Order for Commissioning Christians to the Ministries of the Church

This order is appropriate for commissioning Associates in Ministry and others whose ministries entail major occupational commitments within the church, such as Christian educators, youth workers, administrators, musicians, parish nurses, and preaching elders.

After the sermon and the prayer for blessing on the Word, in the Response to God, the presiding minister shall begin:

PRESENTATION

Beloved in the Lord,
we have come to commission a (name of position)
in Christ’s holy church.
Christ alone is the source of all Christian ministry,
through the ages calling men and women to serve.

By the Holy Spirit all who believe and are baptized receive a ministry
to witness to Jesus as Savior and Lord, and
to love and serve those with whom they live and work.
We are ambassadors for Christ,
who reconciles and makes whole.
We are the salt of the earth;
we are the light of the world.

Following Christ’s resurrection and ascension,
God has given the church
apostles, prophets, and teachers,
deeds of power, gifts of healing,
forms of assistance and leadership.

A representative of the consistory comes forward and addresses the congregation and presiding minister:

The consistory, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit,
affirms that NN (using full name)
has been appointed (name of position) here at N________________ Church.

The representative presents the person to be commissioned. The presiding minister addresses the candidate:

Our Lord, who came among us to serve,
calls us to faith and a life of gratitude.
N (Christian name only),
you stand among us to render a particular service,
a gift from God to equip us in the work of ministry.
For as in one body we have many members,
and not all the members have the same function,
so we, who are many, are one body in Christ,
and individually we are members one of another.
We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us:
prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering;
the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation;
the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence;
the compassionate, in cheerfulness.

Romans 12:4-8

Do you accept this ministry of (name of ministry) in confidence that it comes from God?

Yes, truly, with all my heart.

Will you fulfill this ministry
in accordance with the teaching and practice
of the Reformed Church in America?

I will, and I ask God to help me.

Will you be diligent in your study of Scripture,
faithful in your use of the means of grace, and constant in prayer?

I will, and I ask God to help me.

Will you trust in God’s care,
seek to grow in love for those you serve,
strive for excellence in your work,
uphold the unity, purity, and peace of the church,
and adorn the gospel with a godly life?

I will, and I ask God to help me.

The minister addresses the congregation:

Beloved people of God,
will you receive this sister/brother as a servant of the Lord?

Will you encourage her/him as she/he
accepts this responsibility for our common life?
Will you provide such financial and personal support
that she/he will serve with joy and not with grief?

We will.

COMMISSIONING

N (Christian name),

[If the candidate is professionally certified the following shall be said:]

You have been certified for this ministry and we commission you for this
ministry of (name of position) at N______________________ Church in the
name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The minister continues with one of the prayers, as appropriate:

Let us pray.

Gracious God,
as you call workers to varied tasks
in the world and in your church,
so you have called this your servant
to this ministry.
Grant her/him joy,
that her/his work may stir up
each of us to a life of faithful service.

For a Christian educator or youth director

God of wisdom,
as you call teachers
to educate, comfort, admonish, and care for us,
so you have called this your servant.
Fill her/him with wisdom and patience and love;
keep her/him faithful to your Word,
that she/he may with gladness
teach, comfort, counsel, and guide
your people toward mature discipleship
in Jesus Christ, our Lord.

For a church musician

God of glory,
be present with your servant,
who seeks through your gift of music
to perfect our praises and
to proclaim your presence with power.
Through this music
grant us new awareness of your beauty and grace,
and make us worthy
to join our praises with the hosts of heaven.

For a church administrator

God of creation,
we thank you for the orderliness of your world.
Bless and accept the work of this your servant
in helping the church fulfill its task.
Remind us that we are accountable to you
in all things great and small.

For a preaching elder

God of grace,
be present with your servant
that the word which she/he proclaims
will be in truth your Word
to nurture and build up
the body of Christ.
Keep her/him faithful in study and prayer,
service, and holy living
that your church may live
in joy and peace.

For a medical worker

God of mercy,
as Jesus brought health and strength
to the sick and afflicted,
you have called this your servant
to aid the suffering.
Make her/him wise in using knowledge and skill,
diligent in ministering to those in need,
and compassionate in all her/his work.
In the midst of suffering and death,
make her/him a faithful witness
to the hope of the resurrection.

Worship the Lord

The Liturgy of the Reformed Church in America

A treasury of prayers and primary resource for planning and leading worship in RCA congregations.