Summary: This is the ordination sermon for my son in law.
Start here: Good evening. Let me begin by thanking Pastor Justin for allowing me the privilege tonight of giving the charge for our son in law, Travis Turner. My wife, Denise and I love this church. This church will always have a special place in our hearts…this is the place where we grew up and were nurtured in the Lord. I started attending this church because my next door neighbors invited me and gave me a ride every Sunday for years. It is the place where the most significant events of our lives have taken place. I made my
• Profession of faith at age 9, baptized 53 years ago this month. *
• Preached my first sermon as a college student *
• Rededicated my life when I was 21 *
• My first ministry position was here
• Married here *
• Ordained here *
There is a spot right in front of the pulpit in the sanctuary where all of these decisions were made. So for me that has always been holy ground. And now my son in law and my daughter actually serve here. God is amazing. And tonight we have the privilege of ordaining Travis to the ministry.
The scripture points us to a time in the NT when the church was very young and was growing rapidly. On one day over 2000 were saved and baptized and on another day another 3000 were baptized. So very quickly the church had over 5000 people in attendance and it quickly came to everyone’s attention that the church must get organized. So deacons were selected. And they were given the responsibility of
• Caring for widows
• Seeing that food was distributed all who needed it
• Taking care of the offerings
This was done for two reasons… (1) The people needed this ministry. Some of the widows were not getting enough food. There were no social programs; widows had zero income and they needed help (2) to free up the pastors of the church so that they could give their attention to two things (1) prayer and (2) the teaching of the word. That is the assignment of anyone who is ordained to the gospel ministry.
Now following this we come to the story of the dramatic conversion of Saul. He was completely changed by the grace of Jesus and became a tremendous missionary in the spread of the gospel. Paul then wrote about ½ of the NT and was the greatest missionary to ever walk on this planet. But there came a time when Paul’s job was done. He had fulfilled his purpose here. He had to move on.
In Acts chpt. 20 we find Paul speaking to those who had now become the new leadership of the church in the city of Ephesus. Paul speaks to these leaders with a great urgency because he knew that the time of the end of his ministry was very close. He knew his life was in danger. It had been for years. But now he even says to them these words…none of you will ever see me again. And Paul knew that if no one accepted the assignment of carrying out his work that all of Paul’s work could be in vain. Someone had to step up and take the ministry forward.
And then he charges them with ___things. And tonight I want to give the same charge to you Travis.
One of the most compelling pictures of a pastor in the Bible is that of the shepherd. A good shepherd does several things. The shepherd feeds the flock, defends the flock and rules/leads/rescues. Episcopos is the word used in the NT. It means overseer. Travis, God has called you to the position of being one of the overseers of the flock here at FBC. In that position, you must
(1) keep watch over yourself. You must be holy, separated to the Lord’s work. In your personal life you are called to be above reproach. When there are decisions you are called upon to make you must choose the better way. You are an example to the people in this church and in this community. V. 28. We cannot tell others how to live if our own house is not in order. I charge you with keeping your life holy. I charge you with living a life that is separated.
• You are charged with bringing the gospel message to this city. You are the only full time youth pastor in this county. You have a special assignment to minister to the large flock of young people in this area.
• You are charged with preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. And when you do preach you must do it with authority. Always remember the charge, “this saith the Lord.” You have been chosen to be a spokesman for God and that is a powerful assignment. Never treat it lightly.