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OUR MISSION HERITAGE

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The Church of the Nazarene is a connectional church. Local churches around the world combine resources to fund global initiatives. The World Evangelism Fund (WEF) is the key investment in mission. It operates global mission from regional offices to 57 educational institutions, from church

planting to Work & Witness teams, from the worldwide ministry of general superintendents to creative access outreach, and from missionaries to global NMI, NDI, and NYI ministries.

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WHAT CHANGED IN 2005

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The 2005 General Assembly mandated the creation of a “Tithe Concept” formula for raising funds based on current-year income. As has been the case with every giving formula change in the last 30 years, the change in 2005 helped to create a larger percentage of resources that will

stay at the local church level.

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DOING MORE WITH LESS... CORPORATELY

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While the implementation of the current plan provided less resources to the WEF than the previous plan did, our global mission is becoming more effective and efficient. The Church of the Nazarene will thrive, as it has now for more than 100 years, by the generosity of its churches and members.

 

The following terms are often used in understanding the current funding plan. Here are their definitions.

 

Church Income

Any donation received by a church that qualifies as a charitable contribution; USA churches already evaluate every dollar that is deposited in their treasuries as either qualifying or non-qualifying for charitable contribution receipts; donations that qualify to appear on a charitable

contribution receipt are included in church income. Here is a PDF that addresses common scenarios regarding the definition of income, click here.

 

Charitable Contributions

Gifts received by a church to further its mission in exchange for which the donor receives no tangible, personal benefit. A gift is a transfer of the donor’s entire interest in the donated property; all future dominion and power over the contribution is relinquished, this includes both designated and undesignated offerings such as regular tithes and offerings, Sunday School and NYI offerings, Easter and Thanksgiving offerings, Nazarene Compassionate Ministry projects, Ten Percent Approved Nazarene Projects, offerings for revival, deputation, Alabaster, love, benevolence, and building funds; capital campaigns; JESUS Film Harvest Partners; and Work & Witness.

 

Mission Exclusions

Monies received in the offering plate that are designated for WEF and approved Nazarene Mission Projects should be recorded as church income; however, when these funds are sent to and received by the General Treasurer, they are subtracted from the total church income before the WEF goal is calculated (and in the USA ... before the goals are calculated for the P&B fund and the EDU fund), examples would include World Evangelism Fund (formerly known as the General Budget) and Ten Percent Mission Projects (mission offerings that raise funds for specific needs, connecting donors with ministry).

 

Rare Circumstances

Very large designated gifts, large non-cash donations such as real estate, catastrophic loss, or other circumstances beyond the ordinary function of the local church.

   

Global Treasury Services

The financial office of the Global Ministry Center where funds are channeled, recorded, allocated, distributed, and audited.

     

Assembly Year of Implementation

The current global funding plan for Funding the Mission was implemented in all district assembly years beginning between Oct. 1, 2009 and Sept. 30, 2010. How does each church participate in this giving plan?

 

  • Receiving the Offering  - Donors in local churches give offerings, both designated and undesignated contributions, to their local church to be used by the church board to accomplish the mission of the church. Under the current plan, pastors are encouraged to communicate regularly from the pulpit about each offering's contribution to global mission.

 

  • Counting/Recording - Offerings will be counted and recorded by the counting committee of the local church. Monies received for World Evangelism Fund or Approved Nazarene Mission projects are recorded and reported as a part of the church's income. The reporting application has a field for total income as well as fields for amounts submitted to:

     

  • 5.5% - World Evangelism Fund = the foundational fund of all of the Church of the Nazarene's mission work in the world.
  • 2.25% - Pensions and Benefits Fund = This fund in the US provides financial assistance to thousands of active and retired ministers and church-employed laypersons.
  • 2.25% - Educational Fund = This fund is directed in the US to each local church's regional university to help and support how each university supports and educates the church of tomorrow.
  • District Fund = This fund is directed to each local church's district office in the support of the mission of the district, church planting and strategic missional projects. Each District can set its own giving goal.

 

To see how a local church's goals are calculated, click here.

 

 

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Are there ways for a church to ask for an exemption from reporting certain gifts as a part of their church income that generates a giving goal? Yes! The Exceptions Committee reviews all applications for Rare Circumstances (special one-time designated gifts) and local church seeking exceptions for Capital Stewardship Campaigns.

 

EXCEPTIONS COMMITTEE

 

(Formerly Rare Circumstance Committee)

 

Flexibility, Generosity, and Grace

 

With a history of missions giving within the Church of the Nazarene, it is no surprise that churches strive to meet all of their giving goals. However, events and circumstances can put an otherwise faithful congregation in a situation that makes the standard giving goals difficult to reach.

 

Each local church is subject to unique circumstances: the sudden loss of the church building, an unexpected legal situation, a large non-cash donation to the local church, or other designated gifts. In specific circumstances, the standard definition of church income might represent an unfair burden on the local church. Therefore, a plan is in place to provide adjustments under rare circumstances.

