Terms We Use

As we travel throughout northeast Illinois, we have met so many people who are new to our churches and our district.  It quickly became clear many of our new friends are unaware of what a district does or the language our district uses. Below is a list of 47 terms you may hear people use among us.  If you have questions, feel free to contact us anytime.  We are here to serve you!

Local Church Terms  (18)

Apprentice Group Leader – any person willing to assist a ministry group or discipleship group leader.  In the Bible these individuals are referred to as “Timothy’s.”

Church – a group of people who 1) have a lay or clergy leader, 2) meet at a regular, announced time and 3) are aligned with the church’s mission of disciple-making

Church Board Leader – a person elected by the church members to serve on the church’s governing board 

Church Planter – a Lay or Clergy Leader sent by the church to evangelize and make disciples of people who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  This may be locally, somewhere else in the United States or around the world.

Clergy Leader – a member who feels a divine call to a lifetime of ministry and pursues ordination

Coach – a skilled leader given the responsibility of encouraging, resourcing and multiplying group leaders within the church

Disciple-Making (discipleship) – our process of helping people become obedient followers of Christ

Discipleship Group Leader – a person responsible to lead any “disciple-making” group within the church, either for children, youth or adults.  These may be short-term or long-term classes or small groups.  Every church has and is a collection of discipleship groups and ministry groups. 

Evangelism – sharing the good news that we can have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ!

Groups Inventory – Because leadership development is so connected with leading groups of people, and because every church is made up of a collection of ministry groups and discipleship groups, pastors are required to maintain an inventory of all groups and group leaders.

Lay Leader – every Christian attending one of our churches not called to be a clergy leader.  We believe a leader is simply someone with influence and that’s why we believe everyone can be a leader.

Lay Minister – a member serving the church in a specialized assignment such as a staff member, church planter or co-vocational pastor who does not at the present time feel a special call to become an ordained minister

Leadership Community – a scheduled gathering of all leaders within the church for communication, encouragement and training.  This event is sometimes hosted by the church board and is extremely helpful in the development of new leaders within the church.  

Leadership Development Path – the process we use to develop disciple-making leaders

Local Licensed Minister – A Lay Leader who feels a divine call to a lifetime of ministry and pursues ordination may become a locally licensed minister by action of the church board. 

Ministry Group Leader – a person responsible to lead any “serving” ministry within the church, i.e. ushers, greeters, money counters, trustees, missions, worship, church board, communion, media, outreach, etc.  Every church has and is a collection of ministry groups and discipleship groups. 

Ordination – the act of granting ministerial authority, done in a sacred ceremony at the annual District Assembly.  Ministers must complete both educational requirements and 3 years of service prior to ordination. 

Spiritual Steps – In disciple-making, we encourage everyone to take the spiritual steps of baptism, joining a ministry group to serve, a discipleship group to grow, and becoming a giver and an inviter. We also encourage people to make a complete commitment to God and live life filled with the Holy Spirit.

District Definitions  (22) 

Chicago Central District (CCD) – all of the Nazarene churches within the 12 counties of northeast Illinois who work together, sharing their resources 

Church-Type Mission (CTM) – new churches started by a local church (or district), not yet organized with a governing board, are registered with the General Secretary as a CTM.

District – an entity made up of interdependent churches, organized to facilitate the mission of each church through mutual support, sharing resources and collaboration 

District Advisory Board – a group of Lay Leaders and Clergy Leaders elected by the District Assembly to serve on the District’s governing board

District Assembly – the annual District gathering of Clergy Leaders and Lay Leaders

District Board of Ministry – a group of District Clergy Leaders who oversee the development of new Clergy Leaders, encourage the District’s mission of church planting and multiplying leaders and ministries and who provide accountability for ministers’ life-long learning

District Disciple-Making Team (SDMI & NYI) – a group of Children’s Leaders, Youth Leaders and Adult Leaders who assist churches in their disciple-making and leadership development path

District Lay Pastor – a Lay Minister serving under District assignment as a church planter or co-vocational pastor who does not at the present time feel a special call to become an ordained minister 

District Licensed Minister – After holding a local minister’s license for one year, a Clergy Leader may be interviewed by the District Board of Ministry and receive a District license to minister.  Clergy Leaders are required to attend the annual Board of Ministry Day from the time they receive their first District license to their ordination.

