Here’s an overview of the goings on at Hui 2022: Day 2, Friday 4 November 2022, by Charis Fortheringham, Communication Assistant at the Baptist Support Centre.

So much to take in, learn and action from day 2! The “two sermons today were needed” voiced a representative from our Baptist whānau. They were, indeed!

Before we cover those, here is a takeaway from the Baptist Women’s breakfast that applies to us all: Let’s view and peruse mentoring as big sister, little sister (or big brother, little brother) relationships. In mentoring is the familiarity of family members where the learning goes both ways. 

Keynote 2:

Spectacular calling 

John Tucker unpacks the priority, purpose and paradox of our calling found in Colossians 1:28-29.

He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.

Getting back to basics. 

Basics make all the difference. What are the basics of your calling?

The priority of our spectacular calling is proclaiming Jesus.

We proclaim Jesus with our actions, but actions alone are not enough. We need to remember to proclaim Jesus through our words.

Remembering numbers is tricky, but here is a memorable statistic John assures us is from a trustworthy study: The average length of a sermon in the UK is 12 minutes! Are our sermons starting to shrink this much in New Zealand? If they are, does this indicate that we are losing confidence in words? Words are significant when faith is strengthened by constantly hearing the Word of God. 

John goes on to say:

Maturity doesn’t happen automatically…Disciples are made, not born. In focusing on maturity in the church, we do not neglect the need for the gospel in our communities – maturity is missional. As a result of maturity, churches grow.

In this journey of growing disciples, do we cut people out of the picture because of how we perceive them? Do we miss out on the giftings and potential that God sees in a person because we see difficulty or difference in that person?

John continues to encourage us that wherever our local community is, to focus on that, and the numbers will take care of themselves. 

He also reminds us that we don’t bring gospel renewal. Jesus brings gospel renewal and invites us to join him.

What captures your heart about the spectacular calling of gospel ministry? Here are some of the answers from our Baptist church representatives at Hui. 

• Getting to participate in God’s work

• Attracting people to the gospel with confidence

• Maturity

• It’s not about our success, but what matters

• Joining Jesus in building his church, not building something of my own

• It’s about Jesus

• How good the good news is! It is powerful! 

• The power of prayer! Also, Jesus continues to build his church whether we are present or not

How do we encourage people to pursue their gospel ministry calling? 

• Get alongside our new and young leaders

• Think more widely about leadership and don’t fall into stereotyping – again, not cutting people out of the picture

• Ask people

• Get honest about who’s holding the power

Creative celebration: Haka expressing the book of revelation composed by Manakinui Te Kahu

Keynote 3: 

Spectacular church

Matt Renata launches us off with Isaiah 43:19-21

What is the new thing God is doing?

Matt showed us the importance of looking back to move forward because of the power in our story and testimony. A story of particular importance to the future of the Baptist movement is the story of the church in Aotearoa.

The Holy Spirit has moved powerfully among and through Māori and still is in incredible ways, as Matt described from his time at Ihumātao. But not like before because of the unjust events towards Māori in our story which led to the loss of identity, belonging and a communal way of life. 

This summary isn’t doing Matt’s talk justice. You can’t shorten it to a 12-minute sermon, either. It is something we all need to hear more than a summary of, but listen through and actively integrate into our movement of churches. If you haven’t heard Matt’s talk on the spectacular church, we will make the recording easily available soon.

This is the question we discussed afterwards: 

How can we ensure our ethnic diversity displays the wisdom of God?

In a nutshell and another 5-minute window, here is a snippet of our response: Be in a place of humility and curiosity. Repent. In repenting, we change the direction of our story.

Now for this exciting part of the day:

The business session

Launching with who we are as the Baptist Union:

A collective of faith communities bringing Gospel renewal to people and places in their local neighbourhood.

Charles Hewlett presented 15 strategic achievements to help bring gospel renewal, emphasizing number 8: We have a leadership that is increasingly being marked out by the posture of Ephesians 4:1-2.

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

He also highlighted the importance of thriving youth in our local church.

Moving on, the 2022 Annual Report was passed, and Wayne Schache, Operations and Finance Director for the Baptist Union, presented the financial results. 

Wayne described the Baptist Union as being all of the local Baptist churches together; what one church does impacts the others.

Vote results

Assembly Council

·     Blue Bradley, Mosaic

·     Angus Budge, Rotorua Baptist Church

·     Rod Robson, Opawa Baptist Church

·     Margaret Loh, Windsor Park Baptist Church

Mission Council

·     David Allen, Belmont Baptist Church

·     Susan Barrett, Maangere Baptist Church

·     Stu Hastings, Village Baptist

·     Rewai Te Kahu, Kaikohe Baptist Church

·     Brian Cochran, Tauranga Central Baptist Church

Carey Board

·     Chris Beales-White, Karori Baptist Church

·     Adrienne Cleland, Remuera Baptist Church

·     Clifford Thompson, The Render Gathering

Baptist Women’s Board

·     Iunisi Katoa, Fairfield Baptist Church

·     Julie Polglaze, Royal Oak Baptist Church

·     Nicole Viljoen, Manurewa Baptist Church

·     Emma Wells, Whakatāne Baptist Church

President

Ravi Musuku's term as President is extended for a further 1 year.

National Leader

Charles Hewlett's term as National Leader is extended for a further 3 years, from March 2023.

Arotahi: An evening with a mission

You may have heard of the new name for NZBMS. If not, read about welcoming Arotahi here

The name Arotahi was officially launched at Hui with the slogan ‘hand carved mission’. Every calling, community, people, and relationship are unique and uniquely directed by the work of God. We listened to a panel of our Global Workers who had some spectacular and challenging stories and words to share.

Adding to the theme that the Holy Spirit inspired this day, Ants said: well before the works we did, God was there. We were encouraged to grow more together as human beings and to pursue relationship. Cindy told us how the church in her missional neighbourhood is poor but has a lot of wealth to share with us. Are we building mutually transformational relationships with our brothers and sisters overseas? As Ants said, we are not the church without the poor. But are we going to the poor? Outlined was a distribution problem. Are we congregating where we are comfortable? God hasn’t stopped calling us to mission, we’ve stopped listening.

Luke Kaa-Morgan, Te Pouarataki Mō Te Hīkoi for Arotahi, wrote and shared a beautiful song called He Tangata, He Whenua about our mission. 

Here are a few pics from the day:

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