"Ko te korero hoki o te ripeka ki te hunga e whakangaromia ana he mea wawau; ki a tatou ia, ki te hunga e whakaorangia ana, ko te kaha tera o te Atua."
"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."
“A o lenei, ‘ua tu‘uina e le Atua itūtino ‘ese‘ese i le tino e pei ‘ona finagalo i ai o ia."
—1 Corinthians 1:18
We are Easter Leaders.
We who shepherd God's people during this season of remembering the cross—we are Easter Leaders.
As Easter Leaders, we know we encounter our risen Jesus in 'the message of the cross' (1 Corinthians 1:18).
In a profound mystery, Jesus meets us in the message of the cross. We encounter the crucified and risen Christ when we proclaim Christ crucified.
As Easter Leaders, we know our lives and ministries take on the shape and character of the 'message of the cross'.
As we live and speak out the 'message of the cross', our lives and ministries will always carry both the honour and the stigma of the cross.
In the eyes of others, our ministries and activities in the days ahead may look weak or fragile, foolish or plain, but we know—in the goodness of God—that he is at work.
As Easter Leaders, we know that part of our ministry is to apply the 'message of the cross' to ever-changing contexts.
I am grateful to see the example of Paul and witness his agility, adaptability and creativity as he seeks to communicate the gospel to different people groups, in different locations, all across the Roman empire.
Now more than ever, we need the help of the Holy Spirit to lead us to proclaim the gospel in a radically changing New Zealand.
As we head into Easter, thank you.
Thank you for being Easter Leaders to the people you shepherd. Thank you for the incredible work that has gone into leading, shepherding and serving. In the midst of Easter ministry, may you know God's good hand of blessing upon you and your family.
(An extract from an existing April 2020 Wrap devotion: Encountering Christ this Easter)
By Mark Grace, CCCNZ Ambassador
Outreach at Easter
I am grateful for all the ways churches are creatively communicating the gospel to their communities this Easter. Here are photos of an Easter Outreach put on by Church@109 in Taupo recently.
News from Churches
Our vision is to see churches and the regional campsites and national ministries that serve them working together to point people to Jesus through the gospel from the Scriptures.
For that reason, I just loved hearing an update from Jason McKinnon, an elder at Hillcrest Chapel in Hamilton.
Last Thursday the elders of Hillcrest Chapel, Chapel Hill Community Church, and Northgate Community Church in Hamilton met together.
At the Regional Summit last weekend, Jason mentioned that more than twenty-five years have passed since Hillcrest planted Chapel Hill and Chapel Hill planted Northgate.
The evening was full of fellowship, discussion, and prayer about what the Lord will do in Hamilton as the churches seek to work more closely together to point people to Jesus.
It prompts us to wonder: what could happen for the growth of the gospel if elderships in your region did something similar?
Waikato Regional Summit
On Saturday elders and ministry leaders from across the Waikato region gathered for the CCCNZ Regional Summit.
I loved watching new connections being formed.
In the photo above Kylie Brown (left), Children's Pastor at Lifezone Church, is chatting with Anna Baldwin (right) from Totara Springs Christian Centre.
Lifezone Church and Totara Springs Christian Centre have been discussing how they can work together to point more people to Jesus.
Kath Lind (above, centre) from Raleigh Street Christian Centre is chatting with the team from Tauwhare Gospel Chapel.
I really appreciate the relationship between these churches and am excited to see how it will grow under God’s good hand.
News from CCCNZ Homeworkers
Liz at the Kaitaia Market
In Whangārei they attended Raumati Crescent Chapel (above).
Norm writes, “We met up again with a family who had been visiting in Kaitaia when we were there earlier, and they suggested that on our way home we might visit Ellerslie Bible Chapel where they had relatives.”
Norm and Liz visiting Ellerslie Bible Chapel
“Ellerslie Bible Chapel was happy for us to visit, so we spent our final Sunday there with Joe and Loraine Heta and whānau, and shared the children’s materials with them.”
Norm and Liz are now settling back into fellowship at Tauwhare Gospel Chapel. A large contingent from Tauwhare this weekend are attending the Easter conference being held at Waharoa.
Norm and Liz ask for prayer:
- that the Lord might raise up some younger families who might respond to the need for service and encouragement in these churches
- for the Easter camp and the boys’ and girls’ holiday camps coming up at Coopers Beach
- that the Easter camp at Waharoa will be a time of encouragement and good fellowship
Southland/Otago Churches and Lakeland Park Camp
Pictured above, left to right: Jason Moss, Jandre Niehaus, Stafford Ferguson, Murray Frost, Rochelle and Tim Weir, Ian McBride, Craig Johnson, and Peter Chalmers
Last week CCCNZ Camping Enabler Richard Davis, Ian McBride and Craig Johnson met with the Queenstown Christian Camp Trust Board.
We are grateful for the work Jason Moss (Queenstown), Jandre Niehaus (Cornerstone International Bible Church), Stafford Ferguson (Riverside Chapel), Murray Frost (Rutland Street Church) and Peter Chalmers (Gore Christian Fellowship) do on the camp Board.
At the same time, they met with Lakeland Park Camp Managers Rochelle and Tim Weir who attend Queenstown Bible Chapel.
Richard, along with Ian McBride (Lichfield Lands Inc & The Orchard Church) and Craig Johnson (CSC Group NZ & Raleigh Street Christian Centre) attended on behalf of the camping project and it was wonderful to see the different Otago/Southland churches represented on the Trust.
It is so important that camps have the support of churches in the movement and how they collectively have a vision for the Lakeland Park Camp.
Trustees play an important role in the governance of all our camps and hearing each one summarise their reasons for being on the board was particularly encouraging.
We look forward to building upon the relationships that were formed last week.
CCCNZ Staff update
Eighteen months ago, Murray Brown, CCCNZ National Youth Enabler let me know that he would begin working towards retirement. Murray reduced his hours last year.
This week Murray let me know that he would be retiring on the 5th of May.
As a team we are so profoundly grateful for Murray and his ministry.
Murray, you are a gift to us. You are a gift to the movement. We are so grateful for the way Murray has quietly invested into youth leaders and the younger leaders they serve.
We are grateful for your wisdom, insight, and care. From the top of the North to the bottom of the South, we are grateful for the way you constantly point us to Jesus, through the gospel, from the Scriptures.
As a team we will be putting our heads together about how we can honour Murray before he concludes his time with us… we will keep you posted!
Don’t hesitate to be in contact with Murray.