What is a Nazarene?
Jesus grew up in a town called Nazareth - a town widely considered to be "on the wrong side of the tracks." It was a place where the poor lived, the impoverished, diseased, outcasts - the not-good-enoughs. However, Jesus had a way of turning the tables on our expectations even down to his humble hometown. Christ spent much of his ministry helping others see the "upside down" kingdom he claimed to be ushering in where the first shall be last and the last shall be first and greatness is defined by servanthood. Following the example of Jesus the Nazarene, the Church of the Nazarene began in the inner city of Los Angeles reaching out to the poor, impoverished, diseased, and outcasts. From its very inception our church has believed that no one is undeserving of God's love or beyond the reach of his grace. This same belief remains at the heart of who we are to this very day.
• We are Christian
As members of the Church Universal, we join with all true believers in proclaiming the Lordship of Jesus Christ and in affirming the historic Trinitarian creeds and beliefs 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 Holiness
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 our neighbors as ourselves, and producing in us the character of Christ. Holiness in the life of believers is most clearly understood as Christlikeness.
• We are Missional
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; 2 Corinthians 6:1). 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 women and men for Christian service through Christian higher education.