First Ordination Service

Last night we had our first ordination service here in China. Pretty exciting service! Some great testimonies and charges, took up a great offering for him (the biggest our church has ever given), and got him his Bible and ordination certificate.

It has been so exciting to watch this young man grow in Christ over the past few years. He became a believer the first summer that we were here in China and he told me shortly afterwards that he wanted to be a pastor. At that point, I still had a long ways to go with the language, so I asked him to be my language tutor just so that we’d have more time together. About six months later, my language had improved and we were studying more Bible than language. About that time he asked if I thought he should drop out of college. So he gave up his major (for a second he forgot what it was in his testimony last night!) and got in full-time.

In the three years since, he has been a constant part of our lives and ministry here. Hard-working, studious, generous, and expressive of a love for Christ and people. He’s led a Bible study for over a year now in another part of town and he’s seen some great results. He’s baptized new believers, led a Communion service, and trained others in various ministries in the church. Theologically, the guy has a solid grasp on what he believes, yet remains humbly teachable. And he’s led the church through their closest brushes with persecution: when the police came, he stood up as a leader. Yeah, I’m a big fan of his!  So, in case you’re wondering, I really like ordination services! Here’s a couple reasons why:

First, at the ordination we honor what Christ has done in and through this young man. It is an opportunity to showcase Christ’s work. We praise him for what he rejoices to do through sinful men.

Second, we get to demonstrate to the church what kind of person qualifies for this work. This guy isn’t a recent convert, nor is this a sudden laying-on of hands. He has already been proven in some big ways. Aspiring ministers get to see what is expected.

Third, in ordination we testify to the truthfulness of the saying that the work of a bishop is a good work. It’s a wonderful opportunity to teach on the necessity, qualifications, duties, and support of church leadership. The glories and suffering of the office must both be displayed.

And a resulting fourth reason springs from this display. You always produce more of what you honor and exalt. So when we honor young men giving their lives to teach and lead Christ’s church, as God is willing we will produce more of that. I for one am hoping that last night’s service was used by the Spirit to kindle a desire in the hearts of other young men. I’d love to participate in a few hundred more ordinations in the next few decades!

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2 Comments on “First Ordination Service”

  1. Septimus October 19, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

    Amen, can’t wait!


  1. First Ordination Service « The Gospel in China | Gospel Feeds - October 12, 2011

    […] Ordination Service « The Gospel in China 12 de outubro de 2011 Origem: I for one am hoping that last night's service was used by the Spirit to kindle a desire in the […]

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