The New Zealand Church Missionary Society (NZCMS) was formed as an independent organisation by the Church of the Province of New Zealand, and nurtured within the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia. It was, and is, an evangelical mission community, seeking to mobilise the Church in New Zealand for God’s mission in the world. We partner with individuals and churches who share a common vision. We seek to obey the call of God to proclaim the Gospel of God’s grace in Christ Jesus to all peoples and extend Christ’s Kingdom throughout the world, especially in the Asia Pacific region.
NZCMS seeks to uphold the Lausanne Covenant that unites evangelicals around the world in prioritizing the Gospel. The Gospel includes the declaration that Jesus is Lord over all things, which means our mission is to call people to follow Jesus the Lord and to see God’s Kingdom coming in all of life.
NZCMS affirms the Christian faith as uniquely revealed in the Bible and expressed in the Church’s historic creeds. We also affirm our belief and trust in:
- God’s love for all of His creation, and especially for human beings, who are made in God’s own image.
- The divine inspiration of the Bible and its supreme authority in all matters of faith and life.
- The brokenness in humanity and the world caused by human sinfulness, and our need of forgiveness and reconciliation with God. Salvation is by God’s grace, through faith in Christ.
- Jesus Christ is God’s only Son, fully human and fully divine, who reveals God, lived a life on earth without sin, died on the cross to atone for our sins, rose from the dead, and is forever Lord and the Saviour of the world.
- The mission of the Church to passionately share the Good News of Christ through word and deed with all peoples, empowered by the Holy Spirit.
- Christ’s future return in glory, to judge the living and the dead, to establish a new heaven and earth where those who belong to Christ will live with Him forever.
NZCMS has always followed the missional principles that were first expressed by John Venn at the founding of the Church Missionary Society in the UK in 1799. We seek to:
a) Follow God’s leading
b) Send out people of the highest calibre
c) Start small
d) Put money in second place, not first
e) Depend on the Spirit of God for success
Values: What drives us
In everything we do, we seek to be:
a) Faithful. We seek to be faithful to our evangelical heritage and to our calling to see people come to know Jesus and the fullness of life He offers (John 10:10). Being faithful calls for joyful and sacrificial service and integrity.
b) Relational. God is a relational, boundary crossing, with-us God. NZCMS isn’t a mission agency but a society, and as such we see our supporters as belonging to our missional family; our people seek to work in grace-filled partnership with like-minded individuals, churches and other organizations both locally and globally, recognizing the vital place of mutuality and reciprocity in mission (1 Corinthians 12:14-27). NZCMS mission partners are sent out and supported by churches in Aotearoa New Zealand, and they are received and work under a formal agreement to a church or partner in the country they are placed in. NZCMS mission partners live in obedience to, and in partnership with, the local church.
c) Number 8-wired. Taking our cues from the Kiwi ‘number 8 wire mentality,’ we seek to be ingenuitive, visionary and creative. Like our forebears, we are prepared to think outside the box and to reinvent ourselves to suit new contexts and situations. We seek to discern where God is at work and how we can seize the opportunities he provides (John 5:19).
NZCMS exists to see disciples of Jesus impacting every sphere of life across nations
Who we are
The New Zealand Church Missionary Society – NZCMS for short – is an evangelical mission community seeking to mobilise the Church of New Zealand for God’s mission. We are primarily linked to the Anglican Church though we also work with other churches with whom we share a common vision. Our passion is to see God’s people taking the whole gospel of Jesus to the whole world.
Our goal as NZCMS is to faithfully live out Jesus’ Great Commission (Matt 28:19) by making disciples of all nations. By declaring and living out the good news of God’s Kingdom in its fullness, we aim to see lives and communities transformed by Christ, bringing lasting hope to the nations.
Where we’re active
We have people and partnerships all over the world. Currently we have New Zealand partners working in East Asia, South Asia, South East Asia, East Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, the Pacific, Europe and New Zealand. These partners work in a variety of capacities and areas of society.
Our Objectives: NZCMS is all about God, his mission & his world
Envision. We seek to see the Church grasp God’s vision for the world by informing, inspiring and mobilising believers for God’s mission in New Zealand and beyond. We also invest in a fellowship of people seeking to live a life of missional discipleship, helping them catch a vision of what God is doing around the world and their part in it. We do this by providing opportunities for prayer, giving, storytelling, vision trips and getting plugged in at various events.Equip. We seek to partner with individuals and churches across New Zealand, equipping and resourcing them for local and cross-cultural mission. We also equip Christian leaders through specific apprenticeship programmes like the Haerenga Mission Internship, the Global Leadership Programme and the Samaritan Strategy.
Engage. We seek to identify, train, send and support cross-cultural workers – Mission Partners – enabling them to engage creatively in a world in need of the gospel. Our main area of focus is Asia & the Pacific although we have workers engaging in other parts of the world. For more information, see our FAQ page.
Our History: A Rich Missional Legacy
The Church Missionary Society was founded in London in 1799 by a group called the Clapham Sect. This small group of evangelicals included well-known figures such as William Wilberforce, and together they played a pivotal role in ending the slave trade. For many years they had also discussed ways to preach the gospel and plant churches in Australia, the East Indies, South East Asia and Africa. From those discussions, CMS was born, and the first missionaries were sent out to Africa, India and then New Zealand.
In New Zealand it was CMS folk who were the earliest pioneers and European settlers. Things were pretty tough at first, with very few converts or disciples. Slowly but surely the gospel spread and Maori began turning to God. Soon it was these new believers who became the most effective at reaching their own people. It wasn’t too long before New Zealanders started wondering how they could impact the world beyond Aotearoa. In 1892, 78 years after the first missionaries arrived, NZCMS was formed in a Nelson church hall. Shortly after, the first missionaries were commissioned and sent to Japan. Since that time NZCMS has been involved in Pakistan, East Africa, the Middle East, Cambodia, South Asia, South America and East Asia.
NZCMS has the privilege of a rich history. It is by God’s grace, provision and goodness that we continue to serve God by preparing, sending and supporting partners in his mission.