This article is no longer available online, but the entire three-part series is available for purchase as a downloadable resource/pdf.
Item 02971 • $2.99
Ordination needn’t be a mystery, but it should not be undertaken thoughtlessly. This six-page resource, originally a three-part series in CHRISTIAN STANDARD, explores ordination with an eye toward helping individuals, churches, and God’s kingdom.
• J. Michael Shannon makes a case for why ordination is practical and sensible for individuals desiring a lifetime of service in the Lord‘s church.
• Paige Mathews considers a process for assessing the person who wants to be ordained.
• And Tom Lawson challenges ordaining congregations to consider their responsibility for the lifetimes of those they ordain.
This download is ideal for churches that are considering ordaining a ministry candidate. All downloads include permission to reproduce material up to 10 times for ministry and educational purposes.
To order this resource, CLICK HERE; To sample the first few paragraphs of article one, continue reading below . . .
By J. Michael Shannon
In the classic movie comedy Angel in My Pocket, Andy Griffith plays an ex-Marine who studies for the ministry and becomes a second-career preacher. He uproots his large family to their first pastorate. One of his children, when referring to her father, always reminds people, with pride and reverence, “He’s ordained.”
A person should feel a sense of accomplishment in being ordained, but is it biblical, practical, or even necessary?
The careful Bible student will not find ordination, as we understand it today, in the New Testament. In fact, we search the New Testament in vain for the ministry as we understand it today. We have a general outline of the order of ministry that includes elders, deacons, and evangelists. There is no detail of any particular ceremony associated with inducting people into these offices.
Some might point to the laying of hands on Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13), but this was not an ordination to ministry, but rather a blessing before a missionary journey. After all, Paul and Barnabas had already been preaching for some time at Antioch.
But just because we cannot find ordination per se in the Bible does not mean it is inappropriate. . . .