“The mission of the Church of the Nazarene is to make Christlike disciples in the nations.”
“The primary objective of the Church of the Nazarene is to advance God’s kingdom by the preservation and propagation of Christian holiness as set forth in the Scriptures.”
“The critical objectives of the Church of the Nazarene are ‘holy Christian fellowship, the conversion of sinners, the entire sanctification of believers, their upbuilding in holiness, and the simplicity and spiritual power manifest in the primitive New Testament Church, together with the preaching of the gospel to every creature.’” (19)
The Church of the Nazarene exists to serve as an instrument for advancing the kingdom of God through the preaching and teaching of the gospel throughout the world. Our well-defined commission is to preserve and propagate Christian holiness as set forth in the Scriptures, through the conversion of sinners, the reclamation of backsliders, and the entire sanctification of believers.
Our objective is a spiritual one, namely, to evangelize as a response to the Great Commission of our Lord to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19; cf. John 20:21; Mark 16:15). We believe that this aim can be realized through agreed-upon policies and procedures, including doctrinal tenets of faith and time-tested standards of morality and lifestyle.
This 2013–2017 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.
The General Assembly is the supreme doctrine-formulating and lawmaking body of the Church of the Nazarene. This Manual contains the decisions and judgments of ministerial and lay delegates of the Twenty-eighth General Assembly, which met in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A., June 23–27, 2013, and is therefore authoritative as a guide for action. Because it is the official statement of the faith and practice of the church and is consistent with the teachings of the Scriptures, we expect our people everywhere to accept the tenets of doctrine and the guides and helps to holy living contained in it. To fail to do so, after formally taking the membership vows of the Church of the Nazarene, injures the witness of the church, violates her conscience, and dissipates the fellowship of the people called Nazarenes.
The government of the Church of the Nazarene is distinctive. In polity it is representative—neither purely episcopal nor wholly congregational. Because the laity and the ministry have equal authority in the deliberative and lawmaking units of the church, there is a desirable and effective balance of power. We see this not only as an opportunity for participation and service in the church but also as an obligation on the part of both laity and ministry.
Commitment and clear purpose are important. But an intelligent and informed people following commonly agreed-upon practices and procedures advance the Kingdom faster and enhance their witness for Christ. Therefore, it is incumbent upon our members to acquaint themselves with this Manual—the history of the church and the doctrines and ethical practices of the ideal Nazarene. Adherence to the injunctions of these pages will nurture loyalty and faithfulness both to God and the church and will increase the effectiveness and efficiency of our spiritual efforts.
With the Bible as our supreme Guide, illuminated by the Holy Spirit, and the Manual as our official agreed-upon statement of faith, practice, and polity, we look forward to the new quadrennium with joy and unswerving faith in Jesus Christ.
The Board of General Superintendents
J. K. Warrick
Eugénio R. Duarte
David A. Busic
Gustavo A. Crocker