 

The Rare Circumstance Adjustment process was designed to extend flexibility, generosity, and grace. Allocation adjustments help local churches facing rare financial circumstances continue to be recognized for their generous and faithful giving.

 

RARE CIRCUMSTANCES

 

Unusual circumstances that are clearly outside the church's normal activity will be considered for an income adjustment once a Rare Circumstance Adjustment Application is received. The adjustment should be requested during the affected assembly year and approved by the district superintendent and District Advisory Board. Upon district approval, a nine-person team of Nazarene pastors, district superintendents, and lay leaders will consider the request based on the circumstances, church giving patterns, and history of denominational faithfulness. As a matter of organization, the General Board included these as acceptable situation guidelines for the committee's decisions. Not all of these guidelines must be met for a church to be considered, but an applying church should find that at least some of these statements apply to them. Churches are encourage to carefully review these before sending a request in as well as when formulating their request. A thorough, written summary is extremely helpful for timely responses.

 

  • The gift or circumstance creates a financial hardship for the church
  • The gift is unsolicited, designated gift to a church without a written designated gift policy.
  • The gift is from a single donor.
  • The gift is not related to an ongoing capital campaign or debt reduction campaign.
  • The gift is greater than or equal to $50,000 (if the gift is less than $50,000, it should be at least 25% of the church's income.).
  • The gift has already been received (The committee cannot exempt income in advance.).
  • An unexpected expense occurs related to disaster, or extreme or unusual circumstances.

 

TO SUBMIT A REQUEST:

 

To submit a request to the Exceptions Committee:

 

1. Fill out the appropriate request form below.

 

2022 Rare Circumstances Adjustment request form

 

2. Obtain the appropriate approvals.

3. Obtain the recommendation of the District Advisory

4. Send the completed request to the Exceptions Committee exceptions@nazarene.org during the affected assembly year.

 

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CAPITAL STEWARDSHIP CAMPAIGN

 

This exception is designed for churches entering a Capital Stewardship Campaign (CSC) that would otherwise impact a congregation’s ability to achieve their allocation goals for the Funding the Mission Giving Plan.

 

Applications for CSC exceptions are reviewed by the Exceptions Committee, which is currently composed of eight members: three district superintendents, two pastors, and three laypeople. Stewardship Development facilitates the committee’s communication and administrative needs. The committee considers the merit of each situation, taking into account all factors in an attempt to render consistent and well-informed decisions.

 

The committee reviews certain criteria prior to making a decision on a CSC exception and reviews various benchmarks to ensure consistency. Knowing the criteria may help a church on your district decide whether or not a CSC request is the best resolution in their circumstance.

 

A CSC that qualifies for an exception generally has each of the following components:

  • A local church financial fundraising campaign that is over and above the tithes and regular offerings of local church donors
  • It lasts for a specific time (not to exceed 36 months)

 

It is to fund facilities to be used for worship or discipleship and is for at least one of the following:

  • Purchase of real estate for the expressed intent of worship or discipleship.
  • Construction of facilities for said purpose
  • Acceleration of debt reduction (beyond scheduled loan amortization) on facilities previously constructed for said purposes, or
  • To provide needed improvements to an aging facility.

 

 

To submit a request to the Exceptions Committee:

 

1. Fill out the appropriate request form below.

 

2022 Capital Stewardship Campaign request form

 

2. Obtain the appropriate approvals.

3. Obtain the recommendation of the District Advisory

4. Send the completed request to the Exceptions Committee exceptions@nazarene.org during the affected assembly year.

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WHAT IS A DESIGNATED GIFT POLICY?

 

Integrity of funds

 

The Church of Nazarene policy encourages designated funds to be used toward the purpose of which they were raised. Designated giving policies within local churches are designated to establish how designated funds will be used as well as notify donors of these facts. A designated giving policy should provide notice to donors that percentages of their gifts will be given toward the giving goals of the church.

 

Balancing global and local initiatives

 

We believe that when God blesses us he intends for us to also bless others in return. Because of this ideology, many churches, choose to give a portion of funds they raise to missions' opportunities. In accordance with our mission to

make Christlike disciples in the nations, churches planning a campaign to raise funds for a designated purpose must decide in advance if the goal will include a contribution to the global mission. Donors should be notified of this so that the church can retain the utmost integrity.

 

A decision for the church board

 

A designated gift policy is one that will guide the church through various types of giving and which should be agreed upon by the Church Board and leadership. While donors may give with various intentions for their gifts, a designated gift policy will allow churches to ensure that they always have the opportunity to spread God's blessing to the global mission efforts. With a properly approved policy on designated giving, a portion of designated gifts may be shared with global interests (5.5% WEF, 2.25% P&B, and 2.25% EDU).

 

For guidelines in the creation of a designated giving policy, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability provides excellent resources. Careful review of local initiatives is the best factor for determining this course of action. Examples of gifts and samples of contribution policies are available to download.

 

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The Funding the Mission tool allows the local church to record income, track progress toward allocation goals, and make itemized online contributions. Not signed up yet? Contact your district office or email stewardship@nazarene.org.

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