Testimony from the 2023 General Assembly
By Iuri Barbosa
The 30th General Assembly of the Church of the Nazarene was held at the Indianapolis Convention Center in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, from June 9th to 15th 2023. From the first to the last day of the event, the theme “Jesus is Lord” was evident as the name of Christ was exalted and honoured by Nazarenes from all around the world who participated in events, services, and business meetings.
This was my first time attending General Assembly and as an African I felt a deep sense of belonging. I was blessed to be with brothers and sisters from many different Nazarene churches in Africa, and beyond, praising the Lord and contributing to the advancement of the church in one space and one Spirit.
All the regions, ministries, Nazarene educational institutions, and organisations dynamically demonstrated what they have been doing for the sake of the gospel in the Exhibition Hall. During the worship services, the worship team brought us closer to the presence of the Lord through their beautiful music. This was followed by each General Superintendent blessing us with powerful sermons that helped us dive deep into the Word of the Lord and made us, once again, recognize that Jesus is the Lord of the church and of our lives.
The sermons were based on the commands: Go, Worship, Follow, Share, Live, and Love. We were challenged to be more like Christ and to continue to make Christlike disciples in the nations.
Go: General Superintendent Dr. Eugénio Duarte challenged us to “go even before we know all the answers.”
Worship: Dr. David Graves touched us deeply with the statement, “worship is about us coming to the place where we understand who Jesus is.”
Follow: Dr. Gustavo Crocker stated that “discipleship is followers who follow followers who follow Jesus.”
Share: Dr. David Busic challenged us with the reminder that “the Church is not a building. The Church is a sent people”.
Live: Dr. Carla Sunberg stated, “If Jesus is Lord, and if Jesus is Holy, then the call of God’s people is to be Holy”.
Love: Dr. Filimao Chambo proclaimed, “the chaos of the world should never have the final say in our identity in Christ. Jesus is Lord!”
In all events, services, and business meetings a team of fully trained interpreters translated the proceedings live thus uniting the global church in praise and worship and allowing for all delegates to fully participate in all of General Assembly’s business. Being one of the interpreters, I had the privilege of working among very talented interpreters from all over the world and I really felt useful. At the end of each service, I could see this task as a real ministry where we could serve the Lord by connecting every delegate and visitor through their own language.
With the retirement of General Superintendents Dr. Eugenio Duarte and Dr. David Graves, two new General Superintendents were elected: Dr. T Scott Daniels and Dr. Christian Sarmiento who will serve the Church of the Nazarene for the next 4 years.
At the end of the 30th General Assembly we all left encouraged and challenged to do more for the betterment of the Kingdom of God. I look forward to the next time we can gather for General Assembly in 2027. May God keep blessing His church and His people!