District Mission Strategy Team – Mission Area Leaders working with the Superintendent, who are tasked to achieve the District’s mission of multiplying leaders, ministries and healthy churches

District Properties Board – a group of Lay Leaders and Clergy Leaders elected by the District Assembly to assist and resource churches with church properties

District Superintendent – an ordained Clergy Leader elected by the District Assembly to oversee and resource the District mission of multiplying leaders, ministries and healthy churches 

Electronic Toolbox – Using Dropbox, the CCD provides 1,500+ electronic resources free of charge for use by Clergy leaders and Lay Leaders within the district.  

Expand the Mission – the annual financial campaign of the CCD, designed in partnership with local churches, to expand each church’s participation to multiply leaders, ministries and healthy churches. 

Fully Organized Church (FOC) – Church-Type Missions that grow, develop a governing board and are prepared by the Superintendent, can be brought into the District as a Fully-Organized Church.

Ministerial Categories – There are 7 areas Nazarene Clergy Leaders may serve in: pastor, evangelist, missionary, teacher, administrator, chaplain and special service.

Ministerial Roles – The District Board of Ministry recognizes 12 ways Clergy Leaders may serve the church and earn service credit toward ordination. 1) The Administrator, 2) The Chaplain, 3) The Deaconess, 4) The Educator, 5) The Evangelist, 6) The Minister of Christian Education, 7) The Minister of Music, 8) The Missionary, 9) The Pastor, 10) The Interim Pastor, 11) The Song Evangelist and 12) Special Service.

Mission Area – a population of unreached people within the District, served by a group of churches living on mission. They may be organized by geography, ethnicity or language.

Network Leader – The Church of the Nazarene is an international network of 30,000+ churches located in 162 countries.  Network Leaders are Clergy Leaders and Lay Leaders who serve other local churches within the Nazarene network.  We consider all District leaders leading a District group serving local churches as Network Leaders.

Ordained Elder or Deacon – The church has only one order of preaching ministry, that of “ordained elder.”  A Clergy Leader may also choose to be ordained as a deacon, which is a non-preaching role.

Parent Affiliated Church (PAC)Church-Type Missions and ministries started by or connected with a local church can be registered with the General Secretary as a PAC.

NexGen – the USA/Canada focus for mobilizing young people to engage in church planting.  This includes an annual January focus at Olivet Nazarene University for linking students with local church planting opportunities on districts.

International Church Definitions  (7)

General Assembly – the 4-year gathering of Nazarene Clergy Leaders and Lay Leaders from 162 countries and 486 Districts throughout the world

General Board – a group of Lay Leaders and Clergy Leaders elected from the world regions by the General Assembly to serve on the General Church’s governing board.  They meet annually and provide an annual global report on the church’s evangelism and disciple-making progress. 

General Secretary – an ordained Clergy Leader elected by the General Assembly to oversee all Clergy Leader records, global documents, global communication, who gather annual statistics and reports and prepare Districts for the General Assembly.   

General Superintendents – Six ordained Clergy Leaders elected by the General Assembly to oversee and resource the Nazarene global mission of “making Christ-like disciples in the nations.” 

Global Regions – Africa, Asia-Pacific, Eurasia, Mesoamerica, South America and USA/Canada

Nazarene Missions International (NMI) – a global ministry organization designed to mobilize the church in mission through prayer, disciple-making, giving and educating.  

Nazarene Youth International (NYI) – a global ministry organization focused on evangelism, disciple-making and leadership development of our youth