Summary: A charge given to a pastor at his ordination service.
Ordination Message for Rev. Jeff Williams
Rev. Brian Bill
The chairman of a church received the following chain letter in the mail…”This chain letter is meant to bring you happiness. Simply sit down and make a list of five other churches that are tired of their ministers. Send a copy of this letter to all five churches on the list. Then send your pastor to the church on the bottom of the list. In one week you will receive 15,625 ministers, and one of them should work out for you.
P.S. Don’t break the chain. One church did and got their old minister back!”
It’s not easy being a pastor, sometimes. Patrick read from a letter written by Paul when he was in chains. This “chain” letter was written to a young man named Timothy as a primer on pastoring. I’d like to draw some truth from this inspired epistle which sets the parameters for today’s pastors as well. I’m going to follow the simple who, what, where, when, why and how outline. In order to make sure that I’m not sent to a church on the bottom of the list, I will keep my comments brief (don’t roll your eyes). Please follow along from the passage printed in your program.
1. Remember who. A pastor must not just think of his people and how to please them, he must remember who it is that he is really serving. If we displease God, it doesn’t matter whom we please; and if we please God, it doesn’t matter whom we displease. Look at 2 Timothy 4:1: “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of His appearing and His kingdom, I give you this charge.” The word “charge” means a forceful directive. This is a solemn charge because God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son are the real audience.
Jonathan Edwards always “endeavored to preach and act as if he had already seen the happiness of heaven and the horrors of hell.” Pastor Jeff, you are laboring in the presence of Almighty God and the Lord Jesus Christ, before whom every heart is exposed and before whom we will ultimately give an account. Even though things are not always easy, there is a sense of majesty in ministry. All of heaven watches and all of heaven is enabling and assisting you as well.
We would do well to apply the words of Martin Luther: “I preach as though Christ was crucified yesterday, rose from the dead today, and is coming back tomorrow.”
2. Remember what. A.T. Robertson once said, “One of the best proofs of the inspiration of the Bible is that it has withstood so much preaching!” Pastor Jeff, you are a gifted communicator. Simply put, as an ordained minister, you are called to “preach the Word” in verse 2. This is not a suggestion but an active imperative because it’s God’s Word that changes lives. Don’t ever turn from it, don’t water it down, and don’t be embarrassed by it. Preach and teach as if a person’s eternal destiny hangs on your words…because it does. The word “preach” means to “announce, proclaim, set forth and make known.” Don’t ever stop doing this. No matter what you’re ministry position is, your calling is to preach the Word.
To underscore the importance of preaching, on behalf of Pontiac Bible Church, I’d like to present you with a “Pastor’s Bible.”
When Lyndon Johnson was elected president he asked his good friend Billy Graham to take a position in his administration. Without a moment’s thought Billy said: “Sir, I believe that Jesus Christ has called me to preach his gospel. To me that is the highest calling any man could have on earth.”
3. Remember where. The next charge is to “be prepared.” This literally means “be instant” or “always on.” Be ready to proclaim God’s Word wherever you are. Whether you’re playing basketball with your buddies, having some ice cream with a teenager at DQ, interacting on the Student Impact Discussion Board, counseling students, teaching on Wednesday or Sunday nights, or preaching right here on a Sunday morning, always be prepared. You do a great job getting ready to preach. Keep it up and do so everywhere you are. 1 Timothy 4:15-16: “Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and your doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”
Your first responsibility is to the church that meets in your home. Shepherd and lead your beautiful wife Maxine and your two boys. They love you and look up to you and listen to you and respect you.