Members' Request I
In the first place the request for cooperation may reach the consistory from members living at a considerable distance, members whose number has grown to a size which they consider large enough to have a consistory
 of their own. According to Art. 41, they are under the care of the neighbouring consistory, but that congregation will not be greatly affected when a consistory is constituted with that distant group of believers, although for all practical purposes they form a section or ward of that church. Not infrequently one of their number will have been appointed as an elder in their midst, not only to have the oversight over that part of the flock, but also to serve as a liaison between the consistory and this group of believers.
When the request for cooperation in the constitution of a consistory is made to the consistory under whose care they are, this consistory will have to investigate and ascertain whether they can support the request and pass it on to the next classis. Such a request will not come unexpectedly, out of the blue sky, since the consistory will have kept track of the development. Not much of an investigation or discussion may be needed to reach a favourable conclusion. And when the consistory is convinced that there are enough brothers fit for the offices, that the group is financially strong enough to exist as an autonomous church, it will table the request at the next classis.
Upon favourable advice, the consistory can arrange the election of office-bearers. Different methods can be followed. What should not be done is: asking for names to be submitted to the consistory and then, as a consistory, drawing up a nomination from which the brothers of the group can choose as many as are needed. This would mean that a "strange" consistory was going to determine who could be candidates for office. Basically it would amount to a lording it over the group of believers. We may take it for granted that, if one of the group is already an elder, he did not become an elder upon having been chosen by the distant church but by having been desired by the group, although appointed by the consistory.
It could now be arranged in such a manner that the brother's term ends at the moment when office-bearers are ordained and thus the consistory is constituted. In that case there will be a totally free election for as many elders and deacons as are deemed needed. The brother who is already an elder will be just as eligible as the other brothers, since he ceases being an elder at the constitution of a consistory. For all practical purposes he was an elder of the distant church, be it for the specific section or ward in whose midst he lives. The free election will be held under the auspices of the consistory which has the supervision.It is also possible that, in consultation with the brothers and sisters, it is decided to let the brother continue as an elder and to choose additional ones in a free election according to the need. However, the former method is to be preferred. Possible objections to the brothers who have been elected are to be brought to the attention of the consistory which has the supervision. There is no other body to which they can be addressed.