Engaging with charismatic and Pentecostal Christianity today – Kevin Ward

Very interesting article, I am very engaged with the conclusion that over-focus on Christology in Mission (what did Jesus do) can limit our ability to continually discern what the Spirit is saying/doing in the present and future. Lots to discuss here …


group of people raising hands silhouette photographyIn this article by Kevin Ward, senior lecturer at Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership, Kevin discusses his realisation that re-engaging with the charismatic movement is critical for our future as a Church. Find out why.

We are all only too aware of the explosive growth of charismatic and Pentecostal churches in New Zealand and elsewhere since the 1960s, and the decline of most other forms of church since the 1960s. The 60s have been called the “expressive revolution” which lead to the significant culture changes that came to be labelled post-modernity in the 1990s. This can be seen as “the recovery of the experiential to complement the cerebral”.

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Giving and Receiving – Lisa Wells

Just published in PCANZ’s Candour blog


christmas xmas gifts presents

The annual season of gift-giving and receiving is nearly upon us. The malls have been decorated since October and the advent calendars (with Ninja Turtles, super heroes, Barbies and other commercially appropriate images) are prepped with daily chocolates for the beginning of December when the unavoidable countdown begins. What does this teach us about giving? Is it that the anticipation is sometimes better than the reality?

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Liturgy: The Greater Loss – Malcolm Gordon

A thoughtful piece about the importance of liturgy to give signposts on the journey of a worship service. My experience gives rise to similar questions and conclusions …


Malcolm is the Worship, Music and Arts Enabler at the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership

Criticising contemporary worship songs has become pretty old hat. It’s such an easy target, with favourite gripes including (but not limited to): the lack of good theology, the ever-increasing prominence of ‘me, myself and I’,

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A Health Check on “Healthy Congregations” – Tom Mepham

More “reality check” questions … having diagnosed a problem, who in our system is accountable for taking action? The congregation? The Presbytery? Council of Assembly? What is the result of ignoring a “health” issue? Yes! Let’s ask PCANZ to go for a check-up!


Tom Mepham is a first-year ministry intern with KCML and a co-leader of Student Soul, a young adult congregation in Dunedin.

Since 1995’s General Assembly we have used a model for assessing the well-being of our Church called “Healthy Congregations” (see Appendix 1 in Strategic Directions). This provides us with a way to measure the health of each parish in the PCANZ. Putting this model to work would be the equivalent of sending a congregation to the doctor’s office for a full-scale health check up; and by extension, measuring the overall health of the whole PCANZ.

I wonder how healthy we are!

This model uses a qualitative assessment process (as is appropriate for measuring the most important things in church life) and focuses on four relationships: a congregation’s relationship with God; with the wider environment; with the wider church, and within it’s own life. (These are similar to the

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Strategic Planning or Herding Cats

Strategic Planning is one thing churches get hung up on and try to cover all their activities rather than narrow it down to the strategically important ones to focus on. This article is a good beginning and there are other resources if you follow the embedded links.

Clergy Coaching Network Blog

cat-334383_960_720The Reverend Dr. Teresa Angle-Young, Church Coaching Solutions

If strategic planning with your church feels like “herding cats” then listen up!

Clergy from around the country share with me that strategic planning can be one of their most frustrating processes, for the following reasons:

  • Getting leadership and/or staff to agree on strategy can feel like herding cats. As one pastor shared, “If we have 12 people in the room, that means there are 24 opinions on every issue.”
  • The strategic planning process results in too many ideas and priorities, so that the church tries to do too much and spreads itself thin.
  • After the leadership ratifies the strategy, the church doesn’t have the bandwidth to execute it, and so the strategy sits on shelf.

Strategy doesn’t have to be stressful. You can get your leadership aligned and in agreement about your church’s strategy. You can set up accountability structures so that…

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Understanding donations, grants and GST

I had a question on the GST treatment of donation and grants and found that the answer was not straightforward, so I have compiled what you need to know from the IRD and Charities Register.  If you want to discuss this or need more information, don’t hesitate to contact me.

GST treatment of grants and donations

I was asked this week if churches have to pay GST on a grant from PressGo (either from the Mission Enterprise Fund or from the Presbyterian Foundation).  The short answer is “no”, but the area around grants, donations, koha is a bit confusing so here is a guide with references back to the IRD website for additional information if you require it.

Churches are defined as charitable organisations and a charitable organisation needs to be registered by Charities Services to receive tax exemptions. Most charities don’t pay income tax, but many pay GST on taxable income and claim GST on expenses.

Donations made to a church by individual taxpayers are eligible for a rebate of one third the amount donated (up to the level of the donor’s taxable income).  In registering with Charities Services most churches will have Donee Organisation status and can offer this benefit to donors.  If you are registering a separate Trust with Charities Services (one your church set up to fund youth or community work for example) you need to make sure that you apply for Donee Organisation status at that time.

This is what IRD says about Donee Organisations:

An organisation must meet certain conditions before we can approve it as a donee organisation. You will find the qualifying criteria in our booklet Charitable organisations (IR255).

