Among the New Zealand Baptist movement’s new leaders with national roles are Josie Te Kahu (President), John Tucker (Principal, Carey Baptist College) and Brian Krum (National Team Leader, Baptist Youth Ministries). You may know them already because they are already experienced Baptist leaders. But if you have not met them before, let us introduce them.

Josie Te Kahu

He uri ahau ō Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Paoa, Ngāi Tahu.

Josie Te Kahu and family

Tell us a bit about your leadership background

Currently, I sit amongst an awesome roopū on the National Strategic Team for Manatū Iriiri Māori. I am also the chairperson for TANCS (Te Aroha Noa Community Services). Both roles require an understanding of Te Ao Māori, cultural competency, and a commitment to a bicultural journey between tangata whenua (people of the land) and tangata tiriti (all other nations).

My husband Rewai and I have previously served as associate pastors in a large urban multicultural church. We are also ‘Marriage for Life’ presenters for the New Zealand Defence Force with ‘Military Life’. I served with Rewai at Te Whare Amorangi as his PA, I have been a life group development leader, and currently consult to our leadership team at Palmerston North Central Baptist, regarding mission to Māori, and mission in our local context.

What will be the focus of your year as President?

I hope 2018 will consist of lots of cups of tea (and coffee) and korero. I think my strengths lend themselves to helping pastors and leadership teams understand how to be missional in the context of Aotearoa—to Māori and to other indigenous people and other nations. How to connect meaningfully, and what that might mean in their local context, and their church.

I don’t profess to have all the answers, and I don’t wish to be prescriptive either. I think conversations can achieve much as we talk, listen to each other, and listen to what the Spirit might be saying about your local context.

What is your personal faith story?

I am a third generation Christian. By the time I came into this world, my parents were part of a church plant in Turangi, my birthplace. I met Jesus at an early age and reaffirmed my faith as a young adult. Before I met Rewai, I had already fulfilled the roles of church secretary, children’s ministry leader, and youth leader. Rewai said to me early in our relationship, “Is serving the Lord going to be a problem?” Before I answered, I silently said in my head, ‘Hallelujah and thank you Jesus!’ He and I have always served together—in church ministry, Māori leadership development and then in the military. Our strengths are complementary to one another and we’ve enjoyed every minute of our ministry together. We continue to serve the Lord as he calls us.

Tell us a bit about your family

I have been married to Rewai for 22 years now. Our two sons  Manaakinui (21) and Caleb (20) have just completed their first year at Carey. Joshua (11) is home-schooled and Rewai has just completed his Masters. We’ve been very intentional about loving and serving God as a family. We love and serve an awesome God.

John Tucker

John Tucker and family

How can you see God’s hand leading you to this role?

It has been overwhelmingly through the members of his body that Jesus has led me   into this role. After Charles Hewlett resigned, I found myself in a number of conversations where colleagues and pastors within our movement were encouraging me to apply forthe position. I didn’t apply, mainly because I loved my role as an academicand a teacher. But the conversations continued, and eventually it felt like Jesus was saying to me, “John,  do you believe what you teach? Do you believe that I speak through the members of my body? Then listen to what I’m saying through thesepeople.”

What will you focus on in the first 12 months?

Carey has an incredible culture, rooted in a rich love for Jesus, the Bible, the gospel, the church and mission. In my first year as principal, I want to take steps to preserve and deepen those values. I also want to spend a fair bit of time getting out among our churches, preaching, meeting pastors and doing lots of listening. Other priorities include: exploring alternative income streams, developing our distance programme, and revising important aspects of our curriculum, such as ministry internships.

What is your personal faith story?

I met Jesus first through my parents, Brian and Audrey Tucker. They were missionaries with APCM (now Pioneers) in Papua New Guinea. It was very clear to me, as I grew up, that my parents loved Jesus. They talked about him, prayed to him, lived for him. I saw Jesus in them, and in the members of our church family at Mt Albert Baptist. When I was 14 I heard a visiting evangelist preach the gospel, and responded. I was baptised into the body of Christ soon afterwards.

Tell us a bit about your family

I’m married to Lorraine. We met as young adults at Mt Albert Baptist. Lorraine works part-time as an administrator at Carey. We have three children: Emma (15), Sophie (13), and Daniel (10). We’re members of Windsor Park Baptist Church, and part of an all-age life group with five other families, which we absolutely love!

Brian Krum

Brian Krum and family

How can you see God’s hand leading you to this role?

While I was young, adults in the church tapped me on the shoulder and offered me opportunities to lead and serve, uncovering my call to be a youth pastor. As a youth pastor I learned to serve more like a missionary to teens in their world, with their language and culture. My time as a lecturer at Carey Baptist College confirmed that my role in God’s mission was to both teach and train others, as well as preach and reach those who do not yet know Jesus. I also completed my Doctor of Ministry in Missional Leadership, supervised Carey’s Youth Pastor Leadership programme, and served as an RML for two years. I think God led me to this role to put those pieces together, grow in my own leadership capacity, and help others point teens to Jesus with God’s passionate, risky, life-giving mission and gospel.

What will you focus on in the first 12 months?

Definitely building from the strong ministry of BYM and the national consultants team! My primary role is to design, deliver and resource a national strategic plan throughout Aotearoa. This first year includes developing missional innovation networks, providing gospel-shaped discipleship training, supporting senior pastors to empower leadership development, andgathering a nationwide team of youth ministry leaders to write, publish, video and upload online youth ministry training and resources.

What is your personal faith story?

I’m a BIG fan of church holiday programmes! My parents would drop me off as a seven-year-old at the local Baptist church. I loved the games, laughs and Bible stories. Apparently, I would come home and re-tell those stories to my parents. They say this is how they learned about Jesus. I asked my non-Christian parents to help me pray and give my life to Jesus. They did what they thought that meant, and decided to give their lives to Jesus too!

Tell us a bit about your family

Rachel and I are newly married. We have known each other for over 20 years, and I thank God for her daily. God continually amazes me by how he over-provides and cares for me through her and our family. Together we have five teenaged daughters. Please pray for the safety of any guy that thinks he can ask any of them out on a date.