Mission Order of St Paul

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 It all began with a dream – one of those dreams that was as clear when I awoke as it was when I was dreaming it. Even the name was there: The Mission Order of St Paul – a missional order within the Church in which members made a covenant with one another based on three vows or commitments: to affirm an orthodox Christology (as is indicated in the Pauline Epistles), and to have the same passion for mission and church planting that Paul had to seek to live a holy life (as Paul describes it in his epistles). While this clearly made my heart beat, it was a dream that needed to be owned by others. I simply sowed the seeds of this dream and those seeds have now germinated.

Welcome to a new initiative within the life of our Church – The Mission Order of St Paul.
+Richard Ellena

Mission Statement: 
The Mission Order of St Paul is a missional order within the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. It is a covenantal, episcopally overseen, order with an organic, relational structure comprising cells, chapters, and networks between these. Its provincial unit is the annual Convention.

The Vision and Charism of the Order

The Mission Order of St Paul seeks to be obedient to the specific expression of this mission which it understands as its distinctive charism - vision, task and call.

The Order intentionally seeks to identify, train, disciple and release Missional Leaders (both lay and ordained) who have committed their lives first of all to God. This is facilitated, alongside personal discipleship, by context based accountability relationships formed and supported in member cells. Missional Leaders go forward in their missional activity as members of the Order, but are always expected to operate in community and alongside the other ministries of the Church.

The task of all members is to initiate and inspire new expressions of church, and to establish and resource missional communities. They are expected to understand and engage with the culture in which they live and serve, particularly reaching out to the emerging generation. They operate under the authority of their local Presbyter and under the oversight and covering of the Provincial. 

The Covenantal Commitment and Principles of the Order

In making a covenant to The Order, members undertake a dedication to realise their baptismal commitment to discipleship as shaped by their Anglican identity and cultural context, accepting the particular opportunities and challenges of the Order as a true part of God’s gracious call to them.

Members make a covenant to express their intentional commitment to God’s mission of manifesting the biblical ‘Kingdom of God’. This covenant consists of a life-long commitment to these Pauline principles:

  • Jesus as Lord - to affirm an orthodox Christology understood in terms of St Paul’s understanding and experience of Jesus
  • Mission as priority - to share St Paul’s passion for mission and church planting
  • Personal holiness and accountability - to seek to live the Holy Life as St Paul describes it in his epistles to the Church


Leadership within the Order is structured through the Provincial and Presbyters.

The Order’s Provincial will normally be the Bishop of Nelson.

The role of the Provincial is to carry, guard and develop the spiritual vision and charism of The Order to ensure that it conforms to the teaching of the Church as expressed within Anglican orthodoxy. In all things the Provincial is to encourage the members of the Order towards a reflective dependence on the Bible and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Presbyters will be

  • Convenors of Chapters
  • Involved in initiation and renewal of covenantal commitment
  • The leader of a Member Cell
  • Directly accountable to and in regular contact with the Provincial


  • Members may be lay or ordained.
  • Inquirers should attend a local cell on a ‘taste and see’ temporary membership basis for at least six months before making the commitment to covenanted membership.

Associate Members are those individuals and organisations (including churches) that wish to support the calling and work of The Order without the responsibility of covenantal commitment or where (as in the case of a corporate body) that commitment would be inappropriate. 

The Missional 'Cell'

The basic relational unit is the member cell. The functions of the cell are

•              Hospitality to inquirers
•              Mutual mentoring/accountability, discipling, and support
•              Discerning and equipping of Missional Leaders
•              Together with other local cells, envisioning and facilitating mission projects

The local Presbyter has both oversight of and direct involvement in cells within his/her locality

The Missional Community

Members of the Order will always function from within a local Anglican church and seek to be alongside that church in fulfilling the mission of God.

The following are distinctive marks of a Missional Community

1. Pattern of Life

  • A life lived according to Paul’s vision of Jesus as Lord and the primacy of mission
  • Lived out personal holiness and accountability

2. People for Life

  • Deliberate sharing life with others in the Order
  • Prioritising and serving the annual Conventions
  • Being accompanied in the journey with The Order
  • Accompanying others in their journey with The Order

3. Purpose in Life

  • Intentionality in mission
  • Active membership in a cell
  • Involving others in cell membership



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