This month our church will ordain two of its pastoral staff in a special afternoon ceremony on Sunday, May 5th. The act of Ordination is the practice of a local church body in selecting and setting apart specifically called men for the purpose of identifying and certifying them either for a teaching/pastoral ministry or deacon/service ministry in a local congregational setting.
Much like the recitation of vows in a wedding ceremony which actually makes that couple become husband and wife, or the ceremonial taking of the oath of office by president which actually causes the presidency to then fall on the taker of the oath, the ceremony of ordination actually does something as well. This process involves the following elements:
- The recognition of certain men to be considered candidates for ordination by church leadership.
- The validation of such choices by the church body itself.
- A time of doctrinal examination by an Ordination Council made up of ordained ministers. Men are often invited from other local churches to assist in the Ordination Council (but not always).
- Certification of confirmation by the Ordination Council in order to give the recommendation to the local church body to proceed with the ceremony.
- There is a ceremony in which the candidates for ordination go through a time of prayer and the “Laying on of Hands” which completes the ceremony and establishes Ordination.
Scriptural foundations of this practice can be found in:
- God choosing Aaron, his sons and the tribe of Levi (Ex. 4:14-15; 28:41; 29:9 and Judges 17:13).
- Old Testament priests, prophets, and kings being set aside for service.
- The apostles’ choice of Matthias to replace Judas.
- Paul and Barnabas being chosen in Antioch (Acts 13:1-4).
- Timothy’s charge to appoint elders for ministerial work.
This is a special and important ceremony which dates from ancient times. It is to be entered into solemnly and reverentially, and to be bestowed only after serious deliberation.
We are excited to see this recognition bestowed upon two men that we hold in high esteem. Congratulations Pastor Eric and Pastor George.