The Christian Reformed Church has an affiliation process, adopted in the mid-1980s, for congregations who wish to join the denomination.
However, an “affiliation task force” reported to synod that orientation of new pastors and congregations into the CRC hasn’t always gone well, in part because the stages of the affiliation process haven’t always been followed consistently.
The task force also reported a lack of emphasis in the orientation process on participating in denominational life, noting that some classes (regional groups of churches) are beginning to feel overwhelmed by the additional expense of congregations that are not financially self-supporting.
“A denominational fellowship is like a covenantal relationship. It is critical that both parties be honored in the growing relationship,” the task force said.
Synod 2006 agreed and mandated that the phases of “getting acquainted,” “mentoring and orientation,” and finally “affiliation” be adhered to more closely and consistently by classes and synodical deputies.