MANUAL OF THE CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE
The Manual is available for purchase in both print and CD through the Nazarene Publishing House. The Manual is also accessible online.
Paragraph references listed here are from the 2009-2013 Manual of the Church of the Nazarene.
1. Do civil law procedures take precedence over church directives in local church elections? (paragraphs 113.4, 123, 124, 142)
2. May a pastor of a church vote in the local church elections? (paragraphs 113.1, 420)
Yes, unless it is an interim or supply pastoral assignment, and his or her membership is not held in that local church.
3. May the annual church meeting occur in the same service on the second of the two Sundays in which the announcement was made? (paragraph 113.7)
It must be announced on at least two SUNDAYS before the annual church meeting, but the meeting could be held following the morning service, and/or in the evening service of the second Sunday on which it is announced.
4. What is maximum membership for the church board? (paragraphs 127, 137, 141)
The maximum is 25.
5a. May the pastor be elected as the Nazarene Youth International (NYI) President?
No, but the pastor may assume the role with the approval of the church board.
5b. May the NYI president, Sunday School superintendent or Nazarene Missions International (NMI) president be elected as a trustee or steward of the church board? (paragraphs 137, 141, 146, 151, 153.2)
6. May a person, other than the pastor, be named as chairperson of the local church board? (paragraphs 128, 414.15)
No. The church board may designate an individual as a “presider” of the board meetings to conduct the business, but the Manual states that the pastor is the “chairperson of the local church board.”
7a. Is an unassigned minister eligible to serve on the local church board? (paragraph 127)
No. An unassigned minister is not eligible to serve on the local church board.
7b. May a retired minister serve on the local church board? (paragraph 127)
A retired assigned minister is eligible to serve on the local church board.
A retired unassigned minister is not eligible to serve on the local church board.
7c. Is an unpaid associate pastor, who is a credentialed minister eligible for membership on a local church board? (paragraph 127)
Yes, an unpaid assicate pastor/credentialed minister is eligible to serve on the local church board if the district considers him or her an assigned minister.
7d. Is a minister who has filed his or her credential with the General Secretary, because he or she is in secular work eligible to serve on a local church board? (paragraphs 127, 435)
No. A minister who has filed his or her credential with the General Secretary because he or she is in secular work is not eligible to serve on the local church board, because this person is still a minister, but is unassigned.
However, if the minister changes his or her status from filed to resigned (which would change the individual’s status from clergy to lay), then it would be possible to be nominated for election to local church board membership.
8. May an unassigned minister be elected as an NMI president, NYI president, or Sunday School superintendent? (paragraph 127)
No. Those officers are ex-officio members of the local church board, and unassigned ministers are not eligible to serve on the local church board.
9a. Is it required that the church board secretary and the church board treasurer be members of the church board? (paragraphs 129.19, 129.20)
No. The board may appoint these officers from outside the elected membership of the church board. However, these officers would not have any voting privilieges on the board, and would only have voice privileges when granted such by the board chairperson.
9b. Is it required that these officers be members of the local Church of the Nazarene which elects them to either the secretary or treasurer position? (paragraphs 113.11, 129.19-129.20)
Yes, these officers must be members of the local Church of the Nazarene where they are asked to serve as officers.
10. Are nominations from the floor allowed at any local church meetings? (paragraphs 39, 113.10)
Yes. Names may be taken from the floor for nomination, but they should be referred to the Nominating Committee for screening, before the elections occur. The business meeting will be delayed while this screening occurs. (The committee will be checking the nominees with Manual paragraph 39 to see if qualifications are sufficient for nomination.) The body may then accept an adjusted ballot, if the Nominating Committee recommends additional names be placed on the ballot.
11. May a pastor dismiss an assistant in the local church? (paragraph 160.2)
Yes, since employment is only for increments of one year, a pastor may choose not to re-nominate, thus ending employment. However, if the termination of employment is prior to the end of the employment term (end of fiscal church year), the church board would have to approve the action by a majority vote, and district superintendent approval would also be necessary.
12a. What church staff must resign when a senior pastor resigns? (paragraph 160.5)
ALL pastoral staff must resign, and also any dayschool or preschool principal/administrator. However, the local church board and district superintendent may approve interim assignments. The district superintendent should determine whether or not an office manager or administrative assistant should resign, as the situation arises.
12b. Must a church office secretary or custodian resign when a senior pastor resigns? (paragraphs 127, 160.4, 160.5)
No. Only ministerial staff must resign. Any secretarial or custodial staff would not be required to resign, unless a district superintendent determines it would be necessary, based on a specific position.
13. May a district superintendent appoint a supply pastor? (paragraphs 209, 209.1)
Yes, with the consent of the local church board.
