These are the webinar recordings of our 3-episode series where Charles Hewlett (Baptist National Leader) talked with Lynne Taylor (Baptist Researcher, Dunedin) and Dave Tims (Urban Neighbours of Hope, Auckland) about practical tools that can help us understand our neighbourhoods, and determine where God might already be at work. These are hugely important conversations for the future of Baptist faith communities. 

Webinar series

Through this 3-episode series Charles Hewlett talked with a selection of people doing effective mission in their local church contexts: hearing stories of success and failure, about journeys of gospel renewal to people and places, in order to inspire and encourage us in our own local work in this area. The series was recorded in September 2021.

Episode 1

Episode 1: Defining gospel renewal and local neighbourhood: Duane Major and George Wieland

If you’re wondering how to become aware of the needs in your local community, or how the mission of your church will continue to be effective, this webinar recording (episode 1 of 3) enables you to listen in on a conversation Charles Hewlett (Baptist National Leader) had with Duane Major (South West Baptist Church, Christchurch) and George Wieland (Carey Baptist College, Auckland). They talk about defining ‘gospel renewal’ and ‘local neighbourhood’, and where have they seen this happen.

Episode 2: Local neighbourhoods and the future of the church: Brook Turner and Duane Major

Charles Hewlett talks with Brook Turner (Vision West Community Trust, Auckland) and Duane Major (South West Baptist Church, Christchurch), asking them what local neighbourhoods are like in 2021: What are their greatest needs? If Jesus were here (physically) where do you think we would find him? What would he be doing? What does the church of the future need to be and do? What things hinder this?

Episode 3: Understanding your neighbourhood—where is God at work?: Lynne Taylor and Dave Tims

Lynne Taylor (Baptist Researcher, Dunedin) and Dave Tims (Urban Neighbours of Hope, Auckland), with Charles Hewlett talk about practical tools that can help us understand our neighbourhoods, and determine where God might already be at work. These are hugely important conversations for the future of Baptist faith communities.

Six-week challenge

In December 2020 Charles Hewlett gave us a simple six-week Gospel-renewal-in-my-neighbourhood challenge to undertake. Each week involves a simple task designed to encourage you to get to know your community and to look for ways you might partner with God in bringing renewal to your neighbourhoods. Click here for the challenge.

Webinar Presenter

Charles Hewlett has been in the role of National Leader of the Baptist Churches of New Zealand since the start of 2019. Of this role Charles says: “I believe my number one task is to keep the eyes of the Baptist movement on Jesus. We must look to him for our direction. He will show us what our priorities must be. How to treat one another. How to live in our neighbourhoods. How to lead those entrusted to us. It is the power of his gospel that will bring renewal and transformation. It is his Word that we must listen to the most.” Prior to this role Charles had a year as Church Coach at Greenlane Christian Centre, and before that was the Principal of Carey Baptist College. Charles has also been a pastor.

Would you like more from Charles Hewlett?

Watch Charles interview eight people on church eldership in the Better Church Elders On Demand series

A New Zealand made online training resource for Eldership groups and Church Boards.

A series of teaching videos (15-20 minutes each) about Eldership, with robust group discussion questions included in a study guide for each video, a suggested ‘action’ to do as an eldership or board, and a reading as an ‘extra’. The video content is provided in an interview format led by Charles Hewlett (New Zealand Baptist National Leader) with experienced practitioners: viewers have the opportunity to hear from multiple voices adding to this topic of forming healthy eldership and church board teams.

The idea is for Eldership/Board groups to work through these training videos together, perhaps one a month for six months: setting aside 40 minutes at the start of normal Elders meetings to watch a video and discuss the questions: applying the content to their local context. Another approach would be to have a retreat day together (perhaps with some other church eldership groups), where all videos are watched, interspersed with interaction and discussion. The video series could also be a resource for prospective elders and board members to watch before they join the team.

This online video series can be purchased for NZ$120 (US$75). New Zealand Baptist Churches can request a 50% off promo code (NZ$60 or US$37.50) – details below.


Six training sessions designed to help elders understand their role and lead the people of God well:

  1. The Bible and Eldership: What does the Bible have to say about our function as elders? What is it that we are meant to be and do? Charles Hewlett talks with Dr George Wieland.
  2. Episode 1 study guide click here.
  3. Eldership and Governance: What is it that makes good governance? What do governors actually do? Charles Hewlett talks with Mel Wilson.
  4. Episode 2 study guide click here.
  5. Models of Eldership: Big, medium or small – does one eldership model fit all churches? What are some of the options?  Where does the pastor fit in to all this? Charles Hewlett talks with Reti Ah-Voa and Grant Harris.
  6. Episode 3 study guide click here.
  7. Bringing the Bible into Decision Making: How does the Bible remain the foundational guide for our belief and behaviour as a church? What practical things can we do to keep the Bible central in our leadership? Charles Hewlett talks with Dr John Tucker.
  8. Episode 4 study guide click here.
  9. Maintaining Healthy Eldership Relationships: What things contribute to healthy relationships? What are some of the pitfalls we must try and avoid? Charles Hewlett talks with Jonny Weir.
  10. Episode 5 study guide click here.
  11. Strengthening our Eldership Team: Where do we find new elders? What training will make us even better? How can we support our pastor and staff more? Charles Hewlett talks with Dr Mike Crudge.
  12. Episode 6 study guide click here.

Click here to download a printable PDF of the complete Study Guide (11 pages, 85 KB) 


The Framework

Each training session has the following 4 components:

WATCH: a 15-20 minute conversation online with experienced practitioners.

DISCUSS: 3 questions from the study guide.

DO (ACTION): 1 activity for your eldership team to complete.

EXTRA (READING): 1 chapter or article of reading to go a little deeper.


The Cost

This online video series can be purchased for NZ$120 (US$75 – which is the main currency in the vimeo video ondemand platform we are using).

Baptist Churches in New Zealand can purchase this online video series using a 50% promo code (NZ$60 or US$37.50) – please email [email protected] for a promo code.

Click here to buy online…

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