An IMPORTANT UPDATE: A New National Service Trust for the community of Open Brethren and Open Brethren Heritage churches and Support Ministries in New Zealand

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Everyone in the room was moved
Over the last 18 months we’ve met four times as Pastors and Spouses from around the Central Region. Most recently, Mike Mudford told the story of church planting in Bunnythorpe. We put our coffees down and simply listened at how he and his wife Rebekah had planted the Bunnythorpe Family Church.  Mike also spoke about how Rally had been re-established and how a youth group had grown to 30-40 young people. We heard of teenagers coming to faith as he preached through the gospel of John.

As Mike finished this remarkable account, two thoughts struck me: How many of these great stories were happening under our noses that we are unaware of?  And how encouraging would it be if more churches knew about the significant things that God was doing in our midst?

That’s where the CCCNZ website and magazine will help.  Stories like Mike and Rebekah’s will be published online and in print so that all of us can be encouraged. If you have something inspiring to share with the wider community, email Mark Hunter at

PastorLink July Pastor's Retreat

It was 9:00am, Wednesday 27th of July, at the PastorLink Pastors Retreat at MiCamp where 25 Pastors and their spouses had gathered for the first morning session. I had the privilege of speaking briefly on “Not despising the day of small things” from Zechariah 4.  

From there it was head long into an hour of questions about CCCNZ. I’m grateful for the robust and respectful questions, grateful for the hospitality and generosity of the PastorLink team, and am honoured to be among men and women who clearly love Jesus and his people.

CCCNZ August Board Retreat
Asking the leaders of key Open Brethren organisations to speak their minds could be considered a dangerous move.  But at our first CCCNZ Board Retreat on the 19th-20th of August, that’s exactly what we did.
Craig Barrow, the Principal of Pathways, and the leaders from Auckland Partnership Association, Lichfield Lands, GC3 and PastorLink gathered with us and we asked them to answer these two questions:
  • Identify one challenge that all our organisations will need to deal with in the near future.
  • Identify one key opportunity that our organisations will do well to take.
 In the midst of laughter, robust discussion and prayer, the following things emerged.  
  1. We all need to intentionally and strategically take up the task of engaging and growing a younger generation. 
  2. We also identified the need for a greater emphasis on prayer at our Regional Conferences. 
  3. And finally, there is a growing need to provide quality administrative resourcing for the churches around government financial reporting and employment

CCCNZ Website
With the help of our own Mark Hunter, our friends at Rocketspark are busy building the new CCCNZ website.  Behind the layout and images, you’ll soon find that our uncomplicated desire is to see Jesus manifest to us, and in us, and through us. That’s all we want; His gospel made alive, Monday through Sunday, wherever we find ourselves.
CLICK HERE for a glimpse of an early design layout.

Regional Enablers Starting 

We've asked a number of Elders and Pastors from Invercargill to Northland to consider the voluntary role of Regional Enabler. Regional Enablers are Elders and Pastors who will commit 2-6 hours a week to be regularly drawing Elders and Leaders together from across a specific region.

THE PURPOSE? As these leaders meet together, eat together and pray together, we hope that relationships will deepen and that joint initiatives and projects will develop to further the growth of the gospel. The Regional Enabler will seek to support and serve these.  

We are delighted that a number of excellent leaders have already taken up the role:
  • Lawson Scott, an Elder at Rutland Street Church in Canterbury
  • Kerry Rickard, an Elder and Discipleship Pastor at Kingston Community Church in the Manawatu.
  • David Gibson, an Elder at Rosedale Bible Church in Invercargill
  • Andrew Clemow, the Pastor at Clarke Rd in Whangerai will start in Jan- Feb 2017

Staff Planning Day: November 18th
On November 18th, staff from CCCNZ, GC3, Head Space, Pathways, PastorLink, Stewards, OAC, Word of Life, Lichfield Lands, Rally, Living Stones and Christian Camping New Zealand will come together for a day at Raleigh Street Christian Centre in Cambridge. We’ll eat and pray and plan, and by the end, we hope to be in more cohesive partnerships with each other. Something significant is bound to happen; we’ll keep you posted.