An interim pastor may also be appointed with approval of the church board and the District Advisory Board.
14a. Is it necessary for the district superintendent to approve the hiring of secretarial or custodial staff in the local church? (paragraph 208.13)
14b. Does an unpaid staff member (associate pastor) need to be approved by the district superintendent? (paragraph 208.13)
15. May a minister who has placed his or her credential in a filed status with the General Secretary officiate at weddings? (paragraph 435)
16. May a special church/pastoral review be called for in the first two years of pastoral service? (paragraphs 113.8, 124)
Yes. NOTE: A notice to call a special church meeting must be announced in at least two preceding regular services.
17. For a regular church/pastoral review, what is the definition of the phrase “within 60 days of the second anniversary of pastoral service?” (paragraph 123)
It means 60 days before the anniversary or 60 days after the anniversary.
18a. May an unassigned minister be elected as a local church delegate to the district assembly? (paragraph 201)
No. The district assembly delegates elected by the local church are “lay” delegates. When a minister is unassigned, he or she is not eligible to be a delegate to the district assembly.
18b. May a minister whose credential is in a filed, removed, or surrendered status be elected as a local church delegate to the district assembly? (paragraphs 201, 435)
No. Only assigned ministers may be delegates by virtue of their assignment. If a minister’s credential status is “filed, removed, or surrendered,” he or she is not an “assigned” minister. A minister who has a “resigned” credential status is eligible for lay delegate election by the local church, because the resignation of the credential has indicated that he or she has chosen to become a layperson on a permanent basis.
19. May the local church board fill a vacancy on the church board? (paragraphs 139, 144, 146, 810, 811)
No. Vacancies may be filled by the described processes in the Manual for annual elections. If the church board chooses, vacancies may be left unfilled.
20. When a district leadership position is vacated, how long does the person who is named to fill the position serve in the assignment?
The person named to fill the vacancy would serve through the unexpired term of the person he or she has replaced.
21. May a person serve on a board of tellers if he or she is not a member of the voting body?
22. Are church board meetings closed or may church members attend these meetings? What is the difference between a “public session” and an “executive session?” (paragraphs 40, 128)
The meetings are generally open, however a non-board member should not plan to attend any meeting without discussing it in advance with the chairperson (pastor). Non-members would not have any voting privileges on the board, and would only have voice privileges when granted such by the full board. Some rules could limit the attendance to members only.
Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised** (11th edition), states the following about a public session: “A deliberative assembly or committee is normally entitled to determine whether nonmembers may attend or be excluded from its meetings (even when not in executive session).”
“…In meetings of many public bodies, such as school boards, the public may attend. Similarly, in some private organizations such as church councils, parishioners may be permitted to attend. These attendees are not members of the meeting body and ordinarily have no right to participate. Some bodies, especially public ones, may invite nonmembers to express their views, but this is done under the control of the presiding officer subject to any relevant rules adopted by the body and subject to appeal by a member. Often, by rule or practice, time limits are placed on speakers and relevance is closely monitored.” (Chapter 4, pages 96-97)
Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised** (11th edition), states the following about an executive session: “…A motion to go into executive session is a question of privilege, and therefore is adopted by a majority vote. Whenever a meeting is being held in executive session, only members of the body that is meeting, special invitees, and such employees or staff members as the body or its rules may determine to be necessary are allowed to remain in the hall. Thus, in the case of a board or committee meeting being held in executive session, all persons—whether or not they are members of the organization—who are not members of the board or committee (and who are not otherwise specifically invited or entitled to attend) are excluded from the meeting.” (Chapter 4, pages 95-96)
23. Does full-time, active service while holding a local minister’s license count toward ordination? (paragraphs 428, 430.3, 431.3)
No. There can be no ordination service credit for individuals who hold a local license. A local licensed minister is a layperson and is not considered an assigned minister.
24. Who is responsible for setting up a process to reduce the risk of sexual misconduct of people in leadership roles in the local church? (paragraph 129.30)
The local church board. Any approved plan should also include a policy for a response if such misconduct does occur.
25. Is there a limit on the number of members that may be removed by a local church board in one year? (paragraphs 112.3, 120.1)
No. A previous general assembly approved the deletion of the paragraph which stated a maximum percentage for this process.
26. May a district sell property of an inactive church before it is disorganized? (paragraphs 104.3, 106.2, 106.3, 106.5)
No, unless a property deed has been signed over to the district by the officers of the inactive church.
27. Is there an age limit for a person to be ordained? (paragraphs 430.3, 431.3)
No. A previous general assembly approved the deletion of the paragraph which designated a maximum age by which a candidate could be considered for ordination.