What Makes Us Unique?
The distinctiveness of the Church of the Nazarene is not found in its uniformity, but in its unity.. Here are a few illustrations. A soldier is identified by his uniform. We recognize a McDonalds by the golden arch on the sign and the Big Mac hamburger that is served. We can usually tell whether we are in a cathedral or a mosque by the architecture and icons that we see. In these cases, it is uniformity that makes the institution unique.
The Church of the Nazarene is not recognized by the style of worship, the architecture of our buildings, or the language that is spoken. Nazarenes are not known by the clothes they wear, their nationality, the special rules they adhere to, or the places they meet. Nazarenes are identified by their character and the things they value the most.
We are a Christian People
As members of the Church Universal, we join with all true believers in proclaiming the Lordship of Jesus Christ and in embracing the historic Trinitarian creedal statements of the Christian faith. We value our Wesleyan-Holiness heritage and believe it to be a way of understanding the faith that is true to Scripture, reason, tradition, and experience.
We Are a Holiness People
God, who is holy, calls us to a life of holiness. We believe that the Holy Spirit seeks to do in us a second work of grace, called by various terms including "entire sanctification" and "baptism with the Holy Spirit"- cleansing us from all sin, renewing us in the image of God, empowering us to love God with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves, and producing in us the character of Christ. Holiness in the life of believers is most clearly understood as Christ-likeness.
We Are a Missional People
We are a sent people, responding to the call of Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit to go into all the world, witnessing to the Lordship of Christ and participating with God in the building of the Church and the extension of His kingdom (Matthew 28:19-20). Our mission (a) begins in worship, (b) ministers to the world in evangelism and compassion, (c) encourages believers toward Christian maturity through discipleship, and (d) prepares men and women for Christian service through Christian higher education.