The Protestant Reformed Churches believe that, in obedience to the command of Christ, the King of the church, to preach the blessed gospel to all creatures, baptizing, and teaching them to observe all things which Christ has commanded, it is the explicit duty and sacred privilege of said churches to carry out this calling according to the measure of our God-given ability.
We believe that this missionary activity includes the work of church extension and church reformation, as well as the task of carrying out the gospel to the unchurched and heathen. However, we are convinced that our present duty lies primarily in the field of church extension and church reformation.
With a view to this persuasion the here following constitution has been drawn up, and any enlargement of the scope of labors would imply changes and enlargements of the present constitution.
Although mission work is the calling of the local church, by virtue of the voluntary church federation some mission work may also become the work of the churches in common. The Mission Committee of the Protestant Reformed Churches is a committee chosen by synod to regulate and supervise all mission activity of the churches in common as prescribed by synod. Hence this committee is a synodical committee and responsible only to synod for all its actions.
The Mission Committee shall consist of ten members from Classis East, five of which shall be ministers and five elders or ex-elders. The committee shall be elected by synod for a term of three years and are eligible for reelection.
- Officers and Tenure of Office
The Committee shall elect its own functionaries, who shall hold office for one year. The officers are eligible for reelection.
- Duties of the Committee
The duties of the Mission Committee are:
- To carry out all mandates of synod that pertain to mission activity of the churches in common.
- To find possible fields and recommend them to the churches.
- As part of its regulation of the mission work of the churches in common, to advise a calling church with regard to all matters concerning the labor and field of activity connected with the appointment and maintenance of a missionary. In case of disagreements which cannot be resolved, the final disposition shall be left to synod.
- To supervise all matters of finances in connection with the mission activity of the churches in common.
- To approve through a committee of two chosen from its own midst all statements of the missionary expenses, which are to be submitted to it by the calling church, prior to their payment by the synodical treasurer.
- To advise the calling church with regard to the organization of a new congregation.
- To submit to synod a written annual report of its work and findings, together with the recommendations it may have to make to synod regarding mission work of the churches in common.
- Relation Between the Committee and the Missionary
- The committee shall at all times keep in close touch with the missionary, and the missionary with the committee. With this in view the missionary shall keep the committee informed as to his work and its results by presenting a bimonthly report.
- This report shall contain the following:
- A statement of the number of calls made.
- A statement of the number of speeches delivered, and radio broadcasts, if any.
- Figures as to the number of pieces of literature mailed and personally distributed.
- The number of miles traveled, how traveled, and why.
- An opinion as to the progress made, and the prospects of the field, together with the motivation for such an opinion.
- Requests for information, advice, and assistance deemed necessary.
- The Calling of a Missionary
Synod shall request one of the churches to function as the calling church. It shall be the duty of said church to call a missionary from a list of suitable candidates provided by the Mission Committee. The calling church shall then proceed to call a missionary for the work. The call letter shall, among other things, contain information as to salary, and also contain a statement of the duties expected of him, together with the promise of an annual vacation.
- Relation Between the Committee and the Calling Church
Although the local church has the calling to perform the work of missions, synod regulates the mission work of the churches in common through its Mission Committee, working closely with the local consistory.
The relationship between the local calling church and the Mission Committee will mean:
- That the local church and the Mission Committee will work closely together to determine a field of labor, the time of labor, and the method of labor to be employed.
- That the decision of the local calling church regarding the field of labor, the time of labor, and the method of labor is to receive the approval of the Mission Committee. In no case shall the field of labor, the time of labor, and the method of labor be determined without the advice of the Mission Committee.
- That all matters of finances connected with the missionary and his work is to be decided by the local calling church upon the advice of the Mission Committee.
- The missionary shall send a copy of his bimonthly report to the calling church.
- A missionary receiving and accepting a call to another field of labor than the one he occupies as missionary shall under all circumstances give both the calling church and the Mission Committee two months’ notice before he leaves his field of labor.
- The place of residence of the missionary shall be determined by the local calling church upon the advice of the Mission Committee.
- The Missionary's Status
- The missionary and his family shall have their membership in the calling church. The missionary shall retain his ministerial status by virtue of being a minister sent out by the calling church.
- The missionary has ex-officio an advisory vote at all synodical meetings dealing with the missionary work in which he is engaged, or in all matters that may affect him and his work.
- Changes in the Constitution
This constitution may be altered, amended, and revised as synod decides.
(Cf. Acts of Synod, 1940, Art. 52; Acts of Synod, 1941, Art. 33, Suppl. IV-3; Acts of Synod, 1942, Arts. 14, 20, Suppl. II, Append. V; Acts of Synod, 1946, Art. 17, 31; Acts of Synod, 1966, Arts. 93-98; Acts of Synod, 1977, Arts. 73, 75; Acts of Synod, 1988, Art. 11; Acts of Synod, 2007, Art. 36.)