Ministerial Credentials

17 thoughts on “Ministerial Credentials”

  1. I stand fully on everything you have written.  Everything.David Young Sent via the Samsung Galaxy, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

    1. It generally means a minister that has to work a secular job for financial support. Many who pastor smaller congregations are bi-vocational, as the church cannot support that preacher and their family alone.

  2. “Beyond this, the same candidates who vow to never teach their opinions publically often linger in online discussion forums, speaking openly about their desire to see the church move in a new direction.”

    Jason and I temporarily served at a Calvary Chapel several years ago. Jason was pretty much born and bred Nazarene. Myself? Not so much. I was wrestling with what my personal beliefs were at the time and when we found ourselves without a Nazarene Church nearby, we started attending a church I was familiar with. Well, this church does not believe the doctrine of Entire Sanctification. Jason was called to ministry and this church was open to him ministering–as long as he didn’t teach about entire sanctification. He thought he could abide by that. However, it wasn’t long before he was guest speaking on the Armor of God and came to the breast-plate of righteousness. He had no idea how to explain it without using the doctrine the church had specifically told him not to teach. Why do I say all this? Because when you believe strongly about anything, your preaching will follow your beliefs. You cannot abandon what you believe to accommodate a congregation, therefore if you are not completely in-line with the doctrine of your church, you shouldn’t be preaching there. When I come across Nazarene Pastors who disagree with the general church stance on women in ministry, same-sex marriage, or entire sanctification, it takes everything within me to not ask “Why are you in this church then?”

  3. “the real agenda” ?!!

    Ordination is not an us vs them endeavor and casting ordinands as dissidents with the “enemies agenda” when they aren’t in lock step with the manual is cynical and degrading.

    How about instead of casting everybody whose theological conclusions we disagree with into the camp of cultural appeasement we give them grace to assume they have prayerfully and Scripturally formed their convictions in community with their brothers and sisters. Disagreements don’t have to lead to schism we just need to get better at doing so with respect.

    1. Hi Matt, I’m not sure of your full name or real name so I’m assuming it’s Matt.

      Are you a minister with a local or district license ordained in the Church of the Nazarene?

      Did you read the article?

      This stance is clear.

      Satan causes confusion. He is the author of lies. He leads people to disagree on things that matter and become like the culture rather than like Christ. The Church of the Nazarene has a clear set of things they believe and clear biblical teachings concerning “life” and “human sexuality” namely homosexuality.

      If you disagree with these biblically sound teachings, Then the answer is, yes you can do that, you can diasagree, just do it in another denomination. If you don’t agree with the Church of the Nazarene then choose another denomination to go and disagree with.

      Why join a church and agree with it in membership and ministry and then disagree on social media, etc.

      Why lie?

      Just be honest and say “I disagree”, so I’m joining another denomination.

      The problem is that those who cause disunity rarely do that. They don’t start their own church, or denomination, they go after ones that already exist and cause disunity.

      Instead of ministers relinquishing or returning their credentials they are doing contrary to what they agreed to do.

      I think the Church leadership should start taking them back.

      When I was being ordained the GS told me that if I ever did anything that was contrary to what we believe or if I wanted to teach differently that I should return them, which is much easier than being deceptive.

      If you disagree, just turn them back in and join another denomination.

      1. Hi Derek,

        I am not sure of your full name or real name so I am assuming it is Derek and not say BoDerek or, Derekizabeth, so I will go with Derek. When posting my comment I gave my full name and email, so Brian to whom I responded has it.

        I am ordained

        I read the blog post (article?)

        A totalitarian, “agree with me or leave” stance has never been the modus operandi of the Nazarene Church since its inception. Read about the debates between the Eastern, Southern, Northern, faction etc.. You may have heard this quote before, but if not I share it again
        “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; but in all things, love.”

        Bresee said it often (even if he wasn’t the first to have said it). Now of course there is wiggle room in what is classified as an essential vs. what is a non-essential, but again that should be discussed in love.

        “Go elsewhere to disagree” hardly seems loving. I am sure there were many that felt the same way about those radicals who wanted to go out to the moving pictures for entertainment, or wear wedding bands, or swim with the opposite sex (co-bathing *GASP*). However the church worked through those issues, and I am sure in the the loving guidance of the Holy Spirit it can work through the discussions of today.

