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¶874 SERVICE FOR THE ORDINATION OF MINISTERS

¶874 SERVICE FOR THE ORDINATION OF MINISTERS

[The secretary shall present the candidates to the bishop, saying:
“Bishop ________, I present to you ______ (reading their names
aloud) to be ordained as ministers in the Free Methodist Church.”
Then the bishop shall say to the people:]

     Dear Friends in Christ: All persons who belong to Jesus Christ
are called to minister His reconciling work through the Church. But to
lead the Church, our Lord calls particular believers to shepherd the
people, teach doctrine, administer the sacraments and keep order. Each
person who stands before you testifies to such an inward call of the
Holy Spirit to the work of an ordained minister.

God calls men and women, but the Church examines them so as to
confirm the presence of maturity, good character and the necessary
spiritual gifts and personal graces. These persons who stand before
you have been so examined and affirmed by conference leaders for
ordination.

When people are set apart for this leadership responsibility, they are
ordained by the laying on of hands. Paul remembered this moment in
his counsel to Timothy when he said: “I remind you to rekindle the gift
of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands.” [2
Timothy 1:6, RSV]

Whether ordained ministers serve as pastors, teachers, missionaries,
chaplains or in unique combinations of these vocations, they need to
provide Spirit-filled leadership. In fulfilling the Great Commandment
to love the Lord our God, others and to love others, and ourselves; and
in fulfilling the Great Commission to go into all the world to make
disciples, ordained ministers are God’s gift to the Church.

The leadership of ordained ministers focuses on developing healthy,
biblical communities of holy people. These communities multiply
disciples, mentor leaders, create new groups and plant new churches.
Such Spirit-filled leadership requires vision and courage to move
people to obey the Word of God, to walk in step with the Spirit of God
and, with joy, to see His church increase.

Rooted in a deep love for Christ and sharing His compassion for
people, ordained ministers help to create congregations that are fervent
in prayer, enthusiastic in worship, holy in lifestyle, insistent for justice,
caring for the poor, and reaching out locally and globally to invite all
people into a life-long relationship with Jesus Christ.

The Collect

     Almighty God, the giver of all good gifts, who by Your divine
providence appointed various orders in Your church: Give Your grace,
we humbly pray, to these who come now to their ordination. Replenish
them with the truth of your doctrine and endue them with holiness of life
as they keep watch over themselves and all the flock that they oversee.*
Help them to faithfully serve before You to the glory of Your great name
and to the benefit of Your holy church, through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God,
now and ever. Amen.
*Acts 20:28

The Old Testament – Isaiah 6:1-8
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting upon a
throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple. Above Him
stood the seraphim; each had six wings; with two he covered his face,
and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called
to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of His glory.”

And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him
who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is
me. For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the
midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the
Lord of hosts!”

Then flew one of the seraphim to me, having in his hand a
burning coal which he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he
touched my mouth, and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; your
guilt is taken away, and your sin forgiven.” And I heard the voice of
the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I
said, “Here I am! Send me.”

The Epistle – I Timothy 4:11-16
Command and teach these things. Don’t let anyone look down
on you …, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct,
in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public
reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.  Do not neglect your
gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders                                                                       laid their hands on you.

Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that
everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely.
Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and
your hearers.

The Gospel –John 15:5, 8-17
     I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I
in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing
… This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing
yourselves to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I
loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you
will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands
and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in
you and that your joy may be complete.
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater
love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you
servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business.
Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from
my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I
chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—
fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the
Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.

Dear Friends in Christ, [Here the candidates may be called by
name. And the bishop shall say to them as follows:]

Each of you has heard in the lessons taken from the Scriptures
what dignity and importance belong to this office to which you are
called. We have confidence that you have considered these things long
before this time and that you have clearly determined, by God’s grace,
to give yourself completely to the fulfilment of your call. It is our hope
that with all your strength you will apply yourself wholly to this one
thing and direct all your concerns and studies in this direction. May
you continually pray to God the Father, by the mediation of our only                                                               Saviour, Jesus Christ, for the aid of the Holy Spirit, that by daily
reading and weighing of the Scriptures, you may grow stronger and
more mature in your ministry. May you endeavour through the
sanctifying power of Christ to be a wholesome and godly example for
others to follow.

