Rare Circumstances

Flexibility, Generosity, and Grace

With a history of missions giving within the Church of the Nazarene, it is no surprise that churches strive to meet all of their allocation goals. However, events and circumstances can put an otherwise faithful congregation in a situation that makes the standard allocation goals difficult to reach.

Each local church is subject to unique circumstances: the sudden loss of the church building, an unexpected legal situation, a large non-cash donation to the local church, or other designated gifts. In specific circumstances, the standard definition of church income might represent an unfair burden on the local church. Therefore, a plan is in place to provide adjustments under rare circumstances. The Rare Circumstance Adjustment process was designed to extend flexibility, generosity, and grace. Allocation adjustments help local churches facing rare financial circumstances continue to be recognized for their generous and faithful giving.

Rare Circumstance Adjustment Application and Committee

Unusual circumstances that are clearly outside the church’s normal activity will be considered for an income adjustment once a Rare Circumstance Adjustment Application is received. The adjustment should be requested during the affected assembly year and approved by the district superintendent and District Advisory Board. Upon district approval, a nine-person team of Nazarene pastors, district superintendents, and lay leaders will consider the request based on the circumstances, church giving patterns, and history of denominational faithfulness. As a matter of organization, the General Board included these as acceptable situation guidelines for the committee’s decisions. Not all of these guidelines must be met for a church to be considered, but an applying church should find that at least some of these statements apply to them. Churches are encouraged to carefully review these before sending a request in as well as when formulating their request. A thorough, written summary is extremely helpful for timely responses.

  • The gift or circumstance creates a financial hardship for the church.
  • The gift is an unsolicited, designated gift to a church without a written designated gift policy.
  • The gift is from a single donor.
  • The gift is not related to an ongoing capital campaign or debt reduction campaign.
  • The gift is greater than or equal to $50,000 (If the gift is less than $50,000, it should be at least 25% of the church’s income.).
  • The gift has already been received (The committee cannot exempt income in advance.).
  • An unexpected expense occurs related to disaster, or extreme or unusual circumstances.

To submit a request for the rare circumstance adjustment:

  • Write a summary of the unusual circumstance(s).
  • Complete the request form.
  • Obtain district superintendent's signature of approval.
  • Obtain the recommendation of the District Advisory Board.
  • Send the request to the Rare Circumstance Committee (rca@nazarene.org) during the affected assembly year.

Pastors (and their district superintendent) will be notified within 30 days of receipt of application.