I would tell the General Superintendents, “We love you. We honor you. But you work too much. As such there is a new scheduling rule: Your cannot be away from your home for more than six Sundays over the course of two months. On those “off” Sundays you have to really be “off.” No side preaching gigs (even if the church is close by); no bringing greetings from your recent travels, no nothing. Attend worship at your home church with your spouse. Renew your soul. Sing, praise, and worship; be encouraged, convicted and uplifted just like every other believer in attendance. We desperately need well rested, creative, visionary, leaders– not over-worked, over-tired, over-stressed bureaucrats. “
I would tell our international brothers and sisters: “We need you.” We need your input. At the recent General Assembly– there were 159 resolutions considered. 155 of those were from the USA. Four were from the other 158 countries where there is a Nazarene presence. I’m not a math whiz– and I’m not exactly sure what those numbers fully mean– but I don’t think it’s good. If we are going to be a global church– we need voices from around the globe to be heard.
I would tell our USA/Canada brothers and sisters: Quit crying over living in a post-Christian America and do something. Try to reach your neighborhood. Try new things. Try building bridges. Try loving the unlovable. Try. Try. Try. Will everything work? Nope (not even close). But some things might. Take risks. Be adventurous. Be evangelistic. Do not except the excuse that reaching the unchurched population is harder now. America still needs Jesus (more than ever?). The Gospel is still the Good News that must be shared.
I would tell local churches– quit “boo hooing” over budgets too. They are not a tax. They are not franchise fees. If we want to make Christ-like disciples in the nations– they are a necessity. On my district we had eleven churches that didn’t give one dime toward any of their apportionments. Zero. Zippo. Nada. I get it that not every year is going to be a good financial year. Sometimes the decision is light bill or college apportionment? (Chose electricity, Mr. Edison). There might be years when “Paid in Full” is not next to your church’s name in the district journal. It happens. But giving zero to missions? Zero? If just one person in the church, gave up one Starbucks’ coffee a week– that would be $250 in a year. How can a church not give a lousy buck to missions and call themselves a place that cares about reaching the lost? Giving to missions is doubly important when one recognizes that a far majority of the new converts are coming from one of the 158 nations not named “United States.”
I would tell our people to celebrate baptisms more. Baptisms are the result of conversions. Too often “New Nazarenes” are the result of a church split at the Baptist church down the road. I have no interest in disgruntled sheep exchanging one pasture for a greener Nazarene pasture– I have a lot of interest in seeing those completely lost sheep finding the Great Shepherd, Jesus. I believe the commission is to “Go and Baptize…” not “Go and make Nazarenes” or any other thing. We are to make disciples, Christ-like disciples, baptizing them in the name Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”
That’s what I would do on my first day on the job if I were the Nazarene Czar.