Article 50 — Mission
The churches shall endeavour to fulfil their missionary task. In doing so they shall observe the provisions of this Church Order. When churches cooperate in mission work they shall as much as possible observe the division into classes.
It is not very clear what is meant by the phrase “they shall observe the provisions of this Church Order”. It could refer to the institution of congregations as a result of mission work, whereby all the regulations of the Church Order in respect to the offices, the assemblies, supervision over doctrine and worship, and discipline (Article 1) are to be taken into account.
However, it is more likely that this phrase refers to the execution of the missionary calling by setting apart some ministers for this particular work (Article 2), who are bound to a certain church (Article 4), the ‘sending church’. They must receive a ‘lawful calling’ according to the stipulations made in the Church Order (Article 5).
However, the second part of this article is clear. The churches shall, as much as possible, cooperate along the lines of their division into classes.
This article emphasizes that mission work is not the task of individuals or of mission societies and suchlike, but that it is a calling of the churches.