For your information, I will be using the terms pastor and elder interchangeably in this blog.
Some people prefer not to call a man pastor and some churches prefer not to ordain pastors but there are good reasons to ordain pastors. Ordaining pastors is a good thing. Here is why.
1. Ordination is Biblical.
Jesus selected a group of men to be His representatives (John 15:16; Mark 3:14) three of whom wrote books of the Bible. Jesus appointed Peter (John 21:15-17) who called himself and “Elder” who in his epistle spoke of other “elders” and their responsibilities as they lead the churches (1 Pet 5:1-3). Paul and Barnabas were ordained in an official meeting of the church at Antioch. They were called by the Holy Spirit to go and the church ordained and approved them for their missionary journey (Acts 13:2, 3). These same men then ordained elders in the churches where they ministered (Acts 14:23). Paul commanded Titus to ordain elders (Titus 1:5) and gave the criteria for the offices of bishop and deacon to Timothy (1 Tim 3). So we conclude there is a biblical foundation for the act of ordaining men to the ministry.
2. Ordination Announces God’s Gifts to the Church
Ephesians 4:11 describes Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists and Pastors who teach as gifts sent from God to the church. Ordination is a declaration that a man of God is gifted, Godly, mature, educated in the scripture and experienced. Ordination allows the church to know who can be trusted to teach Bible doctrine and has the heart of Christ to care for the people he is ordained to serve.
3. Ordination Produces Order in the Church
Paul sent Titus to Crete to set in order the things that were lacking and to appoint elders in every city. Ordained leadership produces order in the church.[bctt tweet=”Ordained leadership produces order in the church.”]
4. Ordination Holds Church Leaders Accountable
Authority without responsibility produces confusion, frustration and turbulence in any organization. Ordination holds leaders accountable in doctrine, leadership and behavior. 1 Tim 5:19-22 shows the process by which an elder is held accountable to his ordination. These verses deal directly with the issue of elders who fall into sin. The process is very clear.
- v19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. Elders are held accountable to the qualifications of their office by people who bring accusation. Not just any accusation but an accusation proven to be true with 2 or 3 witnesses.
- v20 Them (the elders) that sin (not a one time sin but continual sin) rebuke (to bring to light, expose, shaming the convicted person, to find fault with) before all (the whole, everyone), that others (other leaders) also may fear (be respectful, be scared, sense harm).
- v21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another (no one gets special treatment), doing nothing by partiality (without reference to name, position or status).
We conclude then,
- The congregation is intended by God to hold the leaders to their biblical mandates to lead in word and deed in a Godly manner.
- The church leaders (other ordained men) are to make sure the accusations against the elder are well founded and true. This protects leaders from slander and false accusation.
- Once it has been concluded that the accusation is true and the elder’s should be disciplined the church leaders are to rebuke him before the entire church without partiality.
- The result is that other ordained men will respect the office to which they have been called and ordained.
5. Ordination Tells People Who is Trustworthy
Ordination is serious because once ordained a man of God is declared trustworthy to teach and lead people in the church. Since leadership is the key to a church’s health – healthy example and doctrine – it is important the congregation knows who is approved to speak and who is not. The ordaining of leaders is vital to maintain the stability and sustainability of the church.[bctt tweet=”The ordaining of leaders is vital to maintain the stability and sustainability of the church.”]
6. Ordination Reminds the Pastor of His Call
A pastor can lose his vision, motivation and zeal for the ministry. Just like a believer who reminds himself of his salvation when he looks back to the day he received Jesus as His personal Savior so a pastor can look back at his ordination and be reassured of his call and purpose. Paul had to encourage his son in the Lord (1 Tim 4:14) to “Neglect not the gift that was in him, which was given to him by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.”
Conclusion – Ordination is a Jesus Thing
[bctt tweet=”Oh that there would be more ordained pastors!”]
Ordination is not about a title, a position of influence or a place of honor, though it might include all of these. It is about Jesus Christ ministering to His church through Holy Spirit gifted leadership (men after His heart – Jer 3:15) and about protecting the flock from false teachers and tyrannical leaders (Acts 20:28-30). Oh that there would be more ordained pastors! I believe there are many men called by God to lead His church who are leading companies and businesses today. It is a good thing to desire the office of an ordained bishop. Perhaps if our churches made a point of teaching those who are able to teach others and to encourage them in the call to be ordained leaders we would not be in the situation we are in today in the United States. Our people are perishing because of a lack of knowledge and the only way for people to learn is to have ordained teachers to teach them.
Romans 10:13-15 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 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!
Ordination is a good thing.