How shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
I appreciate so much those who have been called of God and have faithfully preached the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the Holy Spirit that divinely calls people to the ministry. The topic this quarter is ministerial ordination. Lord willing the ordination of deacons will be addressed in the next issue. Unfortunately, the word ‘ordination’ puts a sour taste in the mouths of some because of mishandling, lack of understanding, hurts, and abuses by church governing authorities. My prayer is that as people gain understanding, ordination will be seen for the beautiful operation it is in the church.
Ordination is much more than just receiving a piece of paper for legal purposes. It is a witness and confirmation of the Holy Spirit’s call and anointing on the life of a minister to the body of Christ. Its precedence and teaching is in the Word of God and hence rises above personal perspectives and opinions. Ordination is a spiritual act of consecration, commitment, and a time of receiving a special blessing and favor from the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands of other ordained ministers.
As with other biblical teaching and practices, it is important to maintain a spiritually balanced understanding. Ordination should never become a status symbol, nor should a hierarchy develop in the church, as it has in many religious movements. All ministers are equal and should all be anointed in their ministries, old and young, ordained and unordained. On the other hand, ordination does mean something, hence there are times that ordained ministers have an authority of God and man that an unordained minister does not have. An ordained minister SHOULD without reservation be qualified and anointed of the Lord, holding the confidence of the people.
It is imperative that ordination be approached carefully in accordance with the biblical qualifications. Ordination can lose its spiritual value in the body of Christ if unqualified people are ordained in an effort to appease a minister or a congregation that may be coming to the truth. This is an issue in many countries. Ordination is not a political tool to curry favor. May the Lord help the Church of God to maintain the purity of the doctrine of ministerial ordination.
As a side note, there are some scriptures in the New Testament which use the word ‘ordain’ (see Acts 1:22, 1 Timothy 2:7, Acts 14:23) that are not referring to the formal ordination of which other scriptures refer. I have primarily addressed scriptures that address formal ordination. May we each one live to glorify and please God. In the words of Bro. Ostis Wilson, “If we please God, we will please everyone that deserves to be pleased.”
Michael W. Smith