The Missionary Spirit

The Missionary Spirit

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Mission and Core Values

In order for the Church of the Nazarene to have a viable future, it needs to continue being visionary - with spiritual, not human eyes. Without a vision of God the people will perish.

In order for the Church of the Nazarene to 'make Christlike disciples in the nations,' it is necessary for us to experience God's sanctifying grace in our lives.

In order for the church to live its core values of being Christian, holiness, and missional and not just talk about them, Nazarenes need to understand what these values mean and teach them by example to a new generation.

To be an international church, it is important to speak a universal language. That language is the love of Christ generated from a purified heart.

How we treat one another - the quality of our relationships - is the most important sermon preached. This, as much as anything, determines the outcome of our mission.

A Year in Review

The Church of the Nazarene began the last 12 months of the quadrennium anticipating the celebration of its Centennial (1908-2008) in October.

The global economic crisis arrived in full force about the same time. No one seems to have escaped the reach of this financial turmoil.

It is tempting to put aside God's mission and focus on the economic situation. There is a need for church leadership to face reality, and the Board of General Superintendents is committed to doing that.

At the same time, it is imperative that we stay focused on Jesus Christ and the completion of His work on earth.

Our Board is calling Nazarenes to prayer that the Lord's will be done in the life and ministry of His church as we navigate our way through turbulent times.

The church has faced obstacles before, and it will again. Our faith and trust must remain in an unchangeable God, as the denomination's founders demonstrated 100 years ago.

Accountability in Mission

The church is not a business, and we are not here to boost the bottom line. The church must not be caught up solely in 'what works' or 'success' and fail to ask the question, 'What does God's Word teach us?' Not much of what we do will last unless it is built on the foundation of Scripture, the teachings of Jesus.

What is the cost of mission?

There are places in the world where people have the freedom to worship and fail to do so. In other places they face the threat of losing their lives by making a commitment to Jesus Christ.

During a district assembly in India, which included members from Orissa State, District Superintendent Sudipta Behera reported on the violence focused on Christian believers. Thirty-four Nazarene churches were destroyed. Hundreds of Nazarenes lost their homes. Three Nazarene pastors were martyred because they were ministers of Jesus Christ. Behera stated, 'The smoke of violence is not yet over.'

Others face similar conditions on different regions.

If we are a 'family,' as we say we are, then let us remember our fellow Nazarenes in prayer and be mindful of their sacrifice as we reflect on the past year.

Single Jurisdiction General Superintendent

Effective March 2008, the Board of General Superintendents put in place a single-jurisdiction arrangement for the Global Ministry Center and Nazarene Publishing House (NPH). The Board chair is now designated as the individual who, on behalf of the entire Board, oversees the operations of the Global Ministry Center and NPH for the two-year period of his or her chairmanship.

General Superintendent Jesse Middendorf is the first to serve in this new role. He will continue serving through 2009 before turning over this responsibility to General Superintendent J. K. Warrick, currently Board secretary, on January 1, 2010.

The new jurisdictional design is subject to ongoing review.

Celebrating the Centennial

From an inconspicuous union of holiness groups in the U.S. under a white tent on the Texas prairie 100 years ago, to a global family of more than 1.8 million members across every inhabited continent, the Church of the Nazarene has been driven by a consuming passion to make Christlike disciples in the nations.

This mission gave cause for an unprecedented, once-in-a-lifetime, worldwide celebration of God's blessings on the church during its Centennial, recognizing 100 years as a holiness and Great Commission movement.

This celebration across 24 time zones on October 5, 2008, continues throughout the 100th year in district and regional festivities, conferences, lecture series, and ministry outreaches.

As a global family we celebrated under the banner of 'Out of Many One, Out of One Many,' emphasizing both the diversity of cultures, languages, and nationalities, and our unity as people of one message and one mission.

The Centennial celebration was made possible with extensive print and media resources prepared by a task force of individual authors and representatives from Children's Ministries, Nazarene Youth International (NYI), and Sunday School and Discipleship Ministries (SDMI). The editor-in-chief of the Centennial celebration was Gay Leonard-thank you for your incredible leadership of a once-in-a-lifetime event.

NPH and America's Christian Credit Union were the two official sponsors of the Centennial Celebration, without whose help we could not have resourced all our churches at no cost.

Praise God for 100 years of His faithfulness to the Church of the Nazarene and to those who daily give back in mission service.

Relocating to the Global Ministry Center

As of September 15, 2008, the Church of the Nazarene is operating the administrative offices for worldwide ministries from the Global Ministry Center in Lenexa, Kansas.At approximately 109,000 square feet, the two-story Global Ministry Center is located on 38 acres and functions as an administrative hub in resourcing and networking Nazarene personnel, churches, missions, and ministries.

Our gratitude goes to Jack Stone, David Wilson, Larry Morris, Judy Veigl, Don Walter, Rich Houseal, Mike Fetting, David Hayse, Jackie Berdych, Carmen Ringhiser, and especially Marilyn McCool for their efforts above and beyond the call of duty to make this project a reality.

Friends and constituents of the Church of the Nazarene continue to provide financial gifts and pledges representing a worldwide effort in support of the denomination's administrative center. In 2006, Japanese and South Korean Nazarenes provided the impetus for additional financial support as they led the way in key donations. World Mission regions have made a $1 million (USD) commitment. General Board members, GMC employees, individuals, churches, districts, and Nazarene institutions are adding to the gifts.

