In response to my questioning of the “Diversity” of the Global Ministry Center Leadership of the Church of the Nazarene

Following yesterday’s blog on the lack of diversity in the leadership of the Church of the Nazarene (with the exception of the Board of General Superintendents), I received a few less-than-supportive messages questioning how I could possibly believe that the Church of the Nazarene was not diverse or how I was simply wanting to be “politically correct” to suggest that we should be more diverse. I believe the term is “doubling down” (a gambling term that this life-long Nazarene shouldn’t know) and I confess that the accusations that I am less-than-loyal to a church that I deeply love may have gotten my “panties in a bunch.”

From the chart below (which admittedly might not be complete. If there are mistakes message me without calling me names, and I will adjust it.  And for some reason I couldn’t justify the columns, I apologize for that too), you decide on the question of whether there needs to be more diversity at the Global Ministry Center and how “international” our leadership really is at the GMC.

Draw your own conclusions on how well our 1,917,022 non-USA/Canada members (out of a total membership of 2,550,374 members) is represented with the below list of leaders.

Once again for the record: I love the people on this list (I was pastor to some of them when I served as Lenexa Central’s pastor).  I have no beef with the people or their qualifications or competence. I know they love Jesus and the Church of the Nazarene.

My issue is simply: If we are going to call ourselves an “international church” instead of an American Church that has some missions’ programs shouldn’t we be a bit more “international”?

Position                           Name                  Nation of Origin

General Secretary           Gary Hartke             USA

General Treasurer           Keith Cox                  USA

Chief Financial Officer   Bill Sawyer               USA

Global Mission Director  Vern Ward               USA

President the Naz Foundation Ken Roney       USA

Pres. The Fountry Pub        Mark Brown          USA

NYI Director                 Position Open

NMI Director                 Lola Brickey                 USA

SDMI Director               Scott Rainey                 USA

Clergy Education/Ed Comm     Dan Copp         USA

General Editor               Frank Moore                 USA

Regional Director            Bob Broadbrooks       USA

P&B Director                 Don Walter                    USA

Research                     Dale Jones                         USA

Church Planting              Mark Bane                  USA

Communications               Cort Miller                USA

Multicultural                Roberto Hodgson         Guatemala?

Stewardship                 Position Open

IT Director                  Jeff Beam                         USA

HR Director                  Cindy Armstrong         USA

BGS Office Manager           Joy Hartke              USA

NCM Director                 Nell Sweeden               USA

Global Mission Personnel     Marty Haskins           USA

General Counsel              Michael Thompson        USA

JFHP Director                Brian Helstrom          USA

NCN News                     Chad Schnarr            Canada

Editor of Holiness Today     Charles Christian       USA

I completely agree that some of these positions should be filled by folks from USA/Canada (maybe even more than half… I don’t know the “magic number” that would be fair and equitable).  But can’t we agree that as a denomination we can do better?  Can’t we agree that if heaven is going to be as diverse as Revelation 7:9 indicates (“I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb”), then our goal should be that we are a reflection of heaven too if we are praying for God’s kingdom to come and His will done on earth (at the GMC) as it is in heaven.

I love the Church of the Nazarene and pray that we can improve and truly be representative of heaven on earth.

4 thoughts on “In response to my questioning of the “Diversity” of the Global Ministry Center Leadership of the Church of the Nazarene

  1. bkcook6

    Thank you for your willingness to approach a difficult topic with grace and truth. As you mentioned some responsibilities are fully the responsibility of the US and should be filled with capable people who understand those responsibilities and will be faithful to carry them out. I believe that God has also called capable people from other countries who understand global responsibilities and would faithfully carry them out if asked. This is not a simple task as there are many difficulties facing those from other countries working and serving in the US. However, it is an effort worth pursuing so that Christ’s church reflects the fullness of His redeemed people. I do not believe you are being critical of the past but rather seeking to cast a vision that would help us to move into a future that enables our brothers and sisters around the globe to fully participate and perhaps enhance our global church. Dr. Crocker recently spoke to our district assembly. His global perspective was greatly appreciated and deeply needed by the American church. May God help us to find other Godly leaders from around the globe to lead our church into a glorious future.

    1. Rob Prince Post author

      Thank you. I really am not trying to be critical. And I don’t want to come across as a “contrarian.” I love the CotN. Always have. Always will. But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t raise questions and see her fulfill the Great Commission as Christ calls us!

  2. Craig Laughin

    Thank Rob, Kind of painful to see it in black and white like that. We have come a long way from the bad old days of all white, middle American males in the General Superintendency and we should celebrate that. We just can’t stop. We need to press on and let the whole church be represented at every level of leadership. Preach it, brother.


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