Thursday, May 14, 2009

Call of God (Part 4) - What Does it Mean to be Ordained?

Ordain – to officially invest one with ministerial or priestly authority, by appointment, decree, or by the laying on of hands.

“Lay hands suddenly on no man…” ( I Timothy 5:22)

Ordination is an authorizing act of the church that recognizes and confirms God’s call to ministerial leadership upon those who will be stewards of both the gospel and the church of Jesus Christ. It is important to realize that God calls but the church ordains. The church does not claim the right to call people to the ministry. That is the work of God through the Holy Spirit Himself.

By means of ordination the church officially acknowledges & approves you as a minister (pastor, overseer, etc). This act may be bestowed in an ordination service with the laying on of hands, or some other type of public recognition, in which the candidate is publicly proclaimed as a true man or woman of God, divinely called, endowed with certain gifts for spiritual leadership and graces for public ministry, who possesses a thirst for knowledge, especially the Word of God, and can clearly communicate the sound doctrine of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

This act of ordination comes only after such persons have been observed, trained, proven, and evaluated. “Lay hands suddenly on no man…” is the guiding principle here. To hasten this process (by ordaining novices, the unqualified, or the unproven) is disastrous.

Ordination is a spiritual and theological act of the church. It is more than receiving a certificate to minister. It is more than being hired. It is more than passing qualifying exams. It is the church’s acknowledgement that God has called and gifted certain men and women for ministerial leadership in the church. Because scripture teaches that in Christ there is neither slave nor free, Jew nor Greek, male nor female, but all are one in Christ, Pace Community Church recognizes and will ordain persons regardless of their economic status, their nationality or race, or their gender. The issue in ordination is the testimony of a call from God, having been proven by evidence of fruitfulness in ministry.

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