| Board of General Superintendents|
Almost overnight the world in which the Church of the Nazarene engages in mission and ministry has, in many ways, been turned upside down. This is a global financial crisis, and we are a global church.
The effects of this turmoil and volatility will be felt in different ways around the world—but all of us are likely to be impacted. This includes the Global Ministry Center (GMC), districts, congregations, and compassionate ministry centers, as well as the church’s educational institutions.
A previous statement from our Board issued on 15 October 2008 included information from the Church of the Nazarene’s Investment Committee. Click here
In that news release, the committee indicated the denomination’s investments are carefully considered and managed well. We are grateful that the General Board operating and pension investments are positioned for positive returns over the longer term.
The need is to be hopeful, prayerful, and realistic at the same time. Our faith and trust are not in the material but in Jesus Christ—the hope of the world. At the same time, our Board is responsible for the denominational system which connects the church in 151 world areas.
While remaining committed to our mission to make Christlike disciples in the nations, the Global Ministry Center and other entities may need to rethink certain priorities and how mission is fulfilled in changing economic times.
To this end, the Board of General Superintendents would like you to know:
• A review of all budgets at the Global Ministry Center and the regional offices is being requested—with the goal of reducing current operating expenses by at least 10 percent. The review of expenses will require an evaluation to identify funding priorities critical to mission. This initial work is to be completed by the end of 2008 and submitted to the Board of General Superintendents and the Finance Committee of the General Board.
• Effective immediately the GMC will not be adding any new positions, and the filling of any vacancies will be suspended until further notice.
• The Board is asking the General Treasurer to take prudent steps to maintain an adequate reserve level for denominational responsibilities and liabilities during uncertain times.
• The revisioning of structure at the Global Ministry Center and regional offices will now take into account the possibility that giving to the World Evangelism Fund (WEF) could be reduced for the foreseeable future. WEF giving is below projections and is not keeping up with inflation.
• It is possible that some services currently provided to the denomination from the Global Ministry Center and regional offices will, in the future, either be delivered in a different way, shifted to other entities in the system, or be deemed as nonessential to mission.
• In consultation with our Board, we are asking the General Secretary and General Treasurer, along with the Global Mission Team, to find ways to reduce the cost of the 2009 General Assembly in Orlando, Florida, U.S.A.
• Additionally, we will be working closely with the Executive Committee of the General Board and the Global Mission Team to include their insights into our decision-making process.
• The church has the Board’s commitment to ongoing communication and transparency as we work our way through this extremely difficult period. What we learn and decide to do will be shared with the entire church.
• Write to us with whatever thoughts you might wish to share at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Board welcomes your comments.
Over the past 100 years, the Church of the Nazarene has experienced other seemingly overwhelming circumstances:
The untimely death of key leaders; the near loss of Nazarene Publishing House in 1921 due to heavy indebtedness; colleges on the verge of closing; an economic depression in the late 1920s and early 30s; and the financial shortfall in 1948-49 causing depletion in reserves and deep cuts in operating budgets, especially to missions.
Each time the church has been faced with this level of adversity, the Lord has provided a way. We believe this will again be true. We have no reason to doubt God’s faithfulness to the Church of the Nazarene and the faithfulness of our people who have given sacrificially for the sake of the mission.
The church will find a way to address its current circumstances, and in the end the mission will be stronger, better focused, and more fruitful—for His honor and glory!
We call Nazarenes to prayer, seeking God’s wisdom and strength in the days ahead. May the Holy Spirit be our guide in all deliberations and decisions.
Board of General Superintendents
Paul G. Cunningham
James H. Diehl
Nina G. Gunter
Jesse C. Middendorf
Jerry D. Porter
J. K. Warrick