New Zealand is an island nation about the size of Colorado located to the southeast of Australia. Mountains and beaches, fjords and pastures, and the occasional bustling city fill the country with breathtaking scenery that draws tourists from around the world. New Zealand has been judged the most peaceful nation on earth.
Native Maori people have lived in New Zealand for hundreds of years. In the last 150 years many immigrants have moved here from the United Kingdom and other European nations. Many Pacific Islanders have come here to find better jobs and a higher standard of living. Today many Asians have joined the immigration ranks. New Zealand now blends elements from these various cultures to form its own uniquely Kiwi culture.
New Zealand was once considered a Christian nation, but today less than half of the five million people claim to adhere to any form of Christianity. About 15 percent attend church, many only occasionally. Kiwis are increasingly interested in other forms of spirituality that look outside of God and Christianity to fill the spiritual void in their lives.
In 1972 Bill and Glenna Grant were asked by the General Council to start Baptist Mid- Missions' work in New Zealand. In January 1974 they began planting a church in the Mount Maunganui-Tauranga area. That work grew into Calvary Baptist Church in Mount Maunganui. Today this work and several other churches have passed from missionary leadership into Kiwi hands. BMM missionaries lead two other works in Napier and Invercargill.
Our surveys indicate that there are numerous other towns and cities
with populations above 10,000 people that are still without a
independent Baptist church. The BMM team ministry of New Zealand has
targeted about 10 communities that need good Baptist churches. We need
missionaries who are willing to come to New Zealand long-term and serve
faithfully through the ups and downs of church planting. It takes time
and patience to plant a church here, but many people hunger for sound
Bible teaching. We want to provide churches that teach the Bible clearly
in a way that changes lives.