Intercultural Church: Becoming One People (Day One)

Laidlaw College warmly invites you to attend a conference exploring the theme of becoming an Intercultural Church on Friday 11 May (evening) and Saturday 12 May 2018.

With many New Zealand churches reflecting our increasingly multi-ethnic society, how do we move from diversity to inclusion? Many churches rejoice that they have members from a variety of ethnicities but the way they worship when they gather often reflects a western framework which is not always welcoming to those seeking to participate. How do we move towards becoming intercultural?

With speakers and workshop presenters reflecting on their own experiences, this conference is designed to be practical and to resource churches as they grapple with the challenge of becoming intercultural.

Please join us for what we hope will be a challenging and inspiring conversation.

Registrations have now closed for this event.

Where Henderson Campus
When 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Cost Full Conference: $80 (meals included). See below for more details.
RSVP Registrations have now closed for this event


Friday 11 May

6:00 pm Drink and Nibbles
6:30 pm Mihi/Welcome and Introductions
6:45 pm Main Meal
Address: He iwi tahi tatou – Now we are one people: Being one body in Christ – Rev Drs Emma & Mark Keown
Dessert and Discussion
9:00 pm Close

Saturday 12 May

9:30 am Welcome and Opening
9:35 am The role of Biculturalism in a Multicultural Society – Matua Hakiaha (Chair, Laidlaw College Runanga)
9:55 am Intercultural Church in NZ observations, obstacles and potential pathways – Steve Maina (National Director, NZCMS)
10:25 am Q&A Session
10:35 am Morning Tea
11:00 am Workshops (Session 1)
11:45 am Workshops (Session 2)
12:30 pm Lunch
1:30 pm Workshops (Session 3)
2:15 pm Panel Discussion with local Pastors: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly: Becoming Intercultural
2:55 pm Closing Prayer


Friday 11 May 2018
6:00 – 9:00 pm

Saturday 12 May 2018
9:30 am – 3:00 pm


Full Conference: $80 (meals included)

Saturday only: $50 (lunch included)

Friday night only: $30 (dinner included)


Rev Dr Emma and Rev Dr Mark Keown

Emma KeownEmma is the minister at Glenfield Presbyterian, a church which has seen a change in its ethnic and cultural make-up during Emma’s 12 years there. Her doctoral thesis explored the issue of interculturality through the lens of a Biblical perspective and analysed four churches who were grappling with the issue. She will be sharing some of her conclusions and strategies to use as churches undergo this challenging but essential journey here in NZ.

Mark KeownMark is Senior Lecturer in New Testament at Laidlaw College. His publications include the EEC commentary on Philippians, Congregational Evangelism in Philippians, and What’s God Up to on Planet Earth. He specialises in Pauline studies. An aspect of NT study that fascinates him is the cultural struggles of the early church, an issue which dominates most of the New Testament. His presentation will focus on Galatians and reading it from the lens of multiculturalism. Its message calls for both a celebration of cultural diversity and the breaking down of all racial divisions in the people of God constituted in Christ.

Steve Maina

Steve MainaSteve describes himself as a Kenyan Missionary to Aoteaora, New Zealand. Since 2009 he has served as the National Director of the New Zealand Church Missionary Society (NZCMS) and spends time encouraging mission partnerships in New Zealand and globally. You’ll often find Steve in pulpits around the country passionately advocating God’s mission. His interests include family, discipleship and mentoring, church planting movements and mission mobilization. He also loves fixing cars, running and eating roast goat meat! Steve is married to Watiri, a Counselling psychologist, they have two daughters and live in Christchurch. As someone who comes from a non-Western context, Steve is uniquely placed to give his insights into NZ churches and culture, the obstacles non-Westerners face, and some suggested pathways forward for churches seeking to become intercultural.


Growing Through Tension
Dr Jay Matenga, leader of Missions Interlink NZ
(Session 1 and repeated Session 2)

How James 1:2-3 can help fulfil John 17:20-23. By applying kaupapa Maori to help culturally diverse groups work through differences and witness to the world.

From Diversity to Inclusion – the heart of the Kingdom of God
Shireen Chua, Director Third Culture Solutions, Acting Director, OMF NZ
(Session 1 and repeated Session 2)

This workshop explores what the terms multicultural, cross-cultural and intercultural mean and how this applies to the church. It also looks at some of the challenges and opportunities that diversity brings and the practical aspects of developing intercultural competency and what this might look like in some aspects of church life.

