NDI Core Principles
NDI is now encouraging the church to double-down on 5 discipleship-centered activities:
- Fervent Prayer
- Compassionate Outreach
- Comprehensive Biblical Learning
- Intentional Mentoring and Equipping
- Authentic Relationships
Sunday School and Small Groups
Sunday School and small groups are an important aspect of Nazarene Discipleship International (NDI). Sunday School has always been a part of the Church of the Nazarene. From the denominational beginnings at Pilot Point, Texas, the founding fathers were firmly committed to promoting evangelism, missions, and Christian education. This young, fledgling religious movement took Aseriously Christ’s command to “go … make disciples of all nations … teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19-20).
Because of the evangelistic fervor and revival spirit of those days, the Sunday School became the primary tool through which new believers were taught the tenets of faith. Sunday School and small groups hold a vital role in the Church of the Nazarene. The Sunday School and small groups help NDI fulfill its Core Principles to men, women, boys, and girls as they study God’s Word, the Bible, and apply its life-guiding principles.
From the beginning of the denomination, the General Assembly has organized the total church membership into districts. Once the district boundaries have been established, a district assembly date is set, and delegates from local churches on the district come together to elect district officers: superintendent, secretary, treasurer, Advisory Board, Ministerial Credentials, etc. Each of the three ministries (NYI, NMI, NDI) also elect officers and councils at that time. It is the work of those elected at the district level to set goals and motivate the local churches to cooperate in reaching together what cannot be done separately. It is, therefore, necessary to elect individuals who have leadership qualities and are respected among those with whom they will be working throughout the year.
The district NDI organization is responsible for promoting the work of making disciples through Sunday School growth on the district, as well as for program-oriented ministries of outreach, evangelism, and Christian nurture for all age levels. Just as a local church elects an NDI Board to carry out these functions, there shall also be an NDI Board elected on the district level. Those elected to this board should be adherents to the goals and objectives of the NDI organization. This board, along with the district SDMI chair, serves as a liaison between the global NDI office in Lenexa, Kansas, and the local churches located on that district.
Sunday School is the foundational ministry for every age-group. A church should provide this ministry even if it can provide no others. The work of the Sunday School is best carried out through age-groups— children, youth, and adult—with a council responsible to organize and administer the work of each. As a church grows, it should add additional ministries for each age-group as needs become apparent and there are leadership and resources to meet those needs.
- To provide leadership for the various age-group ministries
- To assist other NDI leaders in the promotion of events sponsored by their ministries
- To analyze and survey the Christian education needs of each local church when requested, and to assist the local NDI president in meeting these needs
- To oversee the coordination of the programs and ministries in CM, youth Sunday School, and AM (see Nazarene Manual, par. 241.2)
- To keep the mission, purpose, and five core principles in mind at all times.
Children’s Discipleship Ministries
The District Children’s Discipleship Ministries has three major functions:
- To provide district-wide ministries to children. These include children’s camps, Caravan events, Bible quizzing, talent festivals, mission rallies, and sports activities. Events like these help children from different churches to know one another. The events also help children from smaller churches understand their churches are part of a larger organization.
- To equip and support local churches as they minister to children. Local church workers need training, materials, and encouragement as they minister to children. The District Children’s Ministries should provide this.
- To serve as a liaison between the global Nazarene Discipleship International office in Lenexa, Kansas, and the local churches of the district. Children’s Ministries depends on district children’s leadership to keep up-to-date mailing lists of local church personnel and work directly with them. NDI in Lenexa, Kansas encourages district leaders to train local workers and to forward information from the global NDI office to them. The most efficient way for the district to carry out these functions is through the work of a district Children’s Ministries director and a district NDI Board.
Youth Discipleship Ministries
All youth ministries of the district shall be carried out by the district NYI under the supervision of the district superintendent and the District Advisory Board. The district NYI president shall be ex officio member of the District SDMI Board. The following duties of the district NYI president that follow are drawn from the NYI Charter and Ministry Plans (Nazarene Manual, par. 810.104):
- Giving leadership and direction to district NYI, working in cooperation with NYI and district leadership.
- Chairing the District NYI Council to cast a vision for youth ministry on the district.
- Facilitating the development of youth ministry on the district and working with the District NYI Council to define the district NYI ministry focus according to needs.
- Encouraging the development of NYI ministry in each local church within the district.
- Representing the interests of NYI on all appropriate district boards and committees.
Adult Discipleship Ministries
The District Adult Discipleship Ministries has three major functions:
- To provide district-wide ministries to adults. These might include single adult weekends, men’s camp-outs, women’s retreats, Prime Time banquets, etc. Events like these help adults from different churches get to know one another. They provide training and inspirational events the local church alone cannot provide. The events also help adults from smaller churches to understand their church is part of a larger organization.
- To equip and support local churches as they minister to adults. Local church workers need training, materials, and encouragement as they minister to adults. The district Adult Ministries should provide a variety of opportunities and resources to accomplish this.
- To serve as a liaison between the global NDI office at the Global Ministry Center (GMC) and the local churches of the district.