Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) HI.

Offices of the Church

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 2

Offices of the Church

Article
2

Two Kinds of Offices

The ordinary and perpetual offices of the Church, as instituted by the authority of Christ for the Church, may be classified under two heads, as Elders and Deacons.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 3

Offices of the Church

Article
3

Eligibility for Office

Only Communicant Members of the Church who meet the biblical requirements for office-bearers are eligible for office. No one shall hold and exercise an office in the Church without a lawful call and ordination or installation.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 4

Offices of the Church

Article
4

Legal Call to the Office

The call to an office shall be executed by the session as follows:
1. Prior to making nomination, the session shall ordinarily give the congregation an opportunity to place names in nomination.
2. From these names and/or nominations made by the session, twice the number to be elected shall ordinarily be presented to the congregation.
3. The names of those being presented by the session shall be announced to the congregation on two successive Lord's Days to allow for lawful objections.
4. After prayer the election by the congregation shall take place under supervision of the session.
5. The right to vote shall be limited to communicant members in good standing.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 5

Offices of the Church

Article
5

Ordination/Installation

All office-bearers shall be ordained or installed in public worship services with the use of the prescribed forms.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 6

Offices of the Church

Article
6

Duration of Office

Elders and Deacons shall ordinarily serve a term of three years or more, according to local regulations.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 7

Offices of the Church

Article
7

Re-election or Extension of Office

Retiring Elders and Deacons shall be succeeded by others unless the circumstances and the well-being of any church render re-election or extension of time advisable.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 8

Offices of the Church

Article
8

Installation Only

When any office-bearer has already been ordained, upon re-election to the same office, he shall be installed only.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 9

Offices of the Church

Article
9

Form of Subscription

When office-bearers are ordained or installed, they shall be required to sign the Synodically accepted Form of Subscription.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) HIa.

Offices of the Church

Ministers of the Word

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) 10

Offices of the Church

Ministers of the Word

Article
10

Who Is Eligible for Call

The following shall be eligible for call as Ministers of the Word and Sacraments:
1. Those who have followed the Synodically prescribed course of study, and have subsequently been declared candidates by Presbytery;1
2. Those who are already in the ministry of the Reformed Churches of New Zealand or a sister-church;
3. Ministers of other denominations who have been declared eligible for call by Presbytery;
4. Those who have been declared candidates according to Article 12 of this Church Order.


1 Theological candidates are eligible for call who have successfully completed the prescribed course of study at the Reformed Theological College, Geelong, Australia, or its equivalent (Acts 1989, Art. 19.b).

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 11

Offices of the Church

Ministers of the Word

Article
11

Colloquium Doctum

No Minister shall be received from any other denomination without a colloquium doctum prior to his installation (a colloquium doctum is understood to be a thorough investigation of the theological training and ministerial record and a careful examination regarding soundness in the Reformed Faith, exemplariness of life, and motives for seeking the ministry in the Reformed Churches of New Zealand).2


2 The colloquium doctum for ministers coming from sister-churches is to be understood as not being the equivalent of a final examination, but is to focus on soundness of doctrine, sanctity of life and knowledge and appreciation of the practice and usage of the Reformed Churches of New Zealand (Acts 1989, Art. 19.d).

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 12

Offices of the Church

Ministers of the Word

Article
12

Exemptions in the Case of Exceptional Gifts

Persons who have not pursued the regular study in preparation for the ministry of the Word shall not be admitted to the ministry, unless there is assurance of their exceptional gifts, godliness, humility, modesty, common sense and discretion, as also gifts of public address.
When such persons present themselves for the ministry, the Presbytery, with the consent of Synod, shall first examine them, and further deal with them as it shall deem edifying, according to the general regulations of the Churches.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 13

Offices of the Church

Ministers of the Word

Article
13

Credentials Necessary to Move Elsewhere

A minister once lawfully called may not leave the congregation with which he is connected to accept a call elsewhere, without the consent of the session and knowledge of the Presbytery.
Likewise, no other church may receive him until he has presented a proper certificate of dismissal from the Church and the Presbytery where he served.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 14

