F u n d i n g t h e M i s s i o n

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1 A New Funding Philosophy Responding to requests from pastors, laity, and district superintendents, the Church of the Nazarene adopted a new philosophy of funding the global ministries of the denomination. Beginning with the start of the assembly year, every local church worldwide is challenged to give at least 5.5 percent of its income to the World Evangelism Fund (WEF). Pastors and laypeople have endorsed this approach to funding these denominational ministries. When the Lord blesses us, we bless others. Our people will understand that. This philosophy is based on the same proportionate giving we teach our people. Giving out of current receipts makes more sense than paying a bill based on last year s spending. I don t look for ways to cut my tithe. I want all my income to be blessed. This system encourages the church to have the same attitude. Funding the Mission A New Funding Philosophy PAGE 1 Recognitions PAGE 2 Connectional church Since the early 1920s, local Nazarene churches have pooled resources budgets in order to accomplish more. These budgets support worldwide mission outreach including missionaries, the denominational center, our educational institutions, and your district ministries. Over the decades, the formula for calculating these budgets became more and more complicated. Every part of the old formula had a solid rationale, but pastors and lay leaders began to regard it as just another bill. For at least the last 15 years, pressure has been building to find a better way to fund the global mission. A 2005 General Assembly resolution called for the development of a tithe concept formula for raising funds based on current-year income. In 2009, the General Board approved a new formula for all Nazarene churches worldwide based on this concept. It is a new philosophy on funding the global mission of the Church of the Nazarene to make Christlike disciples in the nations. While the new formula allocates about US$13.5 million less to WEF than the old formula (a 25 percent decrease), our global mission is becoming more effective. The Church of the Nazarene will move forward, as it has for more than 100 years, by the generosity of its churches and members. Definition of Income PAGE 3 Rare Circumstance Adjustment PAGE 4 Designated Giving PAGE 5 CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE 1

2 Recognitions The mission of the church is to make Christlike disciples in the nations. The passion for the mission is driven by evangelism. The power for the mission is through the Holy Spirit. The resources for the mission are funded through the generosity of our churches. 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. The WEF operates global mission: from regional offices to 57 educational institutions, from church planting to Work and Witness teams, from the worldwide ministry of general superintendents to creative access outreach, from the Global Ministry Center to global NMI, SDMI, and NYI ministries. The WEF is the financial heart line for the global mission operation of the Church of the Nazarene. While neither churches nor pastors seek the praise of people, we value wholesome recognition and a genuine thank you. In the new giving plan, the Board of General Superintendents and the General Board have asked local churches to give at least 5.5 percent of total local church income to WEF. Churches that reach or give beyond that goal will be recognized as follows: World Evangelism Church: Churches that give 5.5 percent of their income to WEF have met the base goal in their support of the global mission. These churches are the lifeblood of the Church of the Nazarene s global mission (formerly recognized as Faithful Steward churches). World Evangelism Church of Excellence: Churches that give at least 5.7 percent (or US$1,500, whichever is less) to WEF. This giving parallels former WEF overpayment. WEF giving beyond 5.5 percent invests in new mission fields and new works in the USA and Canada. Additionally, local churches will be recognized for reaching giving goals beyond WEF: Mission 10 Percent Church: Churches that give 10 percent or more of local church income to WEF and approved Mission Specials and that reach other giving goals (such as pensions, educational institutions, and district support where appropriate). Additionally, the number of consecutive years the churches reach this goal will be tracked (formerly recognized as Honor Roll churches). Mission 15, 20, 25, 30 : Some generous churches give far more to the global mission, even over 50 percent of their annual income. Historically, there is evidence of one Nazarene church giving away 95 percent of its income. Churches that achieve these generous levels of giving will receive recognition for every increment of five percent beyond Mission 10 status. CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE 2

3 Definition of Income: Simply Put, It s Current-Year Church Income What is church income? Church income is any donation received by a church that qualifies as a charitable contribution. What is a charitable contribution? Charitable contributions are gifts received by the church to further its mission in exchange for which donors do not receive any tangible, personal benefit. A gift is a transfer of a donor s entire interest in the donated property. All present and 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 Ministries* Approved Mission Specials* Revival offerings Deputation offerings* Alabaster* Love offerings Benevolence offerings Building fund offerings Capital campaigns JESUS Film Harvest Partners* Work & Witness* *Income for World Evangelism Fund and approved Mission Specials will be subtracted from total church income before the percentages are applied for WEF. World Evangelism Fund (WEF) and Mission Specials: WEF and all approved Mission Specials, also known as Ten Percent Specials, are to be reported as church income. However, these funds will be subtracted from total church income before the percentages are applied for WEF. Example: Villa Ballester (Argentina) Nazarene raises ARS pesos for all purposes, and contributes ARS pesos to WEF and ARS pesos to approved Mission Specials. Their WEF contribution is applied as ARS pesos for WEF and ARS pesos for WEF overpayment. The church has given 9.1 percent of their income to WEF and has qualified as a World Evangelism Church of Excellence. Total missions giving, including contributions to approved Mission Specials, is 13.6 percent so the church is also a Mission Ten Church (formerly Ten Percent church). CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE 3

