In this regular column, our Baptist National Leader, Charles Hewlett, keeps us posted on the happenings in Baptist faith communities across Aotearoa. The original Charles Mail is emailed out on a Friday and reproduced here the following Monday - in this case, Tuesday because yesterday was Labour Day holiday.


Over 500 of us going to Hui!

We have so many people coming to our National Hui in two weeks time (2-4 November) – over 500 people have registered! Thank you so much for being committed to shaping our future. Manukau City Baptist Church is going to be packed!!

A personal Hui priority for me is our time of corporate prayer (this year 2:30pm on Thursday). 

Jesus Christ is the Head of the Baptist Churches in New Zealand. He is our Lord and Saviour, and we are his church, about his Gospel. As we begin Hui, it is important that we acknowledge this and call out for his help - that we might together discern the mind of Christ.

Pre-Hui reads

Talking of Hui, please take the time to read the pre-reads for our conversations together - these will be of interest to many in our churches, not just delegates. You can click on the links below to find the following papers:

A posture of humility for difficult conversations (pre-Hui read: Big Bite 1) by Christa McKirland

A new way of making decisions together (pre-Hui read: Big Bite 2) by Peter Crow and Wayne Schache

A mechanism to ensure our people and places are safe (pre-Hui read: Big Bite 3) by Geraldine Crudge

An alignment of our assets for gospel renewal (pre-Hui read: Big Bite 4) by Charles Hewlett and Wayne Schache

A Baptist way to make decisions (pre-Hui read: Big Bites 1-4) by John Tucker

He Koronga Maatou – We have a dream (pre-Hui read: Baptist Māori) by Luke Kaa-Morgan

He Rito: The future of the church (pre-Hui read: Our young people) by Ethan Miller

The morning after (pre-Hui read – Arotahi) by Kelly Enright

Congratulations graduating pastoral leadership students!

On October 13, Jonny Weir and Sam Kilpatrick presented the graduating Carey Baptist College pastoral leadership students to Ravi Masuku (Baptist President) and Karen Warner (Leadership Coordination Director). See photo below. A massive congratulations to the students - you have worked incredibly hard and we look forward to you providing leadership within our family of churches. 

Wayne at work!

What a gift Wayne Schache is to the Baptist Union of New Zealand. His work as our Operations and Finance Director is definitely helping us bring Gospel renewal.

I wonder from the photo here if we are working him too hard?!

Did you know Wayne has established four ‘lay’ advisory groups to work alongside him? They are as follows:

Policy Development

Daniel Palmer – Bethlehem, Grant Harris – Windsor Park, Marcus Collings – Northcote, Bradley Nicholson – Oxford Terrace

Insurance Advisory

Alan Cairns – Whakatane, Peter Noble – Wellington South, Graham Shaw – Wellington Central, Matt Hessian – Caversham, Keith Taylor - Wellington South

Property Development Advisory

Andrew Barrie - Auckland, Chris Chamberlain – Oxford Terrace, Tim Jacomb – Karori, Mark Shaw – Huntly, James Widgery - Laingholm

Audit, Finance and Risk

Dean Kimpton – Northcote, Jenny Beck – Dunedin Central, Kerry Brewerton – Rangiora (Assembly Council representative), Rod Robson– Opawa (Assembly Council representative), John Woodward – Titirangi

Thanks Wayne for all your hard work – you are an awesome colleague and we give thanks to God for you.

A call to prayer

This week we received a request from Baptists across Israel and the Palestinian Territories requesting fervent prayer for just peace. This includes the Association of Baptist Churches in Israel with 17 Baptist churches and the Council. of Local Evangelical Churches in the Holy Land representing 13 Baptist churches in the Palestinian Territories, including a Baptist church in Gaza.

Please click here to see their request, and suggestions for prayer.

What can we measure? 

Last Tuesday I had the privilege of connecting with a group of young adults who are already experienced leaders within the Baptist family. I loved the conversation we had together.

We discussed Marva Dawn’s words, “How destructive it is to genuine discipleship to measure the success of the Church by the numbers of people attracted rather than by the depth of faith and outreach nurtured.”

We then set out to think of different things we could measure, other than numbers, when it comes to being ‘successful’ in ministry and mission.

Zoom in function only available on web version:

I thought you might like to see the whiteboard we filled. I wonder what you might add?!

What is Auckland's Southern Baptist Leader's Cluster plotting for Hui?

So good this week to receive the photo below from Auckland's Southern Cluster who met together last Wednesday. 

Rachel Roche (Area Leader Auckland South, East and Orbit) writes, “We shared an amazing meal catered by Franklin Baptist, tasted Rachel’s experimental dairy, gluten and sugar free treats, planned and plotted to make Hui the best ever (Southern churches are hosting), heard the latest update on our pizza oven we hope to purchase together, overviewed the exciting new ‘Being Baptist’ tool which is nicknamed BOB and prayed passionately for National Hui and each other.”  I love it when Baptist pastors associate together :)

Te Pouarataki mō te Hīkoi

from our Treaty Guide

I feel deeply grateful to be active among Baptist Māori and thankful for the whakapapa and story within our Baptist whaanau. There’s a deep sense of hope and patient expectation we’re experiencing and a bold vision for our people to flourish. God is at work in this space. 

I’m excited that Ruth Clarke - Waikato, Pare Hauraki, Ngāti Whātua (pictured here), from our Arotahi office, now has two days each week available to focus on Baptist Māori. This is an enormous blessing. Ruth is very secure in her identity as Māori and as a faithful follower of Jesus. She loves the church, is pursuing study at Carey and is committed to gospel renewal in people and places. Korooria ki te Atua Kaha Rawa.     

From Luke Kaa-Morgan


How awesome it was to have 4 nights staying with my mum who lives on the Gold Coast. Hmmm... one of these things is not like the others. One of these things is kinda the same! Or maybe...a rose amongst the thorns...

Someone sent me a Bible verse this week – from Zephaniah 3:17:

He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.

I have been feasting on the words, “with his love, he will calm all your fears”.

Are you feeling overwhelmed? Maybe anxious? I am keen to encourage you. Take the time to saturate yourself in God’s incredible love for you, and rest in Him. Why not do it today? 

I pray that you too would find peace (Matt 11:28-30) and renewal (Isa 40:29-31).

Stand firm in your faith and be courageous and strong.



With our country's General Election now over and the coalition talks well under way, I invited Jonathan Robinson (Carey Baptist College) to write a prayer for us focusing on the incoming government.

Please take time to join with me in praying Jonathan’s prayer. 

God of Nations, 

We give you thanks for a free and fair election in our nation last weekend, and we remember before you those nations where people are denied a voice in how they are governed.

We pray for the incoming government, that they will lead our country wisely, compassionately, and righteously. 

We pray for our parliament, that regardless of political affiliation they would work together for the good of this nation and the wider world, being willing to listen to and learn from each other.

God who has elected us in Christ Jesus,

We pray for your people, wherever we may sit on the political spectrum, to maintain true unity in the bonds of love,

That we would not trust in politicians to do the work for us, but lovingly serve our neighbours, 

And witness to your transforming love and power, in every place that you have planted us.

In all these things may the glory go to you, through Jesus Christ our Lord, in whose name we pray. Amen.


Photos: Supplied by Charles Hewlett

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