The following document has been submitted as a proposal from the Providence Canadian Reformed Church to the upcoming Classis Ontario West (June 15, 2011). I think it’s self-explanatory. I’m sharing it in the hope that perhaps other CanRC churches will consider making similar proposals to their classes. It’s time to give more (and regular, consistent) attention to mission at the classis-level.
Proposal for Classis Ontario West Re: Mission
Earlier this year a meeting was held at the Seminary dealing with mission and the many requests for help that are being received throughout our federation. During the course of this meeting, it was suggested that our churches might be better served by a more federational approach to mission. While not envisioning a central overseeing body, churches could make mission a regular agenda item at the classical level. The idea is not to place control of mission in the hands of our broader assemblies, but to allow local churches a regular opportunity for formal collaboration on the missionary task of the church.
We propose that each Classis Ontario West have an agenda item entitled, “Mission.” Each church will be asked to verbally report on its mission activities overseas and in its own community (home mission/evangelism/outreach). Opportunity will be provided for questions and discussion, as well as prayer. Consequently we also propose that the Regulations for Classis Ontario West be amended as follows:
Article 6: Agenda
Amend to include an item between 6 and 7 entitled “Mission”
The addition of a new article 11 stating the following:
At each classis, every church shall be asked to verbally report on its mission activities overseas and in its own community. Opportunity will be provided for delegates to discuss the report and ask questions and give encouragement. Prayer shall be offered for these activities by the chairman or by (a) delegate(s) appointed by the chairman.
The present article 11 then becomes article 12.
1) Adopting this proposal will give greater prominence to the missionary calling of the church. It will demonstrate our commitment to the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20 (and parallels).
2) This will function as a means of accountability. All our churches need to take our missionary calling seriously and having it on a classis agenda will promote that.
3) Implementing this will allow the churches to share ideas about how to better advance the cause of the gospel at home and overseas.
4) This will allow the churches to stay better informed about each others’ activities. This will serve our capacity to pray in meaningful ways for one another in public worship.
5) The adoption of this proposal will allow us the opportunity to encourage one another with regard to mission.
6) Historically (prior to 1951 in the Netherlands), mission has been a classis matter in Reformed church polity. Changes in 1951 were reactionary and led to independentism in mission.