May 2022

In Case You Missed It - May/June 2022

Discipleship ministry releases new bylaws

During the 98th Session of the General Board, members approved a new set of bylaws for Sunday School and Discipleship Ministries International (SDMI). The bylaws were created by a global SDMI strategy team with representatives from each of the six world regions. Read more >>

Getting to Know the General Board

The General Board is composed of district superintendents, assigned ordained ministers, and lay leaders representing the global church and elected by the General Assembly. Convening in late February each year, the board has governing responsibility for the global Church of the Nazarene between sessions of the General Assembly. The General Board carries out the corporate business of the denominational offices.

Identity: The Self and the Savior

Much contemporary writing and thinking focuses on “the self.” We are encouraged to express ourselves, to find our authentic selves, to develop self-worth and a good self-image. For some decades now, that has been seen as particularly important in bringing up children. In place of the old legalism with its strict rules and discipline and the threat of punishment for stepping out of line, children are to be affirmed positively and encouraged. Dr. Spock rules.[1]

Belonging: Foundational to Identity

One of the questions that often challenges believers is this: "is everyone welcome to follow Jesus, regardless of their past and their present conditions?" For Jesus, everyone was welcomed to journey with Him, to listen to His teachings, and to belong to His followership just as they were. In fact, when He called the disciples, He didn’t originally call them to “believe in Him.” His calling to the disciples—particularly those closer to Him, was a call to followership. To each one of them, He issued an invitation to follow Him (Matthew 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-20; Luke 5:27).

Our Identity in Christ

Who are we? Where do we gain our value as individuals? These are important questions for living a life of meaning. Where do we find the answers? In the Scriptures, God supplies the essentials for discovering our true significance and worth. The first two chapters of Genesis recount humanity’s creation, revealing our intended purpose (to honor God) and our value (that we are a special creation of God). 

Holy Living Through Christ

We were created to live in right relationship with God, created to live in God’s holiness. To live in right relationship with God is not something that we achieve or accomplish through our own wisdom and strength. It is made possible by God. We are holy only in relation to God, who is holy in character and nature. 

Learning to Listen

We hear quite a lot about “active listening.” The purpose is to train people to succeed in personal, business, and social relationships. What is active listening? It is what happens when we employ our best to communicate with one another so that we may respond in a manner consistent with the goals set to be achieved by the parties involved. Active listening is indispensable to the building up of relationships.

In Search of Identity

Identity theft is constantly in the news. If you’re on social media, you know that peoples’ identities are being stolen on a regular basis. How many of us have received a friend request on social media from someone who was already our friend? At the same time, there are products being sold to us to provide identity protection. We have systems at airports like “Clear” that can identify us by an iris scan.

Jesus' Estimate of Human Nature

Our human nature, ideally, is revealed in the man Jesus as He lived. Remembering the statement in the letter to the Hebrews to the effect that He “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (4:15), we may presume that the author had in mind, among other things, the wilderness temptation, which can become a commentary on the nature of humans.