At home with Mission

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When I applied for my current job at NZCMS (New Zealand Church Missionary Society) I had no idea of what the letters stood for or what the organisation did.  That was pretty much my knowledge of missions as well.  So as you might imagine I went on a bit of a learning curve.

The staff here include an ordained Anglican minister, one who spent 15 years in the mission field, another who in their spare time lectures at Laidlaw, a Pastors kid,and more recently we have been joined by a couple who have served on the mission field in the Pacific and Cambodia.  At the time I started I was one of only two staff who had never been on a mission trip, had no theological training and no inclination to offer our lives in service in the mission field.  Boy did I feel overwhelmed!

Over the years since I’ve gone on what I jokingly call my backwards journey into mission.  I have been absorbing as much as I can to understand the incredible people who serve overseas, why they go, and the joy they bring in sharing the Good News about our Lord.  This backwards journey has been accompanied by several underlying questions:  Why are less Christians engaging in mission than in the past?  And how do we engage churches and people in mission?

Mission isn’t limited to going overseas, it includes all Christians in New Zealand, many who are called to support those who serve as missionaries.  My journey has immersed me in educational opportunities:  The Samaritan Strategy to learn about “Seed Projects” (“Seed Projects” are small-scale, holistic outreach initiatives through which local churches demonstrate God’s love in practical ways to those in their community);  studying Biblical Theology through Laidlaw; Kairos; learning about the Five Marks of Mission as decreed by the Anglican Church;  “Friendship First” a course focused on making friends with our Muslim brothers and sisters; Care of Creation and a myriad DVD’s, books, articles and frequent musings over our coffee breaks.

These experiences started to influence how I viewed life in my local parish of St Augustine’s.  Like most churches we have a small missions committee that prays regularly for mission, but in the wider congregation there is so much to prioritise.  This includes worship teams, ministries, events, family, school, work and life in general.  Amongst all this arose a quandary, how do we get others to consider overseas mission when many of us are struggling to be missional right here in our own backyard.

Recently I was introduced to a course called “Empowered to Influence.”  It’s a four week course of two hours a week that brings about a paradigm shift in how we approach our faith on a daily basis.  It’s founded by a Singaporean businessman who wanted to be a missionary but God placed him in the market place instead.  A huge disappointment for him.  However, after 20 years spent figuring out why, he has realised that God has placed him (and us!) right where we are now for a reason.  We have been placed right here to be salt and light to the secular world around us.  We can flourish in a non-Christian workplace.  We do have the power to influence those we encounter.  Some may be familiar with the terms Theology of Work or Monday Church, where church is not just sitting in a pew on Sunday but about the rest of the week—that Monday to Saturday we are living out our lives.  In this course we were introduced to seven tangible paradigm shifts that can be implemented immediately, and without barely even realising it.

I ran the course in my home group where we found much to discuss.  Ten thought provoking weeks later the results were clear.  One man who works as a driver where every second word is non-printable realised that he could be missional right there in his work-place, resulting in increased job satisfaction.  He gained the confidence to start conversations with some co-workers struggling with issues and even to pray with them.  For a mum, there was the realisation that hosting foreign students isn’t just a great cultural experience, but also an opportunity to be salt and light in those student’s lives.  Her desire being to make such an impact that they will be inspired take back to their native land with them.  Another participant was so excited she insisted the course needed to be opened up to our whole parish.

After a couple of brief conversations, the course was booked and the promotion of it throughout our church organised with the parish office.  As the driving force behind this new thing a doubt surfaced in my mind, ‘is this me forcing this on my church or is this really the will of God?’ 

The following Sunday rolled around quickly and the sermon was based on Mark, chapter 6, where Jesus is teaching his disciples how to do the work of ministry and giving them some important tools for that ministry.  Our minister saw the promo video about the course for the first time at the early service.  He was so excited by what he saw that he incorporated it into his sermon for the later service!

God’s way is to have all believers taking part in his mission, Missio Dei, and collectively we will influence the whole world for Him.  One of the things holding many of us back is the feeling that we are not equipped.  We are challenged on this course that we are all equipped, in fact we’re over equipped to such an extent we don’t know where to start.  Too many programmes and too much teaching on the rights and wrongs.  There is also the mind-set that it’s the ministers, missionaries, the volunteers, the retired, the lay people with whom the responsibility lies.  But it’s actually us, the normal day to day Christians who step out into our communities who are best equipped and placed by God to be influencing others.

The course does not tell us to go out and ear-bash anyone.  We do not stand on a corner with a Bible in our hands. It is actually quite the opposite.  As Christians living in a secular society we will be judged in our workplace and communities as being those Christians.  It is by getting alongside our secular colleagues and our friends that we can live out Kingdom values in front of them.  They will see that there is something different about us.

