200

The General Assembly shall organize the membership of the church into districts.

A district is an entity made up of interdependent local churches organized to facilitate the mission of each local church through mutual support, the sharing of resources, and collaboration.

The bounds and name of a district shall be such as shall be declared by the General Boundaries Committee and approved by a majority vote by the assembly district(s) involved, with the final approval of the general superintendent or superintendents having jurisdiction.

Where districts from more than one educational region would consider merger into one district, the General Boundaries Committee would determine the region the new district would be a part of, in consultation with the general superintendents in jurisdiction. (24)

200.1

The Creation of New Districts. New districts in the Church of the Nazarene may be created by:

  1. The division of one district into two or more districts (requires a two-thirds vote of the district assembly);
  2. The combination of two or more districts out of which a differing configuration of districts may be created;
  3. The formation of a new district in an area not encompassed by any existing district;
  4. The merger of two or more districts; or
  5. A recommendation to establish a new district shall be submitted to the general superintendent(s) in jurisdiction. The district superintendent(s) and District Advisory Board(s) or national board(s) may approve and refer the matter to the district assembly/assemblies for vote with the approval of the general superintendent(s) in jurisdiction and the Board of General Superintendents. (24, 200, 200.4)

200.2

Work in the Church of the Nazarene may begin as a pioneer area and lead to the establishment of new districts and district assembly boundaries. Phase 3 districts may emerge as quickly as possible according to the following pattern:

Phase 1. A Phase 1 district shall be designated when opportunity for entry into a new area is presented, within guidelines for strategic development and evangelism. Requests may be made by a regional director, a district through the Regional Advisory Council, or the sponsoring district superintendent and/or District Advisory Board for final approvals by the general superintendent(s) in jurisdiction and the Board of General Superintendents.

A Phase 1 district superintendent shall be recommended by the regional director, in consultation with the Global Mission director, to the general superintendent having jurisdiction who shall appoint. The region shall give guidance to the Phase 1 district regarding resources available for development. In cases where there are sponsoring districts, the district superintendent shall be appointed by the general superintendent in jurisdiction after consultation with the district superintendent(s) and Advisory Board(s) of the sponsoring district(s).

When, in the opinion of the field strategy coordinator and regional director, a Phase 1 district is in crisis—financial, morale, or otherwise—and this crisis seriously affects the stability and future of the district, a district may be declared in crisis with the approval of the general superintendent in jurisdiction and in consultation with the Global Mission director. The regional director, with the approval of the general superintendent in jurisdiction, may appoint an interim board for the management of the district and in lieu of all existing boards, until the next regularly scheduled district assembly.

Phase 2. A Phase 2 district may be designated when a sufficient number of organized churches and ordained ministers and a district infrastructure of adequate maturity exists to recommend such designation.

Such designation will be by the Board of General Superintendents upon recommendation of the general superintendent in jurisdiction after consultation with the Global Mission director, regional director, and other individuals and boards involved in the appointment of the district superintendent. A district superintendent will be elected or appointed.

Quantifiable guidelines would include a minimum of 10 organized churches, 500 full members, and 5 ordained ministers, and a minimum of 50% of district administration expense shall be generated by district ministries fund income at the time of designation. A District Advisory Board or national board may request the general superintendent in jurisdiction for an exception to these criteria.

When, in the opinion of the field strategy coordinator and regional director, a Phase 2 district is in crisis—financial, morale, or otherwise—and this crisis seriously affects the stability and future of the district, a district may be declared in crisis with the approval of the general superintendent in jurisdiction. The regional director, with the approval of the general superintendent in jurisdiction, may appoint an interim board for the management of the district and in lieu of all existing boards, until the next regularly scheduled district assembly.

Phase 3. A Phase 3 district may be declared when a sufficient number of organized churches, ordained ministers, and members exist to warrant such designation. Leadership, infrastructure, budgetary responsibility, and doctrinal integrity must be demonstrated. A Phase 3 district must be able to shoulder these burdens and share the challenges of the Great Commission within the global scope of an international church.

Such designation will be by the Board of General Superintendents upon recommendation of the general superintendent in jurisdiction after consultation with the Global Mission director, regional director, and other individuals and boards involved in the appointment of the district superintendent. A district superintendent will be selected in accordance with Manual provisions.

Quantifiable criteria include a minimum of 20 organized churches, 1,000 full members, and 10 ordained ministers. A District Advisory Board or national board may request to the general superintendent in jurisdiction for an exception to these criteria.

