Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

From Rev. Everts

Written by Rev. Everts
It seems obvious to us--a church has a consistory, which consists of a pastor, elders and deacons, performing their respective tasks. Also, every year there is a synod that decides important matters that concern all the churches. However, when a new mission church begins to exist, you have to start from scratch. And that is a long, exacting process.

Years ago, when Rev. Ken Herfst was missionary, the organization of the Reformed Churches in Cubulco started. A consistory was formed in Cubulco that looked after the needs of all the churches. Also, in the churches in Chirramos and Patuy consistories were installed. In the other churches this was not possible at that time, so no consistories were in place in the aldeas.

It became evident that in this area a lot of work needed to be done. To function according to biblical principles, all the churches need to have office bearer installed. Also, the functioning of the existing consistories needed to be improved. For example, the office bearers lack theological knowledge and no plan was in place for electing new office bearers when the terms of the present ones expired.

So the consistory of Cubulco has started the process of organizing the churches better, both in town and in the aldeas. The first step in this process is instruction of all the members of the church. This is important in order that all the members know the principles of what it means to be a church of Christ and understand the function of the consistory and its office bearers.

The main principle is that the King of the church is not a man, such as a pastor, nor even a group of persons who as office bearers make up the consistory. Jesus Christ is the Head of His church. To govern His church He makes use of people whom He equips for this task. This is a great responsibility. In our instruction we have discussed the qualifications for elders and deacons as mentioned in 1st Timothy 2 and other passages of Scripture. In this way, church members are prepared to suggest brothers of the congregation to the consistory and elect those who meet the biblical requirements for office. It is important too that the office bearers know in advance what their responsibilities are and that the church members know what they may expect from the consistory and its members.

This is only the beginning of a larger process. When the consistories function better, it will also open the possibility to better organize the broader structure of the church. The Free Reformed Churches meet in synod every year for dealing with the matters that concern all the churches. In the same way, the Reformed Churches of Cubulco need a body that deals with matters that concern all the congregations, such as church order, correspondence with other churches, church discipline, etc.

You will understand this is a process that needs much work and patience. It is our hope that through this process the churches here will grow in maturity and independence. Jesus Christ has His Church in Cubulco. Pray that He will bless the efforts of all the workers and members that they will be a church according to His purposes.

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