Ken Chua the facilitator of this course says that 8 out of 10 people who join his work-place come to know Christ.  To quote Dr Ravi Zacharias, “When the beauty of Christ is seen, He draws people unto Himself.  Conversion is never an enforced thing.  It is an attractive thing, the work of God… I say, live for Jesus and when people see the beauty of Christ in you, they will ask you questions and they will want the same results in their life.”

And back to that underlying fear… ‘Is this my will or God’s?’ After the introduction evening, the room is a buzz and the future of this course is again moving into another realm as the participants brain storm the next step with comments such as “this course is wasted on just the 12 of us… this needs to go to the whole church,” “It’s good enough to replace a sermon…actually…could we run this each week instead of the sermon…?”—“Let’s give our vicar a rest….” All these responses are not of my making. Such is only possible when God’s will and the power of his Holy Spirit is at work. 

It is hard to believe the time when I didn’t even consider mission was something I could participate in.  Finding out I can do it as I am, where I am, has not only opened my own eyes to the possibility of God working through me but is changing our congregational outlook as well.  I encourage you all to investigate it for yourself and be ready to see God at work.  


Empowered To Influence

Introducing the Bentons

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Hello and greetings to you all!

We are so excited to get the opportunity to introduce ourselves to you. Our names are Guy and Summer Benton and we’re writing to you from Phnom Penh, Cambodia where we have been serving as long term missionaries for 5 and 8 years respectively. We’re moving to NZ later this week and are thrilled to be joining the NZCMS team as mission enablers for youth and young adults.

Guy is a NZ native and Summer is from America. We met at a mission conference in NZ in 2011 where Summer came to speak about her work with survivors of human trafficking in Cambodia. After about 18 months of ‘Skype dating’ and a few overseas trips, we were married in America in 2013. Guy then joined Summer in Cambodia and began working with the Anglican Church of Cambodia to strengthen the youth program of the church here.

We have three beautiful children: A son, Pirum Isaac (14), who has joined our family through a miraculous international adoption, and two daughters, Quinn (3) and Norah (10 months). Summer is a counselor and Guy is a youth worker. We both love seeking ways to use our professional talents for the Lord and have a passion for youth, mission and for missionary care and cannot wait to join the NZCMS team! Looking forward to getting to know each of you in the NZCMS family over the coming months and years!

Cambodia – Teaching Opportunities Available

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Two positions are available for January 2018 and a number of positions available in August 2018.

January 2018

Primary Teacher – HOPE Siem Reap

Preschool Teacher – HOPE Phnom Penh

August 2018

Primary Teacher – HOPE Siem Reap

Librarian – HOPE Phnom Penh

Secondary Science Teacher – HOPE Siem Reap

Secondary Business Studies – HOPE Phnom Penh

Secondary English and English Literature – HOPE Siem Reap & Phnom Penh

Learning Support Coordinator – HOPE Phnom Penh


Interested applicants should send their CV and cover letter to recruitment@hope.edu.kh or go to www.hope.edu.kh for more information.

Family Ministry Director

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A church in Hong Kong is presently looking for a Family Ministry Director. Resurrection Church is part of the Anglican Church in Hong Kong. It’s an English-speaking, contemporary, evangelical, Spirit-filled church serving both expatriates and locals  in beautiful Sai Kung.

They are looking for a Family Ministries Director who is theologically trained to help  develop and grow their work amongst children, youth and families, helping them to become committed followers of Christ. This role will include leading a team of volunteers, supporting and coaching them to achieve the objectives of the Family Ministry. This is a full-time position. For more information, contact mikeruth@nzcms.org.nz 

Communications Job

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We’re still receiving applications for the Communications Officer job. This role is all about connecting with people who are working in all corners of the world, and ensuring that their stories are heard. It’s a unique role, and we’re looking for just the right person with both the skills and vision to take us into the future.

Applications close this Friday (October 20), so if you or someone you know might be interested, make contact today.

A job description can be downloaded by clicking here.

For more information please email Janet@nzcms.org.nz

Communications Officer Job

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What will it take for future generations to become passionate about global mission? What will it take for the church to re-imagine her place in God’s plan of redemption? What will inspire the next wave of reformation, renewal and revival in New Zealand and beyond?

The answer: STORY.

Stories are what free our imaginations and enable us to dream in new ways. Story is what shapes how we see the world. And story is how we can ensure people not only know about mission, but see themselves a part of it!

We’re looking for a new Communications Officer who can help us capture stories of mission and convey them in a transformative way. You’ll be responsible for planning, editing and overseeing the production of a variety of mission publications that help tell the story of NZCMS and our work today. This requires both creativity and an eye for detail.