Moving Beyond Cultural Captivity
Dr Terry Pouono, Theology Lecturer, Laidlaw College
(Session 1 and repeated Session 2)

Terry will be sharing findings from his PhD research into the push and pull factors linked to the continuing exodus of NZ-born Samoans from diaspora Samoan churches. This trend continues due to pressures created by cultural obligations, an emphasis on preserving traditional practices simulating the village church in Samoa, and the attraction to other faith communities in NZ.

Building Bridges
Shashi Christian, Ministry Point Person – Hindu Ministries (SIM International) and Personnel Director (SIM NZ)
(Session 2 and repeated Session 3)

This workshop seeks to help churches welcome people from Hindu and Muslim backgrounds.

Running a Bicultural Church
Greg and Leonnie Motu, Co-Pastors, Hosanna Baptist Church
(Session 2 and repeated Session 3)

The workshop will explore learnings and insights about culture, church and following Christ. Drawing on their experience of being part of a Maori minority in a large urban mainly Pasifika church and more recently, leading a bicultural church in a small provincial town.

A Journey of Embracing Change
Rev Dr Je Cheol Cook and Rev John Malcolm, Ministers, Greyfriars Eden Epsom Presbyterian Church
(Session 3)

Sharing the stories and insights of a church in transition towards finding the new ‘normal’.

Growing Intercultural Churches
Steve Maina, National Director, NZCMS
(Session 3)

In this workshop, Steve will explore the values (DNA) that enable healthy development of intercultural churches, and will share some stories.


Shashi ChristianShashi Christian

Shashi serves as Personnel Director for SIM NZ and facilitates participation of Kiwis in cross-cultural ministry. He is also Ministry Point Person for Hindu Ministries for SIM internationally. He frequently speaks to churches about Hinduism and Islam and how to connect with people from those faiths.

Shireen ChuaShireen Chua

Shireen is currently acting Director of OMF NZ and founded Third Culture Solutions when she saw the opportunity to equip organisations to develop their intercultural competency in the growing superdiversity in Auckland and NZ. She is a Malaysian born-Chinese Kiwi who has lived between the two countries since 1989.

Je Cheol CookRev Dr Je Cheol Cook

Jae Cheol is Korean-born and has lived in NZ for several years. Before becoming Assistant Minister at Greyfriars he served as a pastor and lecturer in churches and Bible Colleges in many countries. He has a particular interest in cross-cultural ministry.

Matt HakiahaMatua (Matt) Hakiaha

Of Ngai Tuhoe and Ngati Pukeko descent, Matt chairs Laidlaw College’s Runanga and is a part-time Kaiako in Laidlaw’s Indigenous Theology programme. Currently he is a member of the Mahitahi Akoranga Trust located in Rotorua, an organisation supporting Tangata Whaiora in their journey to wellness through the provision of community based services and programmes.

John MalcolmRev John Malcolm

John has 25 years of ministry experience in the Presbyterian Church in NZ and has been minister at Greyfriars since 2012. He has been leading the church through a period of significant change, including the amalgamation of two churches.

Jay MatengaDr Jay Matenga

Jay is the leader of Missions Interlink NZ, the national association of mission-passionate people and organisations in Aotearoa New Zealand. He is also involved in leadership with the World Evangelical Alliance Missions Commission and recently completed a doctorate of Intercultural Studies from Fuller School of Intercultural Studies.

Greg and Leonnie MotuGreg and Leonnie Motu

Greg and Leonnie have co-pastored Hosanna Dannevirke since 2013. They both grew up in multi-ethnic South Auckland. After moving to Lower Hutt and coming into a relationship with God, they were discipled in a diverse multi-cultural church for 16 years. For the last five years they have co-pastored in a bi-cultural space in Dannevirke. They lead a large multi-generational household of six adults, two teenagers and a toddler.

Terry PouonoDr Terry Pouono

Terry Pouono is a kaiako and lecturer in Theology at Laidlaw College. His PhD research was in the area of Practical Theology, and his doctoral thesis was titled Coconut water in a Coca Cola bottle: In search of an Identity: A New Zealand-born Samoan Christian in a Globalized World with particular focus on the challenges faced by Samoan Christian identity in a globalized world.