In the past 21 years, the Church of the Nazarene in Bangladesh has grown to more than 3,000 local churches. The expansive growth of new believers and new congregations, as well as extensive church-led ministries within communities, took place under the guidance of trusted local Nazarene pastors and leaders and through the support and partnership of the global church.
Over the past several months, the Board of General Superintendents and Global Mission have been responding to concerns raised by local leaders and church elders in Bangladesh. The concerns voiced a loss of confidence in the overall leadership of the church in that country because of a pattern of questionable actions that could affect the witness and development of the Church of the Nazarene in Bangladesh.
In response, several multi-national teams of denominational leaders and staff carried out investigations into the named concerns. Based on the findings, the teams determined the need to restructure local church leadership in order to ensure the ongoing stability and health of the Church of the Nazarene in Bangladesh. Arthur Snijders, Eurasia regional director, in consultation with the jurisdictional general superintendent and the director of Global Mission, is guiding the process to identify new leaders to fill key positions within the church structure. Snijders will also work with leaders to build a framework for re-engaging the church in holiness leadership and spiritual development.
“Although the process has been difficult, we believe this provides the church with the best opportunity to advance the kingdom of God in Bangladesh,” said Verne Ward, director of Global Mission for the Church of the Nazarene. “Sharing the good news of Jesus is at the heart of what we as Nazarenes do, and we believe making these changes gives us the best opportunity to fulfill the Great Commission. Our continued focus is on ensuring that local leaders reach their fullest potential and that people in need are helped.”
The situation will continue to evolve over the coming weeks, and denominational leaders are committed to working diligently to support the Church of the Nazarene in Bangladesh. Communication will be ongoing as further information becomes available.
Gustavo Crocker, jurisdictional general superintendent for the Eurasia Region, said, “Please pray for the churches and leaders in Bangladesh during this time of transition. We have seen remarkable growth in the Church of the Nazarene in Bangladesh, and we expect to see God continue to work through Nazarene congregations there.”
— Originally published in NCN News.