Summary: A charge to the candidate based on Acts 13:1-4 outlining the following requirements for ordination: COMMUNION, CONSECRATION, & COMMISSION; and a charge to the congregation based on 1 Timothy 5:17-19 outlining their threefold ministry to their pastor, name
The first requirement is Communion, the second is—
V.2 = “The Holy Ghost said, ‘Separate me Barnabas and Saul...”
V.3 =”And laid their hands on them...”
The Greek word translated “separate” is aphorizo and it means to distinguish from the others, to single out, and to set aside for a special service.
The Holy Spirit wants Paul and Barnabas to be different, to be special, to be dedicated to God. Laying of hands is an act of consecration.
Laying of hands is also an act of sanctification or setting aside for a holy purpose. Robert Murray McCheyne wrote to Dan Edwards after the latter’s ordination as a missionary, "In great measure, according to the purity and perfections of the instrument, will be the success. It is not great talents God blesses so much as great likeness to Jesus. A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of God" (Paul Borthwick, Leading the Way, Navpress, 1989, p. 65).
The first requirement is Communion, the second requirement is Consecration, the third is—
V.2 = “For the work whereunto I have called them.”
V.3 = “They sent them away.”
V.4 = “Being sent forth by the Holy Spirit...”
The Greek word translated “called” is proskaleomai” and it means to summon, to invite, and to call to oneself.
God has called you to Himself. He commissions you to be His servant. Not the servant of the church. Not the deacons. Not the rich financiers.
If you do not lose sight of this, you will be in good shape. Gov. John Sununu, who served as Chief of Staff of the first George Bush’s White House, was once asked by a reporter, “Your job is very difficult, isn’t it?” He answered, “No, it isn’t.” The reporter thought John Sununu had misunderstood him, so he asked the question again. John Sununu answered more emphatically, “No, it isn’t. I only have one constituent.” He means, “I only have to please one person, the president.” It is the same with us, we only have to please God.
Secondly, our ministry is people, not programs. Unless the programs are simply tools in our ministry to people.
Our ministry is to bring people to God. They need Him. He is the answer to their needs. There was a song that highlights this truth in a very profound way. “Everyday they pass me by/ I can see it in their eye/ Empty people filled with care/ Headed who knows where/ On they go through private pain/ Living fear to fear/ Laughter hides the silent cries/ Only Jesus hears.// We are called to take His light/ To a world where wrong seems right/ What could be too great a cost/ For sharing life with one who’s lost/ Through His love our hearts can feel/ All the grief they bear/ They must hear the words of life/ Only we can share.// People need the Lord/ People need the Lord/ At the end of broken dreams/ He’s the open door/ People need the Lord/ People need the Lord/ When will we realize/ That we must give our lives/ For people need the Lord/ People need the Lord// (“PEOPLE NEED THE LORD” Words & Music: Greg Nelson/Phil McHugh; Sang by Steve Green).
Because our ministry is people, the results are eternal. Daniel Webster succinctly puts it, "If we work on marble it will perish. If we work on brass, time will efface it. If we rear temples, they will crumble to dust. But if we work on men’s immortal minds, if we imbue them with high principles, with just fear of God and love of their fellow men, we engrave on those tablets something, which time cannot efface, and which will brighten and brighten to all eternity.”