A Phase 3 district must be 100% self-supporting in regard to district administration.

Phase 3 districts are an integral part of their respective regions.

When in the opinion of a general superintendent in jurisdiction, a district is in crisis—financial, morale, or otherwise—and this crisis seriously affects the stability and future of the district, a district may be declared in crisis with the approval of the Board of General Superintendents. The general superintendent in jurisdiction, with approval of the Board of General Superintendents may take one or more of the following actions:

  1. Remove the district superintendent;
  2. Appoint an interim board for the management of the district in lieu of all existing boards, until the next regularly scheduled district assembly; and
  3. Initiate such special interventions as may be necessary to restore the district’s health and mission effectiveness. (200.1, 205.12, 206.2, 209.1, 307.9, 322)

200.3

Criteria for District Division or District Boundary Changes. A proposal for district development or district boundary changes developed by a regional office, a national board, or a District Advisory Board may be presented to the general superintendent in jurisdiction. Such a plan should take into consideration:

  1. That the proposed new districts or realigned districts have population centers that justify the creation or realignment of such districts;
  2. That lines of communication and transportation are available to facilitate the work of the districts;
  3. That a sufficient number of mature ordained ministers and lay leaders are available for the work of the districts;
  4. That the sponsoring districts will have, wherever possible, sufficient district ministries fund income, sufficient membership and organized churches to maintain their Phase 3 district status.

200.4

Mergers. Two or more Phase 3 districts may be merged upon two-thirds favorable vote by each of the district assemblies involved, provided: The merger shall have been recommended by the respective District Advisory Boards, (and national board{s} where applicable), and approved in writing by the general superintendents in jurisdiction of the districts involved.

The merger and all pertinent related matters shall be finalized at a time and place determined by the district assemblies involved, and the respective general superintendents in jurisdiction.

The organization thus created will combine the assets and liabilities of the respective districts.

Phase 1 and Phase 2 districts may be merged in accordance with provisions for new district formation outlined in paragraph 200.2. (200.1)

200.6

A district superintendent may use zone facilitators or mission area directors to assist in:

  1. Building a sense of community and camaraderie among the pastors of that zone or mission area;
  2. Promoting the cause of Christ by encouraging and strategizing for ministerial development, church growth, evangelism, starting and restarting churches;
  3. Carrying out specific assignments on behalf of the district superintendent and the District Advisory Board; and
  4. Serving as a communications bridge between the local congregations and the district.

201

Membership. The district assembly shall be composed of all assigned elders; all assigned deacons; all assigned licensed ministers; all retired assigned ministers; the district secretary; the district treasurer; chairpersons of standing district committees reporting to the district assembly; any lay presidents of Nazarene institutions of higher education, whose local church membership is on the district; the District Sunday School and Discipleship Ministries International (SDMI) chairperson; the district age-group ministries international directors (children and adult); the District SDMI Board; the president of the District Nazarene Youth International (NYI); the president of the District Nazarene Missions International (NMI); the newly elected superintendent or vice superintendent of each local SDMI Board; the newly elected president or vice president of each local NYI; the newly elected president or vice president of each local NMI; or an elected alternate may represent the NMI, NYI, and SDMI organizations in the district assembly; those serving in assigned roles of ministry; the lay members of the District Advisory Board; active lay missionaries whose local church membership is on the district; all retired lay missionaries whose local church membership is on the district who were active missionaries at the time of retirement; and the lay delegates from each local church and church-type mission in the assembly district. (24, 113.14–113.15, 146, 152.2, 201.1–201.2, 219.2, 222.2, 224.4, 242.2, 244.2, 505–528.1, 532.8, 533–533.4, 534–534.3, 535–535.1, 536–536.2, 538.9)

201.1

Local churches and church-type missions in districts of fewer than 5,000 full church members shall be entitled to representation in the district assembly as follows: two lay delegates from each local church or church-type mission of 50 or fewer full church members, and one additional lay delegate for each successive 50 full church members and the final major part of 50 full church members. (24, 113.14–113.15, 201)

201.2

Local churches and church-type missions in districts of 5,000 or more full church members shall be entitled to representation in the district assembly as follows: one lay delegate from each local church or church-type mission of 50 or fewer full church members, and one additional lay delegate for each successive 50 full church members and the final major part of 50 full church members. (24, 113.14–113.15, 201)