What is General Assembly?
Fri, 08/26/2022 – 14:24
When Nazarenes gather together for the 30th General Assembly and Conventions 9-16 June 2023, what is the purpose? And why is it important for Nazarenes to participate?
The event is typically held every four years as Nazarenes representing the 32,000 congregations and 164 world areas join together to worship God, grow through workshops and trainings, and conduct necessary church business.
The 30th General Assembly and Conventions will meet under the theme “Jesus is Lord.” General Secretary Gary Hartke says that the event’s theme helps the denomination refresh and refocus on its mission.
“Whether it’s business that improves our Manual so we can be more effective as a denomination or worship to renew us,” Hartke said. “It all points toward us accomplishing our mission as the Church of the Nazarene.”
All six general superintendents will speak during corporate worship services from 9-13 June 2023, examining how Jesus is Lord in our missions, discipleship, worship, and evangelism. One of those six corporate services will include the Quadrennial Address, delivered by General Superintendent Carla Sunberg.
While the General Assembly is the name of the event, it is also the name of the legislative body of delegates elected for the purpose of Manual changes and General Superintendent elections.
General Assembly is defined as “…the supreme doctrine-formulating, lawmaking, and elective authority of the Church of the Nazarene, subject to the provisions of the Church Constitution” (300, Manual of the Church of the Nazarene).
The event includes conventions for Nazarene Discipleship International (NDI), Nazarene Missions International (NMI), Nazarene Youth International (NYI), and the Global Nazarene Education Consortium (GNEC), which will be held simultaneously on-site.
Additional elements include the Love Your Neighbor service project, Children’s World Quiz 2023, and GA Kids worship services. Workshops and a ministry-focused exhibit hall will be offered to encourage and develop pastors, leaders, and laypeople.
When it comes to church business, the keyword is “delegates.” Based on district phases and membership, delegates are elected to the General Assembly and to each conference for NDI, NMI, NYI, and GNEC.
General Assembly delegates will vote on general church business as well as new general superintendents. Two new general superintendents will take the place of David Graves and Eugénio Duarte as they retire.
Hartke believes it’s key that attendees see the integration of Jesus is Lord throughout the event as the denomination accomplishes the necessary growth, worship, and business together.
“As we depart, we take what we have learned and accomplished back to our communities to help our churches live into making Jesus Lord over every aspect of what we do,” Hartke said.
The global nature of the event is one of the most important elements. Hartke says that the gathering of diverse backgrounds helps “put us in the context of others.”
“We realize we come with many different worldviews, perspectives, and government structures, but we can align in one mission. There’s nothing like coming together with thousands of people to realize that alignment in our differences.”
To learn more about the 30th General Assembly and Conventions to be held 9-16 June 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana, click here. For more information about the Love Your Neighbor service project, click here.