | Word of the week

I am keen to start a new section in Charles Mail. 

Each week, I will invite Māori in our Baptist family to give us a kupu o te wiki, word of the week. Something we can learn, absorb its meaning and significance, and be encouraged to use. I would love to see Baptists encouraged and resourced to join in the work of revitalising and preserving Te Reo Māori. Please join me in this simple yet practical act.

Luke Kaa Morgan writes, "The above whakatauki is used in the waiata written for Arotahi to describe the new season that NZBMS has entered in the global approach to mission and as the re-engagement locally with Māori is unfolding. We're looking forward to presenting a recording of this new waiata to our churches soon."

Karakia | Prayer

This week I asked Julie Chamberlain, Oxford Terrace Baptist Church, to write a prayer for the many displaced people around the world right now. Please join with Julie below. 

King Jesus,

your heavenly Father led and provided for your Jewish ancestors while they were in exile;

your heavenly Father led and protected your family with refuge from Herod's infanticide.

No wonder you restored the downcast, the outcast -

no longer without people and a place to dwell.   

Continue to intercede with the Father who provides and protects.

Continue to do your restorative work for all who are displaced

until your kingdom come and your will is done on earth as in heaven.

Amen.


Matawhaiaro | Personal

Dear Baptist Whānau

While I am first a follower of Jesus, I do love being part of the Baptist family. I love Baptist people!

Thanks to everyone who has engaged with me this week around my comments last Friday on the substantial drop in church attendance revealed in our latest church statistics.

The stories of growth

"Since the end of October last year, we've had an increase of over 25% in Sunday attendance. We've had over 30 people attend our newcomers' classes. In the last 2 months, we've had 2 baptisms with another lined up in a couple of weeks."

 The asking for help

"We haven't come out of this Covid season well. Numbers are down, and in many places, offerings are down. It would be helpful to have some ideas (vision even) regarding focus, certainly regarding evangelism. What are some other areas doing that seem to be cutting the mustard?"

The sharing of Scripture

“Charles, remember what Jesus said about his Kingdom, "But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful." (Matt 13)

The challenge re 'bums on seats'

"I wonder if it's time to look at a whole new set of benchmarks that we measure – the world has come a long way since the benchmarks we came up with 120 years ago."

The practical idea

"Just keep it simple Charles. Just pastorally visit the people who have stopped attending church over the past year. Ask them how they are? Can we help them? Let them know we miss them. Invite them over for a meal. Simple relational care for people will encourage folk to connect with us again." 

Ha, in a weird way, I feel like we have already started to discern the mind of Christ on these things.

Thank you everyone. I give thanks to God for you. Thank you for being kind and caring towards me. Thank you for all your hard work for Jesus. Thank you for loving the people of God. And thank you for your commitment to his mission. I think you are awesome.

May God bless you and your faith community heaps this week.

Charles

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