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Church Visitor Questions

  1. Is the Word administered at least twice on the Lord’s Day?
  2. Is the Heidelberg Catechism regularly explained in the services for divine worship, so that no doctrine is left untreated?
  3. In the reading services, are sermons used as much as possible which are produced in our own circle?
  4. Is the Lord’s Supper celebrated at least four times a year, preceded by a preparatory sermon, and followed by an applicatory sermon?
  5. Does the consistory see to it that catechism classes are regularly conducted? Does the consistory determine the material for instruction? And does it see to it that the classes are regularly attended?
  6. Are consistory members chosen in agreement with the rules of the Church Order?
  7. Does the consistory meet regularly in accord with the needs of the congregation, at least once a month?
  8. Are all matters coming before the consistory treated according to our Church Order, and are the minutes properly recorded and kept?
  9. Is censura morum conducted among the members of the consistory before each Lord’s Supper?
  10. Is family visitation conducted faithfully, so that each family receives an official visit once a year?
  11. Is church discipline faithfully exercised according to God’s Word and the Church Order?
  12. Is the consistory aware whether there are members of secret organizations in the congregation, and if so, is church discipline applied to them?
  13. What is the spiritual condition of the congregation? Is there unity, peace, and love?
  14. Do the children of the congregation, when they come to years of discretion, seek admission to the Lord’s Supper? And if they are remiss, are they pointed to their obligation and treated as the need requires?
  15. Is the congregation busy in the extension of God’s kingdom, especially in the promotion of missions, to the best of its ability?
  16. Are the synodical assessments faithfully paid, in agreement with the stipulated regulations?
  17. Are the funds of the church and the poor fund and all proofs of possessions kept in a safe place so that no occasion is given for mistrust nor difficulties can arise on leave of office or death, and is the congregation properly incorporated with the State? Are the archives in order?
  18. Does the consistory see to it that the parents send their children to the Christian school?
  19. Are the Forms of Unity signed by all the members of the consistory, the ministers, elders, and deacons?

Questions to the Elders and Deacons in the Absence of the Minister

  1. Does the minister in the preaching and in the administration of the sacraments do his work faithfully according to the Word of God, the Forms of Unity, and the Church Order?
  2. Does the minister faithfully explain God’s Word so that the congregation is built up through his preaching?
  3. Does he regularly conduct the catechism classes, visit the sick faithfully, and take part in family visitation?
  4. Does the minister reveal himself as a worthy example?
  5. Is he devoted as much as possible to the exercise of his office?
  6. Does he receive sufficient income to take care of the needs of his family, taking in consideration the character of his work?

Questions to the Minister and the Deacons in the Absence of the Elders

  1. Do the elders regularly attend the services for divine worship as well as the consistory meetings?
  2. Do they at set times attend the catechism classes to see how they are conducted and attended; and do they assist the minister when the need requires it in catechizing?
  3. Do they see to it that Christian discipline is exercised, and that everything is done honorably and in good order?
  4. Do the elders visit the sick and others in agreement with the calling of their office?
  5. Do they try to prevent and remove all offense in the congregation, and try to comfort and instruct the members?
  6. Do they conduct themselves as examples to the congregation in their family and outward walk of life?

Questions to the Minister and Elders in the Absence of the Deacons

  1. Do the deacons attend regularly the services for divine worship as well as the consistory meetings; and in case such meetings are held, do they also attend deacons’ meetings?
  2. Are they diligent in the collecting of the alms, and do they faithfully realize their calling in the care and comfort of the poor and oppressed?
  3. Are the collections counted in the presence of the minister or one or more of the elders?
  4. Do they administer the finances wisely, in consultation with the minister and the consistory?
  5. Do they, in their family and outward life and walk, reveal themselves as exemplary Christians?

(Cf. Acts of Synod, 1941, Arts. 40, 74-75, Suppl. IX; Acts of Synod, 1942, Arts. 26, 35, Suppl. I.)