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How to become a Baptist pastor

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Acceptance Process for Pastoral Leadership within the Baptist Union of New Zealand

This process is designed for people not currently pastoring in a New Zealand Baptist Church.

Introduction

The Baptist Union of New Zealand (BUNZ) is a collective of faith communities who want to bring gospel renewal to the people and places where we are located.

While we highly value our diversity, we are evangelical and charismatic. Our foundational values of loving the Bible, being sold out for Jesus, valuing all people, and being imaginative with mission, underpin all we do. The leadership philosophy found in Ephesians 4:1-3 strongly shapes our leadership practice as a collective.

We acknowledge and support the special relationship and covenant partnership that was created by Te Tiriti o Waitangi, The Treaty of Waitangi. We also value and encourage women in giving leadership within our collective of faith communities, across all ministries, including the roles of pastor and elder. It is of utmost importance that these positions are taken into consideration when applying for pastoral leadership in a Baptist church.

We believe that having faith communities marked out by robust leadership, growing disciples, healthy resources and effective mission are crucial if we are to see our purpose achieved.

Robust Leadership

In order to achieve our goal of gospel renewal we require robust leaders. We define robust leadership as:

  • A strong focus on Jesus personally, and within the church
  • Emotionally Intelligent, with a self-awareness
  • Biblically literate and able to disciple others
  • Belief in the power and ongoing work of the Holy Spirit
  • Able to think and work strategically
  • Ability to lead teams and empower others
  • Capacity to effect change, and take risks when required
  • Able to cope with difference and handle conflict situations
  • Appreciation of Baptist ecclesiology, especially church governance
  • Commitment to professional development
  • A commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, The Treaty of Waitangi and an understanding of Te Ao Māori

Process

We have the following process in place for acceptance to pastoral leadership in our faith communities:

  1. Required information:
  • A CV that outlines education, qualifications, and work experience.
  • A psychological report that indicates suitability for ministry and mission
  • A personal profile, including an outline of the applicant’s theology of ministry, sense of call to ministry, leadership strengths and spiritual giftings, and what the church they lead will look like as a result of their influence (outline supplied).
  • If new to pastoral ministry, the endorsement of a supporting pastor from the church currently attended.
  • The names of three referees with whom the BUNZ can speak (included in personal profile)
  • Evidence of a current Police check (within the last 2 years)
  1. A discernment process and interview will be held with the applicant, and spouse where appropriate. This process will include BUNZ national leadership, regional leadership, and a supporting pastor, where appropriate. It is important to us that the cultural expectations of applicants are acknowledged and included as part of this discernment process.

Information

For further information and an application form please contact:
Karen Warner, Leadership Co-ordination Director, Baptist Union of NZ
[email protected] | 0212790919


Interim and transitional ministry

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    Models of pastoral leadership

    There are a number of leadership models operating in Baptist churches in New Zealand. Some of these models are explained below, with examples of where that model is, or has recently been, in operation except for the sole and senior pastor models. For more detailed information on how these churches function please contact the leadership directly. Church contact information is available online in the annual Yearbook (see baptist.nz). 

    1.    Sole Pastor

    The Sole Pastor model operates in churches that are smaller in size (usually under 120 attendees) and employ only one pastor.

    2.    Senior/Lead Pastor

    The Senior or Lead Pastor model operates in churches that are large enough to financially support multiple pastors.

    3.    Co-Pastoring

    In the Co-Pastoring model, the role of the Senior Pastor is spread over two people who share the responsibilities and decision making equally. These pastors may be trained and married to each other, or they may be two trained leaders who are able to work effectively together.

    Manurewa, Wellington Central, Kumeu, River Valley

    4.    CLG: Core Leadership Group / Team led approach

    This model is similar to Co-Pastoring but with a larger group sharing both the decision making and responsibilities. A high level of trust and co-operation, with both the CLG and Elders, is needed for this model to succeed.

    Whangaparaoa, Karori, South West

    5.    Senior Pastor non-teaching role

    This model has a Senior Pastor, but in a less typical role, as they do not do the preaching/teaching. In this model the Senior Pastor may have strengths in other areas like pastoral care and staff team leadership and is able to spend the bulk of their time in those spaces.

    Palmerston North Central ran this model very successfully for a number of years.

    6.    One church, multiple Pastor-led congregations

    In this model the church has multiple congregations, each formed around a common language and culture. Some share the leadership equally, while others retain a Senior Pastor.

    Auckland Baptist Tabernacle

    This is still a Senior Pastor model, but unique because the church is comprised of multiple ethnic congregations, each with their own pastor and eldership teams.

    Otahuhu Community Baptist

    Otahuhu has a variation of this with three separate congregations, each with their own pastor, but under the one banner. All three equally share leadership responsibilities.

    7.    Campus

    In the campus model a larger, or host church effectively sponsors and supports a ‘daughter’ church. The host church gives oversight, support, and financial assistance to these small or newly planted churches. The Eldership of the host church employs and manages the pastors of the campus church.

     Windsor Park/Waikeke, Eastgate Pakuranga/Te Kauwhata

    Waiheke Baptist is a campus of Windsor Park. They have their own pastor based on Waiheke Island, but the overarching leadership and financial decisions of the church sit with Windsor Park. Eastgate Te Kauwhata is a campus of Eastgate Christian Centre (based in Pakuranga, Auckland) and is run on a similar model.

    Note:
    The campus church model has been significantly adopted by many Pentecostal churches over the last decade (large and small). This enables the local church to focus on ministry and mission but draw from the strength of the large church for resourcing, advertising, finance, strategy, and management. It should be noted that efficiency is possibly at the cost of autonomy.

    Future Thinking

    Another model that we believe will one day be seen in our churches is the Bi-Cultural Leadership model. Many of our churches, for example Franklin Baptist, are in areas where this may be an effective future model.

     

    Thanks to Tim Palmer for his work on the original version of this document

     


    Police vetting

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