Jesus was called a Nazarene because his boyhood home was in the town of Nazareth. The followers of Jesus were called Nazarenes and the Apostle Paul, on trial for his life, was accused of being the ringleader of the sect of the Nazarene (Matthew 2:23, Mark 14:67, Acts 24:5).
Of course, Jesus did not found any denomination, but because we bear His name it is held in deep respect by us who are members of the Church of the Nazarene. The supreme desire of all Christians should be to be like Jesus. His teachings form the basis of our doctrine, and His life, our example and mission.
Membership in the Church of the Nazarene should help us in this goal of Christ-likeness. The fellowship of the Church is thus very precious and cannot be known any other way. Sharing together in the ministry of the Word, the Sacraments, Common Worship, and the Great Commission should be the desire of all who know Christ. Our heart is to follow Jesus wherever He would go; to love those He loves; to serve those He serves; and to spend our lives for the sake of the Gospel.
The Church of the Nazarene is the largest denomination in the Wesleyan-Arminian theological tradition. Nazarenes believe that God wants Christians to live a holy life. We must seek forgiveness from God for our sins, and following this, our hearts and lives will be filled by a love for God and our fellow man.
As we live our Christian lives, we develop a deeper love and devotion to God, and a greater desire to do the things that God would want us to do. This can be seen in the lives of Christians as they seek to serve God through service to others. We believe that to serve God in this way is an expression of our love for Him, and one way in which we can show our appreciation for the grace that was shown to us when Jesus Christ died on the cross, to take the punishment for the things we have done wrong.
We believe that there is a deeper level of life for the Christian in which there is victory over sin, power to witness and serve, and a richer fellowship with God. This happens for the Christian by the purifying fullness of the Holy Spirit. See Our Beliefs for more information.
Government and administration
The headquarters of the Church of the Nazarene is in Kansas City in the United States. Six elected representatives are charged with the responsibility of overseeing the worldwide work of the church.
The Church of the Nazarene in the British Isles is divided into two districts. The North District consists of churches in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and some northern English towns. The South District comprises of 58 churches from the remainder of England, and Wales.
The churches of each district meet once a year to elect representatives who will oversee the work of the church in the geographical districts. Some of these representatives are full time paid workers, funded by the churches, and others are simply church members, carrying out their duties in their spare time.
Most of the churches have their own ministers, known as pastors, whose job it is to look after the spiritual needs and development of their local church members, or congregations. This is done with the assistance of a team of local members, elected annually by the local churches. These voluntary church workers help the pastor to deliver the good news of Jesus Christ, and serve the communities in which they are situated.
A Tradition of Service
We are compassionate people. We believe in helping and serving others! This is expressed through our service within our community. We also contribute to the funds of the general church. The worldwide network of Nazarene churches makes it possible for us to serve as a source of assistance to needy nations. In recent years, we have been able to assist people in every part of the globe. From war and famine relief in Rwanda and Zaire, to health care training in India, to serving orphaned children in Guatemala. We provide money for food, medical supplies, clothing, and other items to those in a number of countries where there are very great needs.
In addition, the denomination’s missionary infrastructure is often used by other relief agencies when they need assistance in getting supplies to people of countries in remote or troubled areas.