Each local church shall establish a Sunday School and Discipleship Ministries International (SDMI) Board, or an Education Committee as part of the church board, at the annual church meeting, to be responsible for the Christian education ministries of the church. In churches of 75 members or fewer, the responsibilities may be performed by the church board. Members are: ex-officio the SDMI superintendent (146); the pastor; the Nazarene Missions International (NMI) president; the Nazarene Youth International (NYI) president; Children’s Ministries (CM) director; Adult Ministries (AM) director; and three to nine persons elected from the church membership at the annual church meeting. The members may be elected for staggered terms of two years and until their successors are elected and qualified. When an elected member vacancy occurs, it may be filled at a duly called church meeting. If a church elects an education committee as part of the church board, it shall follow Manual requirements for minimum number of stewards and trustees (137, 141). Ex-officio personnel shall be members of the committee, though some may not be members of the church board.
We direct our local churches to elect as church officers active members of the local church who profess the experience of entire sanctification and whose lives bear public witness to the grace of God that calls us to a holy life; who are in harmony with the doctrines, polity, and practices of the Church of the Nazarene; and who support the local church faithfully in attendance, active service, and with tithes and offerings. Church officers should be fully engaged in “making Christlike disciples in the nations.” (34)
The duties and powers of the Sunday School and Discipleship Ministries International Board or Education Committee are:
To plan, organize, promote, and conduct the ministry of Christian education for the local church. This is to be done subject to the direct care of the pastor, and the leadership of the Sunday School and Discipleship Ministries International (SDMI) superintendent, and the direction of the local church board, in keeping with denominational objectives and standards established by the General Board and promoted through the Global Mission Committee and offices of Adult Ministries (AM), Nazarene Youth International (NYI), and Children’s Ministries (CM). These include both curriculum and program-oriented ministries for adults, youth, and children. The Sunday School/Bible studies/small groups, along with the preaching ministry, provide the core of the church’s study of Scripture and doctrine. Childcare/Schools (birth through secondary) and annual/special ministries and training, such as Caravan, Vacation Bible Schools, and singles’ ministries, provide opportunities through which scriptural doctrines are lived out and integrated into the life of the congregation. (515.15)
To reach the largest number of unchurched people for Christ and the church, bringing them into the fellowship, teaching the Word of God effectively, and encompassing their salvation; teaching the doctrines of the Christian faith and developing Christlike character, attitudes, and habits; helping to establish Christian homes; preparing believers for membership in the church and equipping them for appropriate Christian ministries.
To determine the curricula of the various ministries, always using Church of the Nazarene materials to form the basis of biblical study and doctrinal interpretation.
To plan for and organize the total Sunday School and Discipleship Ministries International (SDMI) of the local church in keeping with the SDMI Bylaws. (812)
To nominate to the annual church meeting one or more persons approved by the pastor, for election to the office of Sunday School and Discipleship Ministries International (SDMI) superintendent. The nominations are to be made in a meeting with the incumbent superintendent not present.
To nominate to the church board persons approved by the pastor, to serve as a director of Children’s Ministries (CM) and a director of Adult Ministries (AM).
To elect the Children’s Ministries (CM) and Adult Ministries (AM) councils from nominations by the directors of CM and AM with approval of the pastor and the Sunday School and Discipleship Ministries International (SDMI) superintendent.
To elect all age-group Sunday School/Bible studies/ small groups supervisors, teachers, and officers who shall be professing Christians, exemplary in life, and in full harmony with the doctrines and polity of the Church of the Nazarene, from nominations by the Nazarene Youth International (NYI) president and the directors of Children’s Ministries (CM) and Adult Ministries (AM). The nominees shall be approved by the pastor and the Sunday School and Discipleship Ministries International (SDMI) superintendent.
To elect a local director of Continuing Lay Training (CLT), who shall organize, promote, and supervise regular training opportunities for Sunday School and Discipleship Ministries International (SDMI) workers and the entire membership of the church. The SDMI Board shall have the option of naming the CLT director as an ex-officio member to this board.