2017 National Boards Gathering: August 11th-13th 2017
I know, Board meetings can be as exciting as watching paint dry. So let me paint you a picture of a future Board Gathering that isn’t the paint-drying kind:
It’s August 11th-13th 2017.  We’re at Willow Park in Auckland and the Boards of  GC3, GPH,
 PATHWAYS, Stewards, PastorLink, Lichfields and CCCNZ have gathered.
In the morning, we listen to Malcolm Gill.  After lunch we split into groups to explore how we can better serve, support and strengthen our community of churches and Support Ministries in seeing the amazing truth of Jesus impact people across New Zealand. In the evening, after reporting back, you find these groups deep in prayer, praying for the churches across New Zealand.
That’s a glimpse of what we hope the National Boards Gathering will be in 2017.

How do we increase our engagement with Scripture?

That’s the question we’re asking during next year’s Regional Conferences. You’ll want to be there because you’ll come away with a renewed confidence in the scriptures and with practical insights as to how you and your team can apply them to yourselves personally, and to your ministry and church community.
The Regional Conferences will give your church group quality time to process what you are learning.  You’ll also have plenty of time to meet with members and leaders from other churches in your region to pray, plan and prepare.  Here are the details for the conferences:
  • Canterbury: 12th-13th May at Woodend Camp
  • Southland: 19th-20th May at Camp Columba
  • Kapiti Coast: 8th-9th September at Forest Lakes
  • Auckland: 15th-16th September at Willow Park

A "Movement of the Word” Taster Event 2017

One of the pillars of CCCNZ is the conviction that “God’s word is alive and active” and that He gets His work done through the power of that word.  If anyone comes to believe in Jesus, it will be through the power of God’s word.  If they move on to maturity in Christ, it will also be because Scripture is at work within them.
That’s why CCCNZ will always profile initiatives that help our churches develop their Scriptural depth.
Like Leadership Resources
Leadership Resources is a ministry that exists to “equip and encourage pastors and elders around the world to teach God’s word with God’s heart.” They’re big on Expository Preaching and have a mission to mature and multiply leaders through 2 Timothy 2:2 type training.
In August, a small number of Pastors from around the country met with Todd Kelly, the International Director of Leadership Resources. Todd talked extensively about maturing and multiplying leaders through expository small groups and how this simple process was having a global impact. Known as “Movements of the Word,” this powerful ministry is now energising churches in over 40 countries.
Would you like a taste?
Todd and the Leadership Resources team are willing to hold a “Taster” event in the first half of 2017. If you have senior leaders who are themselves 2nd Timothy 2:2 types…faithful and able to teach and who have a passion to invest the scriptures into younger potential leaders, then consider bringing them to the taster. This 2-and-a-half day event will give you and your team a solid insight into the convictions, ethos and practice of expository small groups.
If you’d like to know more about Leadership Resources, jump on their website:, or have a chat with those leaders who attended the August meeting: Darryl Bay from Hope Community Church, Nelson; Andrew Clemow from Clarke Rd in Whangarei; Jamie Pearce From Church on Vogel in Palmerston North; Jeff Falconer from Te Awamutu Bible Chapel; Daryl Ward and Bruce Stormer from the Anchor Church, Wellington; Jeremy Lind, Raleigh Street Christian Centre, Cambridge; Peter Somervell, Grace Church, Nelson.
COMING UP: Please pray for us
  • November Thursday 10th- Saturday 12th: Tony Harvey from Stewards and myself are in Christchurch together meeting with church leaders and leadership teams. 
  • Nov Friday 18th Staff Planning Day: Raleigh Street Christian Centre, Cambridge
  • Nov Friday 25th the Boards of CCCNZ and Stewards are sharing lunch together and having separate Board Meetings at Eden Community Church, Auckland
  • Dec Sunday 4th Mark is speaking at Clarke Rd, Whangarei.

If you know of others who would like to be kept up to speed with what's going on among our churches and support ministries, then forward this email to them. If they want to sign up, they can simply click on link below and fill in their details. 
The Final Word
There’s a lot more that could be said, but for now can I leave you with these wonderful words from the Apostle Paul, from Romans 16: 25-27
"Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen."

Warm regards

Mark Grace
Ambassador of CCCNZ

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