If I were a Nazarene I’d try to Merge with the Wesleyans
If I were a Nazarene I’d try to get my denomination to merge with the Wesleyans. Here’s why:
1. Low Taxes. Wesleyans have low district, educational and denominational taxes—usually about 10% combined—and there’s talk of lowering it even more next summer. If Nazarenes joined the Wesleyans they could keep more of their own money locally.
2. Localism prevails. Among Wesleyans the local church really is at the top of the food chain—not the district or denomination. Wesleyan pastors have more power than DSs or GSs; pastors dominate Wesleyan boards and committees and as speakers at all conventions all the way to the top—if I were a Nazarene pastor I’d want to get in on this.
3. Pension is funded. Wesleyans don’t tax this generation to pay for the previous generation’s retirement, but actually save all pension money pastors put in to pay that individual pastor’s pension. If I were a Nazarene I’d want to merge to get in on this sound plan.
4. Mega church friendly. Wesleyans like churches in the thousands and the denomination pretty much lets these church do whatever they want. Beyond that, Wesleyans have a tax cap—after a certain point churches don’t pay a cent of taxes on the rest of the money they receive. If I were a Nazarene mega church pastor I’d want to get in on this.
5. Conservative Doctrine. It’s no secret that Wesleyans are considered a tad bit more doctrinally conservative than Nazarenes—so even if I were the tad bit more liberal Nazarene I’d figure that there was safety in that solid conservatism—comparatively, that is.
6. Catholic-spirited. Wesleyans aren’t very denominational. They are sort of an undenominational movement that seldom even mentions their name—even in local church names. Wesleyans show up in force at Catalyst and other conventions and seldom push to have a “Wesleyan edition” of whatever is the latest craze—they are always cooperating with other denominations. If I were a Nazarene I’d like that.
7. Fewer General Superintendents. Many Americans wonder why a denomination needs a bunch of GSs when the whole USA only has one President. Wesleyans have only three GSs, but they are probably headed next summer to reduce that to one. If I were a Nazarene I’d want to promote that idea and doing it by merger would be the easiest way.
8. JoAnne Lyon. If I were a Nazarene I’d be pushing merger with the Wesleyans just to get JoAnne Lyon. I don’t think Nazarenes can get her any other way.
9. World Hope. Through the innovative leadership of H C Wilson and JoAnne Lyon Wesleyans founded World Hope—a NCO that is not owned by the church but works parallel with it. If I were a Nazarene I’d want to merge, not just to get this connection with World Hope, but to design a common denomination that had this kind of global and generous-spirited approach to things—founding things you don’t have to control.
10. Wesleyans have the name Wesleyan. If I were a Nazarene I’d want to get a better name now that the denomination has grown up. I’d want a name that was more respectable, more decent—something like “the Wesleyan Church” or “the Wesleyan Methodist Church” and Wesleyans own the rights to both of those names. (Wesleyans also own Pilgrim Holiness, but we’d give that to the Nazarenes for free.)
Those are the reasons I’d want to marry the Wesleyans if I were a Nazarene. That is, unless the Nazarenes insist on remaining single.
So, what do you think?
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Keith Drury April 19, 2011