  4. “entire sanctification” is without biblical justification ……I have never met anybody who was sanctified…….if you have I would like to meet Them!

  5. Thank you Dr.Powell….great read and truth. Praying for our beloved church and for our brothers and sisters if the faith in the UMC. We have too much to gain to lose.

  6. I wish you would not have combined two very different posts into one. It’s good to encourage and advise credential candidates. It’s good to advise the BMC on things to pay attention to (that’s a part of your job I assume). But this article feels like you changed highways 1/3 of the way through but didn’t use a turn signal. It’s feels a little bait-and-switchy or at least like you are trying to soften up the ministerial reader before bringing down the hammer.

  7. Thanks for all you’ve done in the church. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to keep a hundred or so churches on the same page with this topic, or any other for that matter. I hope God’s best for you.


    Though it wouldn’t be surprising to learn some up and coming pastors are approaching ordination in unhealthy ways, the reason there is division in the UMC, or COTN, or any other tradition is probably not because young leaders have banded together with an agenda to be manipulative, or deceitful, or to subordinate scripture to culture. The division exists because many of our young leaders recognize reality: real live human beings, who don’t fit into our prefabricated heterosexual constructs, are currently not welcome in the overwhelming majority of our churches. This is a tragedy. I kinda think that any of our young leaders who possess the courage to ask questions, particularly when they feel like they’re standing up for those being shunned, turned away, or otherwise scapegoated, could be celebrated. My guess is, one day, us old people will look back upon the generation that genuinely wrestled with this reality and recognize it was us, not them who were “being played like pawns in the grand scheme of something much more destructive.”

    1. Thank you, Brian Powell! This is something that needed to be said & I’m grateful that you’ have the courage to say it. When I read the Manual & then spend time on social media, I wonder how some of the Nazarene pastors are able to keep their credentials. Frankly, they shouldn’t seek ordination to begin with if they do not believe what’s stated in the Manual as is. In other words, it should not be anyone’s goal to be a “change agent” within the Nazarene Church (or any denomination for that matter). By the way, I actually saw a popular Nazarene pastor’s LinkedIn & he refers to himself as an agent of change. Bold statement! By the way, I’ve also seen many social media posts of the chatter of Nazarene pastors talking about how it is a calling to change the Nazarene church to a more affirming church. These folks are boldly promoting LGBTQ+…Many talk as though our church denomination is not welcoming to this “community”. However I’ve been in the Nazarene Church for decades & I’ve never seen one sinner of any sort be unwelcome to attend church. On the contrary, the Nazarene Church has been loving & welcoming to all. However, the Nazarene Church has not embraced sins of anyone. So if someone is a liar or thief or homosexual or glutton or alcoholic or adulterer or what, they’re more than welcome to come. Yet, as a church, we should not be expected to take up a flag & celebrate any sin. Instead we should share the Gospel with them so that they can be saved & live a holy life here on this earth & look to their inheritance in heaven as well. This is love — that we love God & others — that we love others enough to compassionately help them on this earth & compassionately see that they’re given the Gospel so that they may live in eternal loving relationship with Jesus forever…., My prayer is that leaders will see that their calling is to seek & to save the lost. Not to affirm sin & love them into Hell.

  8. Brian, could not have agreed more with all you have stated. We, as the Church of the Nazarene, are at a precipice in terms of which way we go in standing firm on the absolutes of truth found in God’s Word…or bending, yielding, rationalizing, wavering, fearful of offending, or thinking we have new insights, interpretations, or a more clever way of discerning truth that somehow our spiritual forefathers overlooked. The exact battle of our Methodist brothers and sisters and others for some time now. And as so accurately stated, Satan remains the Chief Deceiver to all of us. For he cannot deceive unless he himself knows the truth of God.

    These are also days when our church leadership, in every spiritual, local, and denominational assignment, must remain unfazed by the tempest around us, be clear and out-spoken, unflinching, and bold in declaring who we are and remain as Nazarenes. This is not a time for the timid, the weak with fear, or those “still working through certain issues” in their hearts and minds. The godless world is on full assault against the Church of Jesus Christ.

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