General Board meeting establishes global WEF formula; USA National Board approves new Pension and Educational formulas
Friday, February 27, 2009
Overland Park, Kansas
With a unanimous vote of the 86th General Board, meeting in Overland Park, Kansas, USA, on 21-23 February 2009, the Church of the Nazarene has for the first time put in place a global World Evangelism Fund (WEF) formula of 5.5 percent. This means all areas, USA/Canada and World Mission regions, will work toward the same goal. 
   
Calling attention to this historic moment, General Superintendent Nina G. Gunter, who presided over the session, took time to note the occasion. The General Board members, representing the denomination from every region, along with the Board of General Superintendents and members of the audience, stood and sang the Doxology.

Jesse C. Middendorf, chairman of the Board of General Superintendents, stated: "This global formula is based on current-year income and no deductions. It is intended to create greater global ownership, participation, and support of the World Evangelism Fund-in addition to giving within the regions for special missional projects."

The proposed global WEF formula of 5.5 percent came to the General Board through a recommendation by the Board of General Superintendents and a vote of the USA National Board, which met on Saturday, 21 February. The USA Board decided the entire General Board should vote on the WEF formula, making it "global" by design.

In the same USA National Board meeting, chaired by Judge Charles Davis of Winter Haven, Florida, USA, the Board approved by a vote of 23-3 to set a Pensions and Benefits (P & B) Fund budget allocation of 2 percent and an Education Fund allocation of 2.5 percent. Both funds would be based on current-year income and no deductions.

"Our financial commitment reaches not only to world evangelism but also to those who participate in the P & B Fund and to the essential ministries of our colleges, universities, and seminaries," noted Middendorf.

With an increase in the base of giving, the proposed USA formula should produce a major increase for P & B and a nominal increase for Education while generating a smaller amount for WEF than the current formula.

One objective of this change is to lessen the financial impact on local churches by inviting the global church to adopt the same 5.5 percent recommendation for the USA and Canada.
   
The new USA budget formula was recommended by the Board of General Superintendents to the USA National Board. 

All changes in the budget formula will take affect with the 2010 district assemblies.

District budgets in the USA, which are a vital part of the mission funding of the church, will be in addition to these categories and percentages. Each district would set its own budget based on district missional priorities. It should be noted that the Board of General Superintendents does not have authority to determine district budgets.

The decision of the general superintendents to move in this direction came as a result of the Budget Allocation Committee work chaired by Bob Brower, president of Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego, California, USA, during this quadrennium (2005-2009).  There were three district superintendents on the committee-Carlton Hansen, Southwest Ohio District, John Seaman, Michigan District, and Steve Borger of the Intermountain District.

In addition to the committee work, focus groups and direct interviews were conducted with pastors, district superintendents, and others before arriving at final recommendations to the Board of General Superintendents.

A special committee has been appointed by the Board of General Superintendents to look into issues related to defining "income," implications for faith promise, and giving to capital projects. 

Mark Lail, director of Stewardship Services, has been asked to lead this group under the direction of Jesse Middendorf, Board chair. The committee includes the general secretary, general treasurer, representatives from Nazarene Missions International, World Mission, and USA/Canada, and Dale Jones, director of the Nazarene Research Center.

To comment on this news release, please write to bgs@nazarene.org.
--Board of General Superintendents
 
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