Over the past few months, the Church of the Nazarene in Bangladesh has undergone a restructuring of its leadership. These changes resulted from a series of investigations that began when local church members in Bangladesh voiced a loss of confidence in their national church leadership to global denominational leaders. Upon completion, investigations indicated a restructuring was necessary to ensure the long-term health of the Church of the Nazarene in Bangladesh.
The Church of the Nazarene in Bangladesh has grown to more than 3,000 local churches in the past 21 years. Through local congregations, a number of strong, community-focused ministries continue to grow, including the JESUS Film ministry. In addition, there are 63 centers concentrating on holistic child development ministries that serve more than 5,795 children living in poverty, as well as women’s self-help groups focused on small business development and backyard gardens dedicated to increasing food security. These ministries have improved the well-being of more than 30,000 families.
In order to build on this foundation, denominational leadership established a team of leaders to work with local districts to strengthen pastoral leadership development and equip congregations for healthy church growth.
Trino Jara was appointed field strategy coordinator for the Eurasia Region’s South Asia Field. A missionary with the Church of the Nazarene for 17 years, Jara most recently served on the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) Field as Armenia district superintendent. He is also the global holistic child development coordinator for Nazarene Compassionate Ministries.
Amitava Chatterjee, district superintendent for Eastern India, has been working alongside Jara to assist churches in Bangladesh with assessments and plans for leadership development.
The Church of the Nazarene in Bangladesh includes three districts, which are now being led by three new district superintendents. The names of these district superintendents have been withheld due to area security concerns.
“[They] are strong and respected leaders with good commitment to the church,” Jara said. “They are ready and willing to learn and lead their districts through a [new] path.”
The new team is building a framework for re-engaging local and district personnel in holiness leadership, spiritual development, and pastoral training. Chatterjee has led the Nazarene board for Bangladesh and each of the three District Advisory Boards – along with their district superintendents – through a process of health assessment, which also includes strengthening accountability.
Jara said the Nazarene board for Bangladesh and District Advisory Board members have “the commitment ... to work hard and see the Church of the Nazarene growing in Bangladesh.”
The Church of the Nazarene recognizes the situation continues to evolve and will present challenges as progress is made.
Jara reports the church remains poised for growth in Bangladesh.
“The Church of the Nazarene in Bangladesh is alive and advancing,” he said. “There are many challenges ahead, but together we will overcome them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”