Currently our National Leader, Charles Hewlett, is in Norway representing us at the Baptist World Alliance gathering.

Charles writes, “How amazing it is to be with so many Baptists from all around the world. Wow – New Zealand Baptist belong to something very big!” A highlight of Day One was hearing the presentation of the BWA President Tomás Mackey (pictured below with Charles).

As Tomás’ PowerPoint slide below states, “Having listened to the experiences of different conventions and churches regarding the way in which they live the mission, I could perceive that there are many mission fields that they have visualised in unanimity. It is true that there are more, but I mention here four.”

The four mission fields he focused on were:

1.    The mission field of those under serve pain

For example the earthquake in Turkey and Syria, the war between Russia and Ukraine, and the violation of human rights in Myanmar and Nicaragua. Tomas noted that 13.5 million, 25.5% of all 51 million Baptists face the most significant levels of vulnerability.

2.    The mission field of the new generation

He talked about: “better discipleship for the new generations, clearly identified priorities for ministry to the new generations, churches involved in the social, cultural, and ethical challenges that confront the new generations, and being a source of hope in the name of the Lord.

3.    The mission field of extreme polarisation

Interestingly Tomas noted, “It frequently happens that a large group of people do not agree with the extreme positions. They are even far from these positions, but for different reasons they are silenced and do not get actively involved.”

4.    The mission field of extreme secularisation

He talked about how only in 3 countries do we Baptists exceed 5% of the total population of those countries. In the vast majority of the countries where our members live, Baptist are less than 1% of the total population.

Charles writes, “The theme of the conference is ‘Send’. We have been reminded how Baptists are a missionary movement. The speakers are constantly challenging us by the phrase ‘here am I send me’.  This is an extremely important question for New Zealand Baptists as we endeavour to bring gospel renewal in local neighbourhoods in Aotearoa New Zealand.”

Photos: provided by Charles Hewlett

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