Mergers. Two or more local churches may be merged upon two-thirds favorable vote by ballot of the members present and voting at specially called meetings of the churches involved, provided: the merger shall be recommended by a majority vote by ballot of all the members of the respective church boards, and the merger shall have been approved in writing by the district superintendent, the District Advisory Board, and the general superintendent in jurisdiction.
The merger shall be finalized in a special meeting of the new congregation for the purpose of electing officers and making pastoral arrangements. The district superintendent, or an elder appointed by the superintendent, shall preside.
The organization thus created shall combine the total membership of the former churches, the membership of all departments of those churches, and may combine part or all of the assets and liabilities of those churches subject to the approval of the district superintendent, the District Advisory Board, and the general superintendent in jurisdiction. The merger will also combine the general, educational, and district apportionments.
Upon notification by the district superintendent, the general secretary of the Church of the Nazarene is authorized to remove the names of the inactive churches from the roll of churches.
Declaring Churches Inactive or Disorganized. Churches may be declared inactive for a period of transition by action of the District Advisory Board prior to being officially disorganized, reactivated or reorganized.
A local church may be disorganized as follows:
- recommendation from the district superintendent;
- affirmative response from the general superintendent in jurisdiction; and,
- a two-thirds vote of the District Advisory Board.
In case a local church becomes inactive or disorganized, or in the event of withdrawal or attempted withdrawal from the Church of the Nazarene (as certified by the District Advisory Board), any church property that may exist may in no way be diverted to other purposes, but title shall pass to the District Advisory Board acting as agent for said district where such has been incorporated, or other authorized agents, for the use of the Church of the Nazarene at large, as the district assembly shall direct. Local church trustees holding property for the inactive or disorganized church shall sell or dispose of the same only on the order and under the direction of the District Advisory Board or other appointed agent of the district assembly, with the written approval of the general superintendent in jurisdiction; either conveying said property or delivering the proceeds from the sale thereof as directed by the district assembly or its District Advisory Board. (104.4, 106, 225.23)
No trustee or trustees of an inactive or disorganized church, or a church that withdraws or attempts to withdraw from the Church of the Nazarene, may divert property from the use of the Church of the Nazarene. (104.4, 141–144, 225.23)
Only officially disorganized churches may be dropped from the records of the general secretary.
When a local church has been declared inactive, the signatories on all church monetary and/or security accounts must transfer the proceeds of the same to the District Advisory Board for deposit. Refusal to comply authorizes the District Advisory Board by resolution to close all accounts and assume jurisdiction of all assets where the law allows.
Full Membership. The full membership of the local church shall be composed of all persons who have been organized into a local church by those authorized so to do, and all who have been publicly received by the pastor, the district superintendent, or the general superintendent, after having declared their experience of salvation, and their belief in the doctrines of the Church of the Nazarene, and their willingness to submit to its government. The local church leadership shall seek to place every member into a ministry of service and a circle of care and support. (23, 107.2, 111, 113.1, 516.1, 520, 532.8, 538.8–538.9)
When persons desire to unite with the church, the pastor shall explain to them the privileges and responsibilities of membership in the church, the Articles of Faith, the requirements of the Covenant of Christian Character and the Covenant of Christian Conduct, and the purpose and mission of the Church of the Nazarene.
After consulting with the Evangelism and Church Membership Committee, the pastor shall receive qualified candidates into the membership of the church in a public service, using the approved form for the reception of members. (21, 28–33, 110–110.4, 228, 704)
Members of a Church-Type Mission. Where the organization of a local church has not been effected, a church-type mission shall receive and report church members in the annual statistics according to paragraphs 107 and 107.1.