Exceptions Committee (formerly Rare Circumstance Committee)

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 Circumstances Adjustment

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.

Capital Stewardship Campaign

This exception is designed for churches entering a Capital Stewardship Campaign (CSC) that would otherwise impact a congregation’s ability to achieve their allocation goals for the Funding the Mission Giving Plan. 

Applications for CSC exceptions are reviewed by the Exceptions Committee, which is currently composed of eight members: three district superintendents, two pastors, and three laypeople. Stewardship Development facilitates the committee’s communication and administrative needs. The committee considers the merit of each situation, taking into account all factors in an attempt to render consistent and well-informed decisions.

The committee reviews certain criteria prior to making a decision on a CSC exception and reviews various benchmarks to ensure consistency. Knowing the criteria may help a church on your district decide whether or not a CSC request is the best resolution in their circumstance.

A CSC that qualifies for an exception generally has each of the following components:

  •A local church financial fundraising campaign that is over and above the tithes and regular offerings of local church donors 
  •It lasts for a specific time (not to exceed 36 months)
  •It is to fund facilities to be used for worship or discipleship and is for at least one of the following:

        a.Purchase of real estate for the expressed intent of worship or discipleship 

        b.Construction of facilities for said purposes 

        c.Acceleration of debt reduction (beyond scheduled loan amortization) on facilities previously constructed for said purposes

To submit a request to the Exceptions Committee:

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