Cathrina Siraa is a member of Royal Oak Baptist Church as well as Administration Advisor at our Baptist National Support Centre where she occasionally gets to hang out with Assembly Council members. 

With nominations currently open for our Assembly Council - the governing group representing our 250 Baptist churches and faith communities between our annual Assembly/Hui, I asked a few of our current Assembly Council members why they wanted to serve on Assembly Council. This is what they had to say: 

Angus Budge 

I love the church and being a part of the Baptist Union of New Zealand. By offering to be a cog in the Assembly Council wheel, these were two of my considerations: 

First, to serve. I believe that if we think we have giftings to positively contribute to an area we should - and the purpose of the Assembly Council is to positively serve the local church. So in a small way I want to positively give back to our wider family of churches and support the mission and goals of our Union of churches. 

Second, to learn. To learn more about our churches, to learn more about governance and leadership and collaboratively working together within a different context. 

Angus is Senior Pastor at Rotorua Baptist Church. 

Das Premadas 

First of all, I have to acknowledge that it is an honour to sit at the table along with experienced and able governors. It is humbling and constantly motivating to hear the love and passion that each one have for the Lord and His work.   

Secondly, it is quite a huge responsibility to make decisions on behalf of the churches and entities of the Baptist Union, and in this space there is an added pressure to do the right thing. There are many matters that are hugely important to our churches and many decisions do have a direct effect on the churches’ establishment and growth.  

Thirdly, I see the ethnic voice as an essential voice, as it adds a different dimension to all conversations, especially challenging conversations. Since, coming on to Assembly Council, I’ve realised that diversity plays such a crucial role in any discussion. So, I would encourage the ethnic pastors and leaders to put up their hand to contribute at Assembly Council level, and I’m sure your time, talent and experience will be worth spending for worthwhile causes in the Lord’s kingdom. 

Finally, being on our Aseembly Council is both a privilege and a responsibility to discern the heart of God for His Church. 

Das is Co-pastor at Ōtāhuhu Community Baptist Church. 

Josh Sanford 

The importance of us together wrestling with the mind of Christ is as equally important at a national and local level. Assembly Council, for me, is about contributing to the wider family and ensuring that there are diverse voices as we wrestle together, to see God’s Kingdom more evident here in Aotearoa. 

Josh is a member of Northgate Baptist Church and runs a few social enterprises. 

Rod Robson 

I stood for Assembly Council because I wanted to support Charles Hewlett and Wayne Schache's leadership, in what is a challenging era.  I like the simplicity of Charles' vision and am really enjoying the renewal of our Regional Baptist Association life that he has championed. I have growing optimism about the future. 

Rod is Sole Pastor at Opawa Baptist Church. 

Who does Assembly Council need? 

Assembly Council needs elected members who bring a wide range of experience to the table, not just in pastoral leadership, but professional experience and governance expertise as well. There is no requirement for people to be pastors. 

I sat down and talked to Kerry Brewerton (the current Chair of Assembly Council, and Lead Pastor at Rangiora Baptist Church) about what kind of people we are looking for to serve on Assembly Council. You can listen to our whole conversation here or read a few snippets below of what Kerry had to say. 

It is important to us that we have good representation around the table. In the same way that we would want to construct an elder board that is representative of the church, we want to have an Assembly Council that is representative across our movement. 

We want people who are passionate about the Baptist Union, people who have lots of ideas, people who aren’t afraid to speak up. At our last meeting we only had one woman at the table. I would love to see more women stepping up to be nominated for Assembly Council, and I’d also like to see more Māori represented at the table. 

We need to look past the stereotypes of pastors or people who are currently in leadership roles in our churches because right across our movement we have many people in our churches who are in leadership roles in the community, who are good at governance, who carry skills in legal and financial areas, and who are natural leaders. 

I’d encourage you to look around and ask “Who is it in our church who would be good in these roles” and have a chat with them. 

Nominations are open 

Nominations for Assembly Council are now open. All of our 250 churches and faith communities can send delegates to our Annual National Hui (Assembly) in November each year, and together they vote for who our Assembly Council representatives will be. While you’re thinking about nominations, would you also consider who your church could send to Hui this November to represent your local church. 

Will you prayerfully consider who in your faith community might be nominated to serve on the next Assembly Council? 

More information about how to make a nomination for Assembly Council can be found at hui.baptist.nz

Photo: our hui website 

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