Rod Robson, the Chair of the Assembly Council, brings you this update from the recent Assembly Council gatherings (9, 10 and 12 February 2024). 

Hi peeps, 

Your Assembly Council got together again last Friday, Saturday and Monday. Here’s a bit of an update for you about what we got up to. 

We spent Friday with Charles Hewlett, our National Leader, who guided the Assembly Council (AC) through some strategic exercises as we dreamed about what the next few years could look like for our movement. 

We finished the day enjoying woodfired pizza at Blue Bradley’s place while hanging out and getting to know each other better. 

On Saturday morning, we cracked into a full business agenda. Many items of business come before the AC at our bi-monthly meetings. Recognising our need to spend more time on the strategic governance stuff, we spent some time getting subcommittees established. This will help divide and conquer the workload of AC decisions amongst the members, allowing us to spend our main meetings briefing ‘business’ report-backs but with a focus on strategy. 

We’ve got existing subcommittees for Constitution Review, as well as Audit, Finance and Risk. We’re establishing a committee to look after the well-being of our senior executive staff and a committee or two that will keep tabs on Baptist life… all the things involving our thirteen governance boards, other entities and working groups that are operating in the movement. It’s about trying to associate better than we have been doing. 

We’re scheduling our meetings this year for Saturdays. We have increasing representation and participation on AC from normal people (not Pastor peeps like me), which means needing to work around Monday to Friday jobs. We’ve also found it helpful to meet for an evening Zoom debrief in the week following our meetings. 

We continued the agenda by hearing from: 

> Charles Hewlett about the importance of mission and Gospel Renewal in our faith communities

> John Tucker (Principal, Carey Baptist College) about the future of theological education and Carey’s strategic review process that is currently underway

> Ruby Duncan (Chair, Mission Council) about how Arotahi (NZBMS) is engaging in mission both here in New Zealand and abroad

> Susan Osborne (2024 President) about her plans to travel around the country this year, meeting with smaller churches and ethnic congregations.  

On Monday evening, we again appreciated the opportunity to debrief and catch up over Zoom.  

It was a packed few days, but some great things are happening around the country. There are definitely some challenges, but we’re focusing on getting the right people in the right places to make strategic decisions about what will position New Zealand Baptists to bring gospel renewal to people and places in their local neighbourhoods. 

Photo: Supplied by Rod Robson

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