Who Are We?
Celebrate Messiah NZ is the New Zealand branch of an international network called Chosen People Global Ministries. CPGM exists to pray for, evangelise, disciple, and serve Jewish people everywhere and to help fellow believers do the same. The mission was founded in Brooklyn, New York in 1894 by Rabbi Leopold Cohn, a Hungarian immigrant with a zeal to introduce the Messiah, Jesus, to his own Jewish people. Today, Chosen People Global Ministries serves in at least sixteen countries worldwide.
What Is Our Vision?
Our vision is simple, focused, and Biblical:
Bringing the message of Messiah to the original messengers and equipping the Church to do likewise.
The message, of course, is the Good News of salvation delivered to all the nations of the earth by grace, through faith in the Messiah, Jesus. The “original messengers?” – The Jewish people! The very ones through whom God brought us the Scriptures, the Saviour, and even Salvation (John 4:22).
What Are We Doing in New Zealand?
Great question and the answer is exciting!
In the earliest chapters of the Bible, God made an unusual promise to the son of an idol worshipper named Abram, saying, “In you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3) God repeated the promise to Abram’s son, Isaac, saying, “Through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed.” (Genesis 26:4) Finally, the promise was repeated one last time to Isaac’s son, Jacob, “In you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” (Genesis 28:14)
God’s strategic mission on the earth is to deliver blessings to all nations through the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Jewish people. Israel exists as a dispensary of blessings to every family in every nation. It is no coincidence that the blessing of the Scriptures (Romans 3:2) the blessing of the Saviour (Romans 1:3) and even the blessing of Salvation (John 4:22) were delivered by God through the Jewish people. Likewise, it is no coincidence that future blessings are also linked to the nation Israel.
Regardless of where and how we are serving the Lord Jesus, it makes sense to align our strategy with His. Jesus, the Saviour of the world and not merely the Saviour of Israel, launched His earthly ministry by focusing exclusively on Israel. (Matthew 15:24) The Apostle Paul declared unashamedly the power of the Gospel to save all who believe, highlighting God’s strategy to prioritize Jewish evangelism for the sake of all the nations. (Romans 1:16) Have you noticed that Paul, even though he was the Apostle to the Gentiles, typically went “to the Jew first” whenever entering a new city? (Acts 17:2) Paul well understood God’s strategy to prioritize Jewish evangelism, not because the Jewish people are inherently special, but because God intends to use them to deliver blessings to all the families of the earth.
Since its inception in 2008, Celebrate Messiah has embraced this evangelistic strategy in a land where people from all around the world, including Israel, are flocking by the thousands: New Zealand! For the most part, these are sensitive, intelligent young adults who are looking for a life-changing adventure, and who are open to discussing life’s most important questions.
The Zula, our lodge and backpackers (hostel) which is free for Israeli travellers, is our primary means for reaching Israelis in NZ. Imagine a facility staffed by Gentile believers and trained Hebrew-speaking Christian volunteers who are weaving the message of the gospel into the fabric of the daily routine, alert to evangelistic opportunities among guests. The Zula has gained remarkable acclaim and popularity; most of our guests know about the lodge while they are still in Israel! As a result of God’s favour, we have the opportunity to share the love of Messiah with thousands of young Israelis who stay at the Zula and at our other New Zealand accommodations.
Our outreach takes many other creative forms, including weekly evangelistic BBQs where we serve up free burgers, Bibles, and the Gospel. For many of our guests, this will be their first exposure to the Scriptures. One Brazilian backpacker clutched her new Bible to her chest, and with tears in her eyes said, “This is what I’ve been searching for. Thank you.”
In Romans 11:13,14, Paul (the apostle to the Gentiles) has a divine epiphany concerning his fellow Jews: If God is using Gentile believers to provoke Jews to jealously desire and return to the God of Israel, why not enlarge his ministry to include these provocative Gentile believers? It’s a brilliant strategy, and it’s the very strategy we’re employing here in NZ, where hundreds of Christian households are networked to provide free or low-cost accommodation to Israeli travellers in their homes! Remember, these are the very people God is using to provoke my fellow Jews to jealousy! So by strengthening this movement, we (in the words of Paul) “enlarge our ministry” exponentially, reaching tens of thousands of Jewish lives through the hospitality of these Christian hosts. This is why we go throughout the country providing free training in Jewish evangelism and free Hebrew Bibles and gospel literature to these provocative hosts.
Celebrate Messiah is also committed to serving local Christians who are eager to learn more about the Hebraic roots of Christianity, Israel in prophecy, and Jewish evangelism. By providing this instruction, we’re able to build bridges between two worlds that, sadly, are historically conflicted: The world of Jews, and the world of Gentile Christians.
We are not here to replace the local church, but to assist other ministers, lay-workers, and agencies in New Zealand and worldwide who share our vision and are dedicated to the cause of Jewish evangelism. It’s an honour to be a resource to those who wish to better understand the cultural and historical context of the Scriptures. We are humbled and excited by the many opportunities God is giving us to teach in churches, church camps, conferences, Bible schools and mission agencies.
How Are We Financed?
Celebrate Messiah New Zealand is a non-profit organisation. We are supported by individuals and churches who recognise the need to share the Gospel with God’s ancient people. If you would like to know how you can support the mission of Celebrate Messiah New Zealand, visit our Donate page.
How Are We Managed?
Celebrate Messiah is directly accountable to a Board of Directors consisting of clergy and lay-persons of various denominations.
What are Our Core Values?
1. PRIORITY OF JEWISH EVANGELISM
We are deeply committed to bringing the Gospel “to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16) in light of the fact that the Bible prioritises Jewish evangelism within the broader context of Jesus’ command to preach the Gospel to all peoples.
2. MOTIVATED BY LOVE
The core motivation of sharing the Gospel with any people is the love of God demonstrated in the Person of Jesus the Messiah.
3. EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION
We are committed to sharing the Gospel in a way that is culturally relevant and effective, without compromising the claims of Jesus.
4. UNITY IN MESSIAH
We deeply value the unity of the whole body of Messiah, and will seek to maintain fellowship with all people involved in the Church and associated missionary organisations. We believe in the equality of all believers in Messiah.
5. MUTUAL ACCOUNTABILITY
We need to be accountable to each other, to associated ministries and to the wider body of Messiah.
6. INTENTIONAL DISCPLESHIP
We believe that the fruit of evangelism must be preserved by intentional discipleship, and by incorporating new believers into local worshipping communities.
7. SPIRITUAL INTEGRITY
The messenger must earnestly seek to live a life that is consistent with the Message.
8. HUMAN DIGNITY
Since all human beings are made in the image of God, how we treat them is a reflection of our love and respect for Him. The worker is more important than the work.