Original Research

Kerkorde en herderlike sorg – Artikel 51 van die kerkorde van die Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk van 2015

Piet J. Strauss
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 41, No 1 | a2042 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v41i1.2042 | © 2020 Piet J. Strauss | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 August 2019 | Published: 15 July 2020

About the author(s)

Piet J. Strauss, Department of Historical and Constructive Theology, Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa


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Abstract

Church order and pastoral care as in article 51 of the church order of the Dutch Reformed Church. The Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) finds its historical roots in the Reformed Church in the Netherlands of the 16th and 17th century. The so-called individual or family-oriented visitation of members by office bearers in congregations in reformed churches dates to the Reformer John Calvin (1509–1564). In recent copies of the church order of the DRC this visitation of members, the elderly, the sick and people in need, as well as the involvement of presbyteries in the weddings and funerals of members, is taken up in an article under the heading ‘Pastoral care’. According to the General Synod of the DRC, who is responsible for the church order, pastoral care and visitation by office bearers of church members are core factors in the work or service of the church. Unlike other reformed churches with a link to the reformed Netherlands, the DRC does not limit visitation and pastoral care to the ministers and elders but sees it as an important duty of all office bearers. The implication is that pastoral care should be determined by the Word of God. Using the Word in this regard by all offices in all situations of need requires a pastoral approach.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This article stems from a church and church order of pastoral care in the church. The Church order does not regulate the content of, for example, home visits, sick visits, or marriage counseling, but provides orderly channels through which these matters can flow into the church. Linked to understanding the content or nature of pastoral care, Church Polity, Pastorate and Dogmatics (church concept) can come in handy.


Keywords

responsibility of elders; pastoral care by offices; church order of DRC and visitation; few changes in church order of DRC; pastoral care in visitation, marriages and funerals

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