GMC Situation Assessment

As the global financial crisis began spreading in the fall of 2008, the Board of General Superintendents, working with General Secretary David Wilson and General Treasurer Marilyn McCool, conducted the initial phase of a situation assessment of the Global Ministry Center.

These results have been shared with the Global Ministry Team, the Global Ministry Center staff, and others.

GMC Budget Review

As a result of the international economic crisis and in light of our commitment to keep our primary focus on the mission of the church, the Global Ministry Center and regional offices have been undergoing a budget review. This review, directed by the Board of General Superintendents, is designed to find ways of reducing expenses by at least 10 percent.

The subsequent plan to address this situation will be carried out under the supervision of the Board of General Superintendents and in consultation with the Executive and Finance Committees of the General Board.

The Board and others need the Holy Spirit's guidance in order to steward the church through this situation-including the difficult decisions that will need to be made to keep income and expenses in balance.

General Board Structure

The Board of General Superintendents voted in its December 2008 meetings to recommend proposed changes in the structure of the General Board. These changes will be effective with the newly elected General Board at its first meeting in February 2010.

The recommended structure will focus the General Board on global policy and accountability supportive of the church's mission in the following areas:

  • Global Mission Committee: This committee will represent the interests of the current World Mission and USA/Canada Mission Committees. Evangelism and church planting are primary concerns of this committee.
  • Global Ministries and Services Committee: This committee will give oversight to SDMI, NYI, and Nazarene Missions International (NMI), as well as Nazarene Compassionate Ministries (NCM) and World Mission Literature [now Global Nazarene Publications]. It will give attention to local church resources from General Board entities, to Holiness Today, NCN News, and other communication interests, and to other functions as may be deemed necessary for oversight.
  • Global Education and Clergy Development Committee: This committee will give oversight to the global educational enterprise, the International Board of Education (IBOE), clergy preparation, clergy development, and other such interests related to education and ministry.
  • Global Administration and Finance Committee: The General Secretary and General Treasurer and their departments will work with this committee in establishing effective policies and procedures.

While policy belongs to the General Board, the management of the Global Ministry Center resides with the Board of General Superintendents.

The Budget Formula

The Board of General Superintendents also voted in December 2008 to recommend a new World Evangelism Fund (WEF) allocation formula of 5.5 percent for the entire global Church of the Nazarene.

This proposed global formula is based on current year income and no deductions. This is intended to create greater global ownership, participation, and support of the WEF-in addition to giving within the regions for special missional projects.

In addition, the Board of General Superintendents is recommending the following formula for the U.S.:

Proposed U.S. Budget Formula

World Evangelism Fund (WEF) 5.5 %
Pensions & Benefits (P&B) Fund 2 %
Education 2.5 %
District Determined by district

The U.S. formula will take effect with the 2010 district assemblies. It, too, is based on current year income and no deductions.

District budgets in the U.S., which are a vital part of the mission funding of the church, will be in addition to these categories and percentages. Each district will set its own budget, based on district missional priorities. It should be noted that the Board of General Superintendents does not have authority to determine district budgets.

These four budgets-WEF, P&B, Education, and District-form the core of local church mission and connectional giving in the U.S.

The previous formula, which was the subject of much discussion and review for some time, was based on complex calculations determined by the previous year's expenditures in the local church. The new formula is determined by a simple and straightforward percentage of current income.

One objective in this change is to leave more money in the local church for ministry.

The Journey Forward

As the church is tested during this economic crisis, let us keep in mind that our 100-year-old denomination has been in this situation before-perhaps not exactly the way it is currently, but it has weathered tough times.

As a result of the faithfulness of Nazarenes over 10 decades, there are nowindigenous leaders in place to assume the mantle of responsibility for the Nazarenefuture across the globe.

What did church leaders believe a century ago that would strengthen our identity and mission for a second century?

  1. They believed in the doctrine of holiness.
  2. The church in 1908 believed in evangelism, defined as converting the lost and securing such believers in holiness of heart and life.
  3. They believed in missions. They were preeminently a missionary church, recognizing no boundaries.
  4. Nazarenes believed in compassion. They believed their mandate was to provide ministry and service by the power of the Holy Spirit to the poor, marginalized, and disenfranchised.
  5. Nazarenes in 1908 believed in holiness higher education with an intense desire to weld together illuminated minds and hearts, passionate to win the lost for Christ. Several of our colleges and universities were actually founded before our official birth date of 1908.
  6. Those Nazarenes were a Great Commission church. The visionary task of their leaders lay before them, yet to be completed. Whether it was the neglected peoples within the hidden corners of impoverished cities or unknown people groups a world away, the Great Commission challenged them to their very core.

Do Nazarenes still believe these things? The answer is a resounding 'Yes!'

Yes, 21st-century Nazarenes still believe in holiness, in evangelism, in missions, in compassion, in holiness higher education, and in continuing to be a Great Commission church.

While not all are called to be missionaries, there is something about the 'missionary spirit' that is a Nazarene birthright - a source of inspiration and hope for everyone today. What is that spirit?

  • It is a spirit of faith and obedience.
  • It is a spirit of exploration.
  • It is a spirit of service.
  • It is a spirit of sacrifice.
  • It is a spirit of prayer and humility.

May this same missionary spirit, which is also the Spirit of God, dwell in us as we continue making Christlike disciples in the nations until the return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Respectfully and prayerfully submitted,

Board of General Superintendents

James H. Diehl Jerry D. Porter Nina G. Gunter
Paul G. Cunningham Jesse C. Middendorf J. K. Warrick

Prepared and presented by James H. Diehl