The mission of the Church of the Nazarene is to make Christlike disciples in the nations.
We are a Great Commission church (Matthew 28:19-20). As a global community of faith, we are commissioned to take the good news of life in Jesus Christ to people everywhere and to spread the message of scriptural holiness (Christlike living) across the lands.
The Church of the Nazarene bonds together individuals who have made Jesus Christ Lord of their lives, sharing in Christian fellowship and seeking to strengthen each other in faith development through worship, preaching, training, and service to others.
We strive to express the compassion of Jesus Christ to all persons, along with our personal commitment to Christlike living.
While the primary motive of the church is to glorify God, we also are called to actively participate in His mission—reconciling the world to himself.
The statement of mission contains historical essentials of our mission: evangelism, sanctification, discipleship, compassion. The essence of holiness is Christlikeness.
Nazarenes are becoming a sent people—into homes, work places, communities, and villages, as well as other cities and countries. Missionaries are now sent from all regions of the world. God continues calling ordinary people to do extraordinary things made possible by the person of the Holy Spirit.
Global Ministry Center
The Church of the Nazarene Global Ministry Center, located in Lenexa, Kansas, is the administrative hub for the church. Through this center, Nazarenes reach across borders and boundaries to profoundly assist countless support efforts around the world, including pastors and laypeople in local churches, hospitals, educational facilities, training programs, and disaster relief.
Manual of the Church of the Nazarene
The 2017-2021 edition of the Manual includes a brief historical statement of the church; the church Constitution, which defines our Articles of Faith, our understanding of the church, the Covenant of Christian Character for holy living, and principles of organization and government; the Covenant of Christian Conduct, which address key issues of contemporary society; and policies of church government dealing with the local, district, and general church organization.
Since our beginning, education has been a central part of the Church of the Nazarene’s commitment to discipleship making. Today, Nazarenes are blessed with the resources and responsibility of a network of 53 colleges, universities, and seminaries, which provide education to 53,000 students in more than 120 world areas.
Nazarenes are passionate about making a difference in the world by taking the Good News of Jesus Christ to people everywhere. Today there are approximately 700 missionaries and volunteers serving around the world. Each week, Nazarenes worship in more than 212 languages or tribal languages, with literature produced in 90 of these. The church operates 33 medical clinics and hospitals worldwide. This missionary enterprise is made possible by the contributions of the global Nazarene family. Nazarenes also engage in starting new churches and congregations by praying, giving, and supporting worldwide volunteers and contracted missionaries.
The Church of the Nazarene follows in the historic tradition of the orthodox Christian faith. We believe the Bible forms a story of God’s self-revelation particularly in the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of His son, Jesus Christ. Christ atoned for our sins on the cross so He could set us free from sin (Romans 3:25).
We believe in God’s prevenient grace that goes before and draws us to God. This grace stirs within us a hunger to seek something more in our lives and empowers us to respond when the tender voice of the Spirit draws us to God’s heart. God draws us then lovingly awaits our response (John 6:44; John 12:32).
We believe in God’s justifying grace that no longer counts our sins against us when we ask for forgiveness (2 Corinthians 5:19). God reconciles, pardons, and restores our relationship with God’s self as only a loving parent can do. Christ’s death on the cross makes our justification possible (Romans 5:8).
We believe in sanctifying grace that transforms us by the power of His Holy Spirit working within us from the moment of our conversion until we go to heaven. Continued growth in our relationship with God’s Spirit takes us to deeper levels of commitment. We speak often of Christian perfection or entire sanctification as a second instantaneous work of grace when God purges a consecrated heart from self-centered control and pride and fills it with divine love to completely control heart and life. Self-seeking is replaced with holy desire to fulfill the two great commands of Jesus to love God and others (Matthew 22:34-40). Transformation and growth in grace continues to occur over a lifetime as we submit our wills to His will.
Ultimately, we seek to live in close relationship with Jesus Christ and make Christlike disciples as we model the Christian message we say and do as we live in his transforming grace.
The government of the Church of the Nazarene is a combination of episcopacy and congregationalism. Six elected representatives serve on the Board of General Superintendents. This board is charged with the responsibility of administering the worldwide work of the Church of the Nazarene. The Board of General Superintendents also interprets the denomination’s book of polity, the Manual of the Church of the Nazarene. The Manual is also available online translated into numerous languages.
The General Assembly of the church serves as the supreme doctrine-formulating, lawmaking, and elective authority of the Church of the Nazarene, subject to the provisions of the church constitution. Comprised of elected representatives from all of the denomination’s districts around the world, the General Assembly meets once every four years.
The General Assembly elects the members of the Board of General Superintendents and considers legislative proposals from the church’s 450-plus districts. Topics under consideration may range from the method of calling a pastor to bioethics.
The General Assembly also elects representatives from around the world to the General Board of the Church of the Nazarene. The General Board carries out the corporate business of the denomination.
A Tradition of Service
Following the example of Jesus, Nazarenes across the globe are living compassion every day. Local churches work to clothe, shelter, feed, heal, educate, and live in solidarity with those who suffer under oppression, injustice, violence, poverty, hunger, and disease. Nazarene Compassionate Ministries (NCM), an outflow of the Church of the Nazarene, helps to mobilize local congregations to live out Christ’s call to care for those considered the “least of these” (Matthew 25). NCM supports local church efforts to provide tangible expressions of Christ’s compassion through church-led community development and emergency relief efforts. As local churches both proclaim and demonstrate the gospel of Christ, lives are transformed through Him.
Nazarene Compassionate Ministries exists in and through the church. NCM partners with local congregations, supporting them in their efforts to serve others, create change in their communities, and point people toward the love of God through Christ. Nazarenes also offer their time and services on volunteer Work & Witness and Mission Corps teams to build churches, schools, and clinics while sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.
The worldwide network of Nazarene churches makes it possible for the denomination to serve as a conduit of assistance to hurting nations. Nazarenes provide money for food, medical supplies, clothing, and other items to persons in a number of countries where there are pressing needs. In addition, the denomination’s missionary infrastructure is often used by World Relief and similar agencies when they need assistance in getting supplies to people in remote or troubled areas.
Nazarenes in a Glance (Church of the Nazarene)