Baptist churches of New Zealand

The Baptist movement’s one great distinctive—and its one great contribution to the wider body of Christ—is its radical vision of the church.
The early Baptists, believing the state church of their day to be corrupt and ungodly, separated from that church in order to form radical communities of believers who were deeply committed to God and to one another. Drawing on Scripture, they argued that a true church is a community of disciples who Christ gathers together to live under his rule in committed relationship both with God and each other.

Our forebears believed that when they gathered together, Jesus Christ was present in their midst and his presence changed everything. The text in the bible that gripped their hearts was Matthew 18:20: “where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” Not “I might be there among them,” but “I am there among them.” It’s this promised presence of the risen Christ in the gathered church that is the beating heart of the Baptist vision, and it has profound implications for discipleship, leadership, worship, resourcing and mission.

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