The task of the Church of the Nazarene is to make known to all peoples the transforming grace of God through the forgiveness of sins and heart cleansing in Jesus Christ. Our mission first and foremost is to “make Christlike disciples in the nations,” to incorporate believers into fellowship and membership (congregations), and to equip (teach) for ministry all who respond in faith. The ultimate goal of the “community of faith” is to present everyone perfect in Christ (Colossians 1:28) at the last day.
It is in the local church that the saving, perfecting, teaching, and commissioning takes place. The local church, the Body of Christ, is the representation of our faith and mission. These churches are grouped administratively into districts and regions.
The bases of unity in the Church of the Nazarene are those beliefs, polity, definitions, and procedures as articulated in the Manual of the Church of the Nazarene.
The core of this unity is declared in the Articles of Faith of the Manual. We encourage the church in all regions and languages to translate—widely distribute—and teach these beliefs to our constituency. This is the golden strand that is woven into the fabric of all we are and do as Nazarenes.
A visible reflection of this unity is represented by the General Assembly, which is the “supreme doctrine-formulating, lawmaking, and elective authority of the Church of the Nazarene.” (300)
A second reflection is the international General Board, which represents the entire church.
A third reflection is the Board of General Superintendents, who may interpret the Manual, approve cultural adaptations, and ordain to the ministry.
The government of the Church of the Nazarene is representative, and thus avoids the extremes of episcopacy on the one hand and unlimited congregationalism on the other.
In global regions served by the church where cultural and political differences may necessitate, adaptations of local, district, and regional church government procedures contained in Part IV, Chapters I, II, and III (sections 100, 200, 300), may be made. Requests for all such adaptations shall be submitted in writing to and approved by the Board of General Superintendents.