A classis is a group of churches within a geographical area that comes together to seek, discern, and submit to God's will, offer one another mutual support and accountability, find ways to live out a collective calling in the region, and allow for a healthy and sustained connection to the wider denomination.
A classis has the authority to deal with matters that concern its churches in common and its decisions are binding on the churches in its region. A minister, elder, and deacon from each congregation are delegated to attend each classis meeting.
Our Church Order defines classis in this way: "A classis is a group of Christian Reformed churches that come together to seek, discern, and submit to God’s will; offer one another mutual support and accountability; find ways to live out a collective calling within their region; and allow for a healthy and sustained connection to the wider denomination. A classis shall consist of a group of neighboring churches. The organization of a new classis and the redistricting of classes require the approval of synod."
The Classis Renewal Consultant serves as a resource to the CRCNA Classes to strengthen their health and ministry. While this particular position officially began in Summer 2016, it builds on a long history of classis renewal. Some of the current focuses are: coordinating the support and training for functionaries, coaching Classes who are looking to organize around mission & ministry in fresh ways, and implementing recommendations from the Better Together report. While these are the initial focuses, the position is designed to be flexible to best support the ministry of Classes. Contact Al Postma to discuss anything and everything to do with Classis.
Resources for Classis Renewal
Online Folder: Our classis renewal leader, Al Postma, keeps an online shared drive that houses many resources and documents related to gatherings, presentations, etc. It includes a folder with copies of current and past classis ministry plans. You can access that folder by clicking here.
Ministry Plans: Your classis can be supported by having a ministry plan in place. The types of ministry plans that classes have are diverse in content and approach, but they are all designed to help the classis flourish. You can also see the above link for samples of classis ministry plans.
There are 49 classes in the CRC, 11 in Canada and 37 in the United States, and one with congregations on both sides of the border.
For denominational ministry services, classes are divided into six regions and their subregions (view as a printable PDF). (For representation on the Calvin University and Calvin Theological Seminary boards, classes are divided into 12 regions.)