You’re here today because you are part of a Baptist Church. But what does it mean to be “Baptist?”
Shouldn’t all Christian churches, who serve the Father, Christ and Holy Spirit, just have the same name? After all we all claim to serve the same God. That would be the ideal. However, for me it matters what denomination I’m part of. I want to be part of a Christian movement that aligns with my interpretation of Scripture. You may not know this, but your “NZ Baptist Movement” has these 4 distinctives:
1: The authority of Scripture (We love the Bible. We believe it is God’s written Word to us. It should be read by all, preached on, and taught)
2: Believer’s Baptism (We believe that every follower of Christ should be baptised by full immersion, as Christ showed us with his own baptism, and was the norm in the early church)
3: Church Governance (The local church is the priesthood of all believers. Everyone matters. That’s why we have an AGM, so everyone can have a voice. Together we appoint elders, and vote on important decisions)
4: Freedom of Church and State (We believe that the Church should be free to be autonomous and not controlled by the State or a higher earthly authority. However, each NZ Baptist Church is encouraged to belong to the NZ Baptist Union of Churches. Every year pastors and leaders gather for a Hui. Our Baptist Union looks after our best interests and can be consulted on various issues. Connect Baptist also belongs to the Northern Association of Baptist Churches, which serves Auckland and North).
The purpose of our Baptist movement is to participate with Christ in the reconciliation of all things to Himself, transforming lives with love and compassion.
Here is a photo of our new National Leader, Charles Hewlett. He is the previous Principal of Carey Baptist College and is a man of grace, wisdom, vision, inclusiveness, and love.