4 The Rare Circumstance Adjustment Local churches often receive significant gifts of cash or property from donors who want to support the mission of the church in a major way. In other cases, rare circumstances that cause the local church to experience extenuating circumstances may occur. In either case, 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. Unusual gifts or circumstances that are clearly outside the church s normal activity will be considered for an adjustment to church income. The exemption should be requested during the affected assembly year and approved by the district superintendent and District Advisory Board. Upon approval by the district, a committee appointed by the Board of General Superintendents will consider the request. The decision will be based on the stated circumstances, church-giving patterns, and history of denominational faithfulness. To submit a request for the rare circumstance adjustment: Write a summary of the unusual circumstance(s). Complete the request form. Obtain approval signature of the district superintendent. Obtain the recommendation of the District Advisory Board. Send the request to the general treasurer during the affected assembly year. Pastors (and their district superintendent) will be notified within 30 days of receipt of application. Rare Circumstances are generally defined as: A designated gift over US$50,000 or valued at more than 25 percent of the church s total income Large non-cash donations such as real estate Catastrophic loss Other circumstances beyond the ordinary function of the local church Sometimes events and circumstances put an otherwise faithful congregation in a situation where the standard formula just doesn t work. The Rare Circumstance Adjustment is designed for flexibility, generosity, and grace. This adjustment helps the local church facing rare circumstances to continue to be supportive in the global mission. EVALUATION COMMITTEE: General Treasurer Stewardship Ministries director (chair) NMI representative Pensions and Benefits representative Local pastor Global Ministry Center statistician Others as appointed by the Board of General Superintendents CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE 4

5 Designated Giving Generally, a gift from a donor to a church is a transfer of a donor s entire interest in the donated property. The donor relinquishes all present and future dominion and power over the gift. 1 However, churches often receive donations specifically designated by the donor for mission offerings, building fund offerings, and donations to benevolence funds. While experts in the field disagree on the legal obligation of the church to meet donor expectations, there is no doubt that the church has a moral obligation to meet donor expectations when it receives designated gifts. In short, mission offerings should only be used for missions, capital funds should only be used for capital expenditures, etc. 2 How does an income-based fund allocation system, such as that approved by the General Board for implementation in the assembly year, work with designated funds? Basically, the church can go down two different paths: with a Designated gift policy* Establish a designated giving policy that includes shared percentages. The policy must clearly communicate to donors that a percentage of all donations, including designated funds, will be shared with the broader mission of the Church of the Nazarene. This policy needs to be established by the church board and communicated prior to the receipt of any designated donations. Churches that choose this option will want to start immediately, utilizing the months prior to the beginning of the assembly year to develop and communicate the policy. Communication needs to occur frequently through annual reports, during appeal requests, on gift receipts, and by other means. EXAMPLE: with a Designated Gift Policy J. Smith donates US$10,000 to Second Nazarene for purchase of kitchen equipment. Since the church has established a designated giving policy that designates a percentage of all gifts to denominational interests, a portion of the gift will be used for fund allocations. From the gift, US$550 goes to WEF. A total of US$9,450 is available for the purchase of kitchen equipment. Without a designated gift policy* Use all designated funds according to their intended use. Submit all fund obligations (5.5 percent to WEF) from undesignated funds, basically tithes and offerings. This requires no modification of church policy. EXAMPLE: without a Designated Gift Policy J. Smith donates US$10,000 to First Nazarene designated for purchase of kitchen equipment. Since the church has no stated policy indicating that a portion of all designated gifts will be contributed to the global mission, the entire fund allocation associated with the gift (US$550 is contributed to WEF) must come from other, undesignated offerings. A total of US$10,000 is available for the purchase of kitchen equipment. *Every church should have a written policy on designated funds regardless of the option they choose. Sample policies are available upon request from Stewardship Ministries. 1 This is true except in the uncommon case where a gift is received in trust or with a written reverter clause. 2 Laws regarding the use of designated donations vary from state to state and country to country. CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE 5

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