Several key impressions surfaced in the General Board social times that greatly impressed me about our global church.
Rencetly, I attended my first General Board session for the Church of the Nazarene. I must tell you, I was impressed! Of course the organization and execution of the meeting by the many dedicated staff members of the General Secretary's Office impressed me. That goes without saying. But that's not what I'm talking about. Several key impressions surfaced in the meeting and social times that greatly impressed me about our global church.
I first noticed the incredible passion General Board members have for the message and mission of our church. As I spoke with them in various settings, their passion came through in every conversation. Not only do they understand our message and mission, but they are living lives of action in every part of the world from which they come. As they tell people about Jesus, living as the hands and feet of Jesus in life's daily tasks, they offer us examples and role models for our lives.
Also I noticed the incredible diversity of the General Board members as they came from each of our six regions of the world and every segment of the church. Members spoke many languages; they represented many cultures. In one room, I saw the great cross-section of the church as these leaders talked about church matters from their various perspectives. They also brought great diversity through their varied backgrounds, educational training, and careers. Some were ministers, some lawyers. Others were businesswomen and men. Some came from education, others from the medical field. They spoke to the issues under discussion from a variety of perspectives.
Also, I felt something vitally significant deep within my spirit as I talked with General Board members in hallways and around meal tables. We traveled from different continents; we took time out from busy schedules; we looked like a patchwork quilt of variety. Having met for the first time in this place at this General Board session, I think we all sensed a common bond that unites us together as brothers and sisters in Christ through the Church of the Nazarene.
I reflected on my time with General Board members and remembered reading a thought written by a youth leader and pastor named Kimber Moulton when I was a student many years ago. While I can no longer remember his exact quote, a paraphrase goes something like this: If you enter a thatched roof hut in the jungles of Africa, or an open tent in the steaming forest of Central America, or an ice-domed igloo in Alaska, or a store-front church in one part of America, or a stain-glassed edifice in another part of America, wherever you see the sign "Church of the Nazarene," you will hear the same message of full salvation.
Actually, I felt that idea come to life during the General Board events. Women and men came to this gathering from around the globe. They represented the diversity of all of us. Yet, as I talked with individuals, got to know them personally, and felt the passion of their heartbeats, I realized that they all exhibited this common quality that unites us together in the same mission, vision, and message of the Nazarene. We share a common bond as fellow Nazarenes who are seeking "to make Christlike disciples in the nations."
When you read this issue of Holiness Today, I hope you will pay close attention to the report of the General Superintendents. It offers more than a travelogue of their visits to the six world regions and the statistics of the global church. Rather, it offers a strategic vision we need to go to claim our world for Christ with the message of full salvation. Their report offers an important challenge for every member of the Church of the Nazarene. Also take time to read the directors' reports. More than just numbers, they represent God at work among us, changing lives and advancing His work.
As you finish reading this magazine, pray this prayer: "Lord, how do you want to use me in your work today?"
Frank M. Moore is editor-in-chief of Holiness Today.