The Reformed Church Order of Dordt was approved by the national Synod of Dordt which met in 1618-1619. Several Reformed denominations have revised this church order since that time, but it still remains as the official church order of the Netherlands Reformed Congregations. (It is printed on pages 88 through 96 in the back of the NRC Psalter.)
The Church Order of Dordt consists of 86 Articles grouped under four headings, with an introductory article, as shown in the chart below:
THE CHURCH ORDER OF DORDT
The Necessity of Church Order
Of the Offices
Of the Ecclesiastical Assemblies
Of the Doctrine, Sacraments, and Other Ceremonies
Of Censure and Ecclesiastical Admonition
Article One introduces the purpose of a church order.
THE CHURCH ORDER OF DORDT: ARTICLE ONE
For the maintenance of good order in the church of Christ it is necessary that there should be: offices; assemblies; supervision of doctrine, sacraments, and ceremonies, and Christian discipline; of which matters the following articles treat in due order.
The summary chart on the following pages highlights the topics covered by the Church Order of Dordt.
Why is the "constitution" of church government the "highest law" possible?
Why is it important for the church to display a loving authority in its exercise of church government?