Ministerial Ordination

Ordaining ministers was a practice of the early morning church and it is scriptural and right to follow the example and precepts set down in the New Testament. Ordination throughout history has been political at times—misused and abused; however, this does not mean the church should forgo the true doctrine and practice of ordination.Read more

One Order of Ministry

In the Scripture, there is an ordination for elders and an ordination for deacons. When a minister is ordained, he is ordained as an elder. In the early morning church, while there were different gifts and offices and there were local ministers and general ministers laboring in the larger field, there was one order of ministers. The word elder is an umbrella term for bishop, presbyter, overseer, etc., and is sometimes used interchangeably in the scripture. Titus 1:5 uses the word elder (presbuteros=presbyters) and then proceeds to give the qualifications using the word bishop (episkopos=overseer) in verse seven. It is one and the same office and was only polluted by the apostasy that would come at a later date. On this subject, commentator Adam Clarke stated: “It appears that those who are called elders in this place are the same as those termed bishops in Titus 1:7. We have many proofs that bishops and elders were of the same order in the apostolic church, though afterward they became distinct.”Read more

How Beautiful are the Feet

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!

—Romans 10:14-15

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.Read more

Challenge

[Bro. Ostis Wilson, in referencing Acts 13:1-4 when Barnabas and Saul were separated for the work.]

“This was a sacred, solemn charge to them and they fasted and prayed before they did it, even after the Holy Ghost had spoken to them. They wanted to be certain they were not mistaken. Ah, brethren, could we be a little admonished at this point and consider our ordination services as a more serious and solemn responsibility than we sometimes do. I feel deeply that I myself can.”

Biblical Qualifications for a Bishop

1 Timothy 3:1-7

This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality,  apt to teach;
Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

Purpose and Value of Ordination

There are multiple, important purposes for the ordination of ministers in the Church of God which should be valued accordingly and never undermined because of personal agendas, philosophies, or prejudices.
Confirmation of Something Spiritual

According to scriptural teaching, there is something spiritual conveyed in the act of ministerial ordination. Paul referred to ordination when he instructed Timothy: “Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery” (1 Timothy 4:14). The study of this verse conveys much truth about the practice of ordination.Read more

The Candidate Conditions for Ordination

Qualifications. A minister who is a candidate for ordination should clearly have the anointing and call of God on his ministry and meet the scriptural qualifications for a bishop as outlined in 1 Timothy 3:1-7. These scriptural qualifications should be incumbent upon all who minister; however, they should be without question in a minister’s life before ordination takes place. The minister should be representative of the body of Christ and an example of holiness, sound in doctrine, and Christlike in spirit. The anointing of the Lord should be evident to the general body, not to just a few. Candidates for ordination should be effective in their labors and an asset rather than a liability to the ministry. Their integrity in business, temporal and spiritual, should be without reproach and they should have the confidence of the people. While it is a high calling, ordination should never be confused with requiring human perfection, for everyone makes mistakes, has weaknesses, and personality attributes on which God is still working.Read more

Protocol and Practicalities of the Ordination Process

The scripture does not lay out a blueprint for the ordination process. It gives the qualifications and leaves some things in the hands of Holy Spirit led men of God. The protocols shared below are not biblical rules incumbent upon every minister; rather, they are things to consider in the ordination process for edification. As the apostle Paul, I write these things by permission, not by commandment.Read more

Did You Know?

Among the Jews, “At the ordination of the president of the synagogue there were always three presbyters present to lay on hands, so the early Church canons required three bishops to be present at the consecration of a bishop” [Jamieson-Fausset-Brown on 1 Timothy 4:14].

Equality of the Ministry

“But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

— Matthew 23:8-12

Even though there are differing gifts, calls, and administrations, there is an equality among the ministers. Jesus said, “All ye are brethren.” He was clearly speaking against titles and a hierarchical ministry. While recognizing the value of ordination and giving room for the exercise of the scriptural authority that comes with it, there is an equality among the ministers which is unique among the Church of God.
Jesus called His disciples to him and said: “Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all” (Mark 10:42-44).Read more