Applications close this October 20.

A job description can be downloaded by clicking here.

For more information please email Janet@nzcms.org.nz

Ethnic Communities Enabler

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The Anglican Diocese of Wellington and NZ Church Missionary Society are seeking to appoint the first Ethnic Communities Enabler (ECE)

Rapid social, technological and political changes in the world have acted as catalysts for migration and movement. New Zealand has increasingly become a multi-cultural society. About 25% of those living in New Zealand were born in other nations, and our close proximity and cultural makeup means our nation can be seen as a strategic gateway to Asia and the Pacific.

The Anglican Diocese of Wellington is seeking to build on its growing reputation for innovative approaches to mission. The mission of the Anglican Diocese of Wellington is to be a transformative, Kingdom of God movement of local faith communities. We care for the last, the lost, and the least. We are seeking someone to be part of what God is doing in the diverse and exciting cultural environment of the Wellington Diocese in order to see more followers of Jesus in ethnic communities while also increasing their representation and full participation in all parts of the Diocese and beyond. This position aims to provide a tangible way of growing the Kingdom of God among ethnic communities in the Anglican Diocese of Wellington by identifying current communities and looking for opportunities for development and partnership. The creation of this new role of Ethnic Communities Enabler is the first step of this vision.

To see this vision fulfilled, the Diocese is partnering with the New Zealand Church Missionary Society. NZCMS is a mission organisation seeking to mobilise the Church of New Zealand for God’s mission. We partner with individuals and churches who share a common vision, particularly Anglican churches. NZCMS is recognising the opportunities for cross-cultural mission within New Zealand and seeks to support the Church in New Zealand in growing in its passion and engagement for cross-cultural mission both locally and globally.


The Purpose

The three year role’s primary focus is to:

increase the number of disciples of Jesus in ethnic communities support leaders within existing churches as well as fresh expressions of church develop closer mission partnerships with other ethnic congregations and explore opportunities for growth and partnership help parishes and ministry units to better reflect the ethnic identity of their communities help lay and ordained leadership in the Diocese to recognise the ethnic bias within themselves and their congregations in order to consciously engage with those at the fringes of their communities and help those groups to grow in culturally relevant ways

This is a full time position based in Wellington.

Request a fuller job description can be downloaded by clicking here. Please send your application to steve@nzcms.org.nz with a CV, and a statement about your faith and personal approach to ministry. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Candidates will be interviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Operations and Finance Manager

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Are you a strong financial administrator who is looking for an opportunity to put your skills to work in a much coveted role within a mission organisation? This is a unique opening that allows you to combine your keen eye for details with your passion for the big-picture of what God is doing around the globe! We are looking for someone who is competent in administration, office management and finances and who has the ability to oversee and manage various projects.

The New Zealand Church Missionary Society (NZCMS) is a mission community seeking to mobilise the Church of New Zealand for God’s mission. We are a team that has big vision and big ideas, seeking someone to help move us from ideation to implementation. We are looking for someone who is able to ask the right questions, identify pitfalls and challenges, help us move from idealism to optimistic yet pragmatic realism, and help oversee strategic activation. To this end, the Operations & Finance Manager will also assist the National Director as his Executive Assistant.


This role is well suited for someone who

Has the ability to self-manage Is a good administrator and can multi-task Is organised and has an eye for detail Is proficient with managing office finances and is familiar with financial systems Relates well to people from a wide range of backgrounds Is passionate about what God is doing around the world Has great communication skills Can problem solve and project manage


This is a full time position based in Christchurch. For more details download the job description by clicking here.

Please send your applications to steve@nzcms.org.nz. Applications close 20 July 2017


Released: 23 June 2017

Executive Director for AsiaCMS

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AsiaCMS is seeking to appoint an Executive Director who will take on the leadership role of an expanding missions agency.

AsiaCMS is part of a global network of organisations who obey the call of God to proclaim the Gospel in all places and to draw all peoples into fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ. They equip, train and send mission leaders to various people groups, cultures and countries in the Asian region.

They currently have a vacancy for an individual who can demonstrate the appropriate skill, experience and passion to lead AsiaCMS into its next phase of operations. In particular, they are looking for applicants with the following qualities:

Strategically lead and implement the mission and vision of AsiaCMS Build and lead a team of office-based and regional staff with individual specialisations; this includes direct oversight and annual performance reviews Build relations with wider CMS network, church partners and other stakeholders Identify, develop and implement a fundraising strategy for AsiaCMS

Please pass on the information to any relevant individuals or parties who you feel would be a good fit and benefit from this opportunity. If you would like more information please contact office@nzcms.org.nz. And please pray that God will bring the right person along for this very significant and strategic role.