Presbyterians in New Zealand:
The Presbyterian Church is one hapu in the wider iwi of Christian churches – people who seek to follow Jesus Christ, who lived 2000 years ago and who, we believe, is alive and present, willing and able, to shape our lives today. Presbyterian churches in New Zealand find their historical roots in 16th century Europe and Scotland, and in particularly church Reformers like John Calvin and John Knox. Presbyterian faith in Jesus Christ is both personal and corporate, and based on understanding and applying the Bible to the issues of daily life. We therefore value study for everyone, thoughtful preaching in services, and a robust and ongoing theological education for ministers. Governance in the Kiwi Presbyterian church is connectional and collaborative, with the participation of members, elders (leaders) and pastors kept in a healthy balance. Our structure also gives individuals the opportunity for participation and involvement in the wider Church. Diversity in style of worship and mission, freedom of conscience in some areas of belief, and involvement in social issues also characterise Presbyterian congregations. The aspiration to build "healthy congregations" is expressed in different ways as groups of lively Presbyterians share a sense of direction and a shared leadership and an outward focus. The Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand’s 375 parishes are attended by an average 26,000 adults and 5200 young worshippers weekly, and are led by 250 ordained ministers, traditionally known as ‘teaching elders’ (2015 statistics).
What does it mean to be Presbyterian in NZ?