Yes, yes… I know… The last blog post was all “Hip-hip-hooray! The GN blog is back up!” Then we missed a week… I’ll just be totally honest with you: I forgot. But we are BACK for real now! I’ve set a reminder in my phone and EVERYTHING.
So, let’s get back into the State of the Church! If you missed the last blog on the Nazarene Denomination’s new statement on human sexuality, you can read that right here! This week though, I want to focus on the global family that makes up the Church of the Nazarene. In this past General Assembly, the Church of the Nazarene took huge steps to becoming a true global church. This started with the election of our two newest General Superintendents. I’m going to take this blog post and introduce you to these two new leaders of your church.
The first new General Superintendent to be elected a few weeks ago was Dr. Filimao Chambo, the Africa regional director. Dr. Chambo is from Mozambique, and currently lives in South Africa, and I’m going to just be totally honest, from the things that I’ve heard and read about him, Dr. Chambo sounds like one of the most intelligent and coolest guys around. In his acceptance speech, he talked about his call to ministry and his journey in ministry so far. He is a genuine leader, an expert on theology and holiness, and a great choice to be one of the next leaders of the denomination.
The second General Superintendent elected was Dr. Carla Sunberg. Dr. Sunberg is the second female GS to be elected in the 108-year history of the Church of the Nazarene. She is truly a child of the global church. She was born and raised on the mission field in Germany, was ordained and ministered in Russia, pastored in Indiana, was a district Superintendent in Ohio, and the president of Nazarene Theological Seminary. In her acceptance speech, she addressed the call to ministry as a woman.
“As a little girl, my only desire was to follow and serve Jesus,” Carla said. “And I have to confess to you as I grew up in the church, I didn’t know if there would ever be a formal way for me to do so. A little bit later in life, my dear, sweet husband said to me, ‘If only you were a boy, you would have been the preacher in the family.’ And that day, the voice of the Lord said, ‘And why aren’t you?’”
These two newest General Superintendents exemplify what it means to be a part of the Church of the Nazarene.
When I say that our denomination is a global church, I truly mean it. Only one third of the Nazarene church is in America. Another third is found in Africa, and the rest of the world makes up the final third of churches and members. Not only that, but the Nazarene church has a great history of women in ministry. We were founded upon the belief that women could be pastors just as men could.
This General Superintendent election reflected the global community that is your church. We are a church that believes that the call to ministry and leadership extends past gender and cultural boundaries, and that God calls an array of people into the leadership of His church.
I’m so excited for the future that Dr. Chambo and Dr. Sunberg are going to usher in to the Church of the Nazarene!
Hunter Thrasher, Creative Arts Pastor