Offices of the Church

Ministers of the Word

Article
14

Proper Support, No Rash Dismissal

The session, as representing the congregation, shall provide for the proper support of its ministers and shall not dismiss them from service without the knowledge and approbation of the Presbytery and Synodical Examiners.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 15

Offices of the Church

Ministers of the Word

Article
15

Secular Vocation

Ministers of the Word may not enter upon a secular vocation except for such weighty reasons as shall receive the approval of Presbytery.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 16

Offices of the Church

Ministers of the Word

Article
16

Leave of Absence

A minister who for weighty reasons desires a temporary release from service to the congregation must have his application for release approved by his session, which continues to have supervision over him.

Art. “16B” (Acts of Synod 2005, Art.99 section 5).
a. A minister who is not eligible for retirement or worthy of discipline may for weighty reasons be released from service in a congregation through action initiated by himself or by his session. Such release shall be given only with the approval of presbytery, with concurring advice of the synodical examiners, and in accordance with synodical regulations.
b. The session shall provide for the support of a released minister in such a way and for such a time as shall receive the approval of presbytery.
c. A minister of the Word who has been released from service in a congregation shall be eligible for call for a period of two years, after which time the presbytery, with the concurring advice of the synodical examiners, shall declare him to be released from ministerial office.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 17

Offices of the Church

Ministers of the Word

Article
17

Emeriti Ministers’ Title Retained

Ministers who by reason of sickness or otherwise are rendered incapable of performing the duties of their office, shall nevertheless retain the honour and title of a Minister, and the Church which they have served shall provide honourably for them (likewise, for the orphans and widows of ministers) out of the common fund of the churches, according to the general regulations of the churches.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 18

Offices of the Church

Ministers of the Word

Article
18

Preaching Elsewhere Without Consent

A minister shall not be permitted to conduct worship services in the locality of a Reformed Church other than his own without the consent of the session of that church.
A minister shall not conduct a worship service in a non-sister church without informing the session of the local Reformed Church.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 19

Offices of the Church

Ministers of the Word

Article
19

Duties in Regular Service

The task of the minister is: to expound the Holy Scriptures, to vindicate sound doctrine against heresies and errors, to administer the sacraments, to continue in prayer, to watch over his brethren, the elders and deacons as well as the congregation, to catechise the youth, and with the other elders to exercise church discipline and to see to it that everything is done decently and in order.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 20

Offices of the Church

Ministers of the Word

Article
20

Licensed Students to Exhort in Public

Only students who are licensed according to Synodical regulations shall be permitted to exhort in the public worship services.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 21

Offices of the Church

Ministers of the Word

Article
21

Students Conducting Worship Services

Students who have received permission, according to the rule in this matter, and persons who have, according to Article 12, been judged competent to be prepared for the Ministry of the Word, shall, for their own training and for the sake of becoming known to the congregations, be allowed to conduct worship services under proper supervision.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 22

Offices of the Church

Ministers of the Word

Article
22

Christian Education

The Session shall encourage the parents to make every possible effort that the children of believers receive proper Christian education and catechetical instruction.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) HIb.

Offices of the Church

Ruling Elders

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 23

Offices of the Church

Ruling Elders

Article
23

Duties of Elders

The task of the elders is to rule in the name of the ascended King, and as servants of the great Shepherd, care for the flock.
They shall therefore: ensure that the Gospel is preached every Sunday, see to it that the Sacraments are faithfully administered, exercise Christian discipline, resist false doctrine and error, visit the members of the congregation at least annually in order that they may comfort, instruct and encourage each one according to need, visit the sick and the bereaved, promote evangelism, see to it that everything is done decently and in order and that their fellow office-bearers faithfully discharge their respective offices, having particular regard to the doctrine and conduct of the Minister of the Word.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) HIc.

Offices of the Church

Deacons

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 24

Offices of the Church

Deacons

Article
24

Duties of Deacons

The task of the deacons is: to diligently collect alms and other contributions of charity, to faithfully and diligently distribute the same to the poor as their needs may require after mutual counsel, to visit and comfort the distressed, to encourage the congregation to show Christian mercy to those in need at home and abroad, to render an account to the session.