If your organisation is registering as a charity with the Charities Services, and indicates that donations are a source of income on the application form, this information will be passed on to us and we will automatically consider donee organisation status. If your organisation is not registered as a charity with the Charities Services you must apply in writing directly to us to be considered for benevolent, philanthropic or cultural donee status.

 Note: Donations to organisations that apply most of their funds overseas will not qualify for donee organisation status, unless the organisation:

  •  has been approved as a donee organisation by the New Zealand Parliament, or
  • sets up a separate fund maintained exclusively for providing money for charitable, benevolent, philanthropic, or cultural purposes within New Zealand.

 Donation receipts:

The donation receipt needs to show:

  • the name of the donor(s)
  • the amount and date of the donation
  • a clear statement that it is a donation
  • clearly at the top if the donation is a payroll giving donation
  • the signature of an authorised person, and
  • an official stamp with the name of the approved donee organisation.


Most gifts and donations are unconditional gifts.  This is a donation or payment made voluntarily to any non-profit body, where there is no identifiable direct benefit to the donor or the donor’s family.

Some unconditional gifts can be:

  • donations or koha
  • money from door-to-door appeals and street collections
  • bequests
  • voluntary school fees (but not school activity fees).

Subscriptions, payments from trading activities and payments made by the Crown or a public authority are not unconditional gifts for GST purposes. This includes grants from Lottery, COGs and your Local Body.

 Some grants are unconditional gifts (even if you are required to use the money for the purpose applied for and then complete accountability reports).  This includes grants from community and charitable trusts, statutory trusts like gaming and utility company trusts, grants via PressGo and some others.  Usually the application guidelines will tell you whether you need to pay GST on your grant.

If you are uncertain you could check with the Trust you are applying to, but the PressGo Catalyst can provide advice on this.

How to find out what income is liable for GST (and/or income tax):

Your organisation may receive many different types of income, including:

  • subscriptions
  • grants
  • subsidies
  • donations or koha
  • fees
  • raffle money
  • trading profits, and
  • proceeds from selling assets.

Some grants made to non-profit organisations can be an unconditional gift or donation, especially if given by charitable trusts.  This table makes clear how you should treat each from of income.

Liable for income tax Not liable for income tax Liable for GST Not liable for GST Exempt from GST
Subscriptions  y y
Donations & Charitable Grants y  y
Koha y*  y
Bequests  y y
Grants (from the Crown)  y y
Unconditional gifts  y  y
Subsidies y**  y
Suspensory loans  y y
Trading activities  y y
Raffles or housie proceeds y**  y
Admission fees  y y
Affiliation fees  y y
Sale of donated goods or services  y y
Sale of purchased goods  y y
Sale of assets or equipment  y y
Insurance receipts  y y**
Hall or equipment hire  y  y
Rent received (residential)  y  y
Rent received (commercial)  y y
Penalty payments (fines)  y  y
Advertising or sponsorship  y  y
Interest or dividends  y  y
Gaming machines (as an owner of machines)  y  y

*  The tax treatment of koha depends on what it is. See our booklet Payments and gifts in the Mäori community (IR278). ** Liable in certain situations.

If your income is exempt from GST

If your income is “exempt from GST”, it’s different from income that’s “not liable for GST”. This is important when you’re working out your claim for GST input tax credits on goods and services for your organisation.

Claiming input tax credits on expenses

If you’re a GST-registered non-profit organisation you may claim input tax credits on expenses.

These tax credits can be claimed on expenses gained from income that’s either:

  • liable for, or
  • not liable for GST.

Tax credits can’t be claimed on expenses gained from income that’s exempt from GST.


If you’re a GST registered non-profit organisation that receives income from… then you’re…
a government grant liable for GST
trading activities liable for GST
Donations and some grants not liable for GST
renting a residential property exempt from GST

As a non-profit organisation you may claim a GST input tax credit for all expenses, except those from receiving the rent, which is exempt from GST.

If you have any questions in this area, please contact the PressGo Catalyst for advice.


Lisa Wells, 22 May 2018

(Material abstracted from ird.govt.nz, correct at that date)


Volatile Uncertain Complex Ambiguous

I’m not planning to reblog all the offerings on the Candour blog, but if Tom keeps writing like this I just might have to! This is a way of looking at continuous change that needs the widest possible audience! All of his points are valid in my experience, but can I draw your attention to “Ambiguity”. We struggle with not having the answer and knowing that a course of action will work out and then we get stuck in analysis / paralysis and fear results. What if our response was faith? Why is this a question I have to ask in a church setting!


Tom Mepham is a first-year ministry intern with KCML and a co-leader of Student Soul, a young adult congregation in Dunedin.

The world as we know it can be understood using the acronym VUCA: volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous.

What do each of these words demand of us?

Volatility requires extra margins so that energy, time and resource don’t run out during unexpected crises. Keeping good boundaries should include the (five in this case) cornerstones of the whare: taha wairua (spiritual health), taha whānau (relational health), taha tinana (physical health), taha hinengaro (intellectual health) and taha pütea (financial health) – and probably other areas too.

Uncertainty requires resting deeply in identity. We might not know what the heck is going on, but we can take comfort in the fact that we’re called, empowered and sustained for such a time as this. Also, sometimes offence is the best form…

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