In March 2021 we had a season of 12 Days of Gospel Stories. We’re now reproducing these stories here for all to see and be inspired by!

Gospel renewal is such an exciting part of who we are as churches, it excites me because it is truly life changing. In order for gospel renewal to happen in our communities we as individuals need to be renewed by the gospel. When we are renewed by the gospel we begin to look at our communities and the people in our communities differently.

Me and my husband Zak just brought our first home (which we are pretty stoked about). It’s in a place where we were told not to buy, to stay away from, one of the least desirable places in town. We spent a lot of time praying about where we were to live and we truly felt that this was where God wanted us to be. We think our neighbourhood is beautiful. Rough and hurting but beautiful. We take absolute pride in telling people where we live, it breaks down walls and barriers. People feel comfortable because we are living where they are living.

Gospel renewal removes preconceived ideas, it challenges us to do the unexpected. To go into the places where you are the minority. To learn from them and to love them as they are. To be a good neighbour. As a pastor and as a believer in Christ it is so important that I am constantly being renewed by the gospel. Allowing it to shape and mould me into being more Christ like. When we allow ourselves to be renewed by the gospel it creates opportunities for our communities to be renewed by the gospel.

God help us as pastors and people of Baptist churches around Aotearoa to be personally renewed by the gospel allowing it to reshape our perspectives, ideals and preconceived ideas.
Amen.

Contributor: Emma Wells, Whakatane Baptist