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The NGK and ecumenicity: organisation and contacts

The Nederlandse Gereformeerde Kerken (Reformed Churches in the Netherlands) were created by a merger of the Nederlands Gereformeerde Kerk and the Gereformeerde Kerken (vrijgemaakt) in May 2023.

This document intends to present an overview of how the Nederlandse Gereformeerde Kerken(NGK) – Reformed Churches in The Netherlands – www.ngk.nl) organise their ecumenical activities of an international character. “Ecumenical activities” is considered to comprise missional activities (with a view to church planting), theological activities (training offered to or in indigenous churches), and aid-related activities.

The NGK are organised according to a church polity that is typically described as presbyterial-synodal. In the NGK the emphasis tends to fall on the ‘presbyterial’. The maxim is that what the local church can profitably do, is to be done by the local church. However, it has become clear that some activities are better done in conjunction with other local churches. As such, certain activities are arranged on a broader scale.
Historically the NGK have been against seeing aid-related activities as ecclesiastical. Hence this work was in the past often done by private organisations. During the 1990s much of this work was brought under the umbrella of the churches and their assemblies.
Finally, some theological and charity activities are undertaken by NGK members in private foundations. These organisations are not answerable to the churches, but are often perceived by outsiders to be NGK institutions. One might consider these para-church activities.
These three factors – a movement from decentralisation to centralisation, a movement from private institutions to ecclesiastical institutions, and the existence of private foundations for theological assistance – create a kaleidoscope of activity.


The NGK are arranged into a bond or federation of churches. The tri-annual  synod  functions as the assembly regulated matters for the NGK as bond.
* A committee of deputies receives a specific mandate. All committees of deputies theoretically cease to exist when the churches assemble in synod. Deputies are thus always appointed for a three year term and committees of deputies only exist for three years. Many committees of deputies, however, are of such a nature, that they are recreated every synod with the appointment of new deputies. It is an household rule that deputies in the NGK never serve more than 3 successive terms on any one committee of deputies. As deputies only communicant members of the NGK can be appointed. Because deputies are ‘executives’ of the churches (i.e., they have no authority in themselves) deputies need not be office-bearers and may be male or female.

CRB – www.crb-ngk.nl

CRB is concerned with the international ecumenical contacts of the NGK. One might refer to it as the diplomats or ambassadors of the NGK. Deputies BBK maintain the bilateral relations that the NGK has with other churches in foreign countries and represent the NGK at ecumenical meetings.

Members CRB meet several times per year as a whole. At these General Meetings matters that will have to be submitted to a synod are decided upon. Deputies CRB are supported in their work by a secretariat, which supports organizational matters.
Following are those churches with which bilateral relations have been established; these churches are considered ‘sister-churches’ of the NGK.

The GKN(v) maintain a sisterchurch relationship with the following churches:

  1. African Evangelical Presbyterian Church (in Kenia) (AEPC)
  2. Christian Reformed Church of Northern America (CRCNA)
  3. Christian Reformed Church of the Philippines (CRCP)
  4. Christian Reformed Church of Sri Lanka (CRCSL)
  5. Evangelisch-Reformierte Kirche Westminster Bekenntnisses (ERK-WB)
  6. Free Church of Scotland (FCS)
  7. Gereformeerde Kerke in Suid-Afrika (GKSA)
  8. Gereja-Gereja Bebas Sumba Timur (in Indonesia) (GGBST)
  9. Gereja Gereja Reformasi di Indonesia (GGRI KalBar, GGRI Papua)
  10. Gereja Kristus Tuhan (in Indonesia) (GKT)
  11. Iglesia Reformada en Venezuela (IRV)
  12. Kosin Presbyterian Church of Korea (KPCK)
  13. Nongu u Kristu u i Ser u shar Tar (in Nigeria) (NKST)
  14. Presbyterian Church of Eastern Australia (PCEA)
  15. Presbyterian Church of Uganda (PCU)
  16. Presbyterian Free Church Council (Kalimpong) (PFCC)
  17. Presbyterian Free Church of Central India (PFC(CI))
  18. Reformed Church in Japan (RCJ)
  19. Reformed Church of East Africa (in Kenia) (RCEA)
  20. Reformed Presbyterian Church of India (RPCI)
  21. Reformed Presbyterian Church of North East India (RPCNEI)
  22. Reformed Presbyterian Church Taiwan (RPCT)
  23. Sudanese Reformed Church (SRC)
  24. United Reformed Church in the Congo (URCC)
  25. Vrije Gereformeerde kerke in Suid-Africa (VGKSA)

And maintain contacts with the following churches or organizations:

  1. Baltic Reformed Theological Seminary en de Gereformeerde gemeenschappen in de Baltische Staten (BRTS)
  2. Christian Reformed Churches of Australia (CRCA)
  3. Église Réformée Confessante au Bénin (ERCB)
  4. Église Réformée Confessante au Congo (ERCC)
  5. Evangelical Reformed Churches of Russia (ERCR)
  6. Evangelical Reformed Presbyterian Church (Wit-Rusland)
  7. First Evangelical Reformed Church van Singapore (FERC)
  8. Hongaarse Gereformeerde Kerken (HGK) en andere gereformeerde groeperingen (Hongaars taalgebied);
  9. Isa-E Church in Bangladesh (ICB)
  10. Iglesias Reformadas de España (IRE)
  11. Igreja Cristã Presbiteriana de Portugal (ICPP)
  12. Igreja Presbyteriana do Brasil (IPB)
  13. Independent Reformed Church of Korea (IRCK)
  14. Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC)
  15. Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), via Mission to the World
  16. Presbyterian Church of Korea (Hapshin) (PCK (Hapshin))
  17. Presbyterian Theological Seminary (Dehra Dun, India) (PTS)
  18. Protestantska Reformirana Krscanska Ckrva (PRKC)(Kroatië)
  19. Reformed Presbyterian Fellowship in Myanmar (RPCFM)
  20. South Indian Reformed Churches (SIRC)
  21. Ukraine Evangelical Reformed (of Presbyterian) Church (Oekraïne)
  22. Union Nationale des Églises Protestantes Réformées Évangéliques de France (UNEPREF)


MISSION AID – www.verrenaasten.nl
CRB is within the NGK the organization that supports relations abroad on a theological level. Mission aid is organized by Verre Naasten. On their site you can find the following information:

Verre Naasten is a mission organization, based in churches in the Netherlands.
Verre Naasten litteraly means ‘faraway neigbours’.
The mission of our organization is sharing faith worldwide. We exist because 2 out of 3 people worldwide don’t know Jesus. Our goal is to make Jesus known worldwide and share our faith in Him, to the glory of God.

As an organization we connect churches in the Netherlands to our worldwide partners. Churches, schools, funds and donors in the Netherlands support our partners with money, advice, encouragement, prayer and inspiration. Our partners around the globe share the Gospel in their own environment, in words and deeds, so non-Christians get to know Jesus and start following Him. We also believe our partners can be an inspiration to the support-churches in the Netherlands.

Of the values that we find important in doing our work, we mention here:

  • We believe in the strength of the local churchbody: local churches know their own context best. We support them with advice, encouragement and are able to support with financial resources. But in the end the work has to be done by the local churches.
  • We believe in equivalency: we don’t support churches and organizations with financial resources only, but we invest in partnerships. We believe partnerships make us thrive. We put work in our relationships, support our partners, but we also expect to get something out of it: inspiration, encouragement, new insights. Verre Naasten has a focus on long-term partnerships.

If you have any questions about our committee or just need more information, feel free to contact us: info@crb-ngk.nl