The Church of the Nazarene recognizes its responsibility to extend the hope and healing of God’s redeeming and renewing grace to any of its own ministers who, by surrender of credential, voluntary or otherwise, have been relieved of the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of being a member of the clergy due to conduct unbecoming a minister. The church also acknowledges its obligation to invite into the embrace of God’s loving care the spouse and family, congregation, and community of the minister. For this reason, the process leading toward restoring the minister to good standing is to be conducted in two distinct steps:
- Recovery. Without regard for the severity of the minister’s misconduct, the likelihood of his or her eventual return to ministerial service, or his or her initial receptivity to grace and offers of help extended, the recovery of the minister’s well-being (spiritually and otherwise) and that of his or her spouse and family is to be diligently, prayerfully, and faithfully pursued by the district in accordance with paragraphs 540.1–540.7. Such recovery is to be the singular aim of this step.
- Reinstatement. Restoration to good standing of the minister and recommendation for the return of his or her credential is to be considered in a process separate from and subsequent to efforts seeking the recovery of the health and well-being of the minister and his or her spouse and family. (540.6–540.12)