And now, so that this assembled congregation of Christ may also
understand your mind and will in these things, and that your promise
may move you all the more to fulfil your calling, answer plainly these
questions, which we ask in the Name of God and His Church.

Questions for Ordained Ministers

1. Do you believe in the Triune God, and confess Jesus Christ as
your Savior and Lord?
Answer: I do so believe and confess.

2. Do you wholeheartedly love the Lord your God and your
neighbour as yourself ?
Answer: I do

3. Will you be careful to nourish your soul through the disciplined
use of the means of grace and, with the help of the Holy Spirit,
continually rekindle the gift of God that is in you?
Answer: I will

4. Do you confidently believe that the Lord has called you to
serve His church as an ordained minister?
Answer: I so believe

5. Are you persuaded that the Holy Scriptures contain all doctrine
necessary for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, and are
the unique and authoritative standard for the church’s faith and
life?
Answer: I am.

6. Will you then, as you exercise your ministry of Word and
sacrament and leadership, faithfully study, teach and apply the
truth of these Scriptures publicly and privately? Will you teach
nothing as necessary to salvation except what can be proved
by the Scriptures and, when necessary, graciously correct
error?
Answer: I will do so by the help of the Lord.

7. Will you commit to living a holy life according to the teachings
and behaviour of Christ so as to be a wholesome example of
godliness? (And will you do your best to influence your
husband/wife/ family to join you in this commitment?)
Answer: I will do so by the help of the Lord.

8. Will you, in the exercise of your ministry, lead people to faith
in Jesus Christ as Saviour and as Lord, and disciple them to
grow in grace as you lead them to participate together in God’s
mission to bring wholeness to the church, neighbourhood,
community and world?
Answer: I will do so by the help of the Lord.

9. Will you be loyal to the Free Methodist Church, committing
yourself, along with those serving with you, to be accountable
to the authority of the Holy Scriptures, to The Manual of the
Free Methodist Church in Canada and to those appointed to
oversee your ministry?
Answer: I will

[The candidates shall kneel, the ordained ministers shall be called
forward for the laying on of hands, and the bishop shall say:]

Let us pray.

     Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, of Your infinite love and
goodness You have given us Your only and dearly beloved son, Jesus
Christ, our redeemer and the author of everlasting life. To You we
offer our heartfelt thanks. We praise and worship You, and we humbly
pray that we may continue always to be thankful for these and all other
blessings that come from You. May we mature daily and go forward
in the knowledge and faith of Him who died for us, who rose from
death and even now lives to make intercession for us. May Your holy
name be forever glorified and Your blessed kingdom enlarged, through
Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You in the
unity of the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

[The bishop and the ordained ministers present shall lay their hands
upon the head of each of them, and the bishop, addressing each by
name shall say:]

     The Lord pour upon you the Holy Spirit for the office and work
of an ordained minister in the Free Methodist Church now committed
unto you by the laying on of our hands. Amen.

[They shall continue to kneel, and the bishop shall deliver the Bible to
each one of them in succession and shall say:]

By the power of the Holy Spirit, take authority to serve as an
ordained minister in Christ’s church. Faithfully proclaim His Word,
declare His forgiveness, celebrate the sacraments, care for and lead
God’s people.

Prayer of Blessing

     Most merciful Father, we ask You to send Your heavenly
blessings upon these Your servants, that they may be clothed with
righteousness and that Your Word spoken by their mouths may have
success. Grant us also that we may have grace to hear and receive what
they shall deliver out of Your most Holy Word, or shall speak in
agreement with the same, as the means of our salvation. May we, in all
our words and deeds, seek Your glory and the increase of Your
kingdom through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Assist us, O Lord, in all that we do with Your most gracious favour and
further us with Your continued help, that in all our works begun,
continued, and ended in You, we may glorify Your name and finally,
by Your mercy, obtain everlasting life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

[They shall stand and face congregation, as it stands]

[The bishop shall say:]

     Let the Church, represented by those present here as ordained
ministers and the congregation, support you as you participate in the
opportunities it provides for you to continue to grow and develop as a
minister of the gospel.

[Presentation of credentials and congratulations]

Benediction
     The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your
hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of His Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessings of God Almighty, the Father,
the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you, and remain with you
always. Amen.

 

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