Summary: Includes vows taken by the men being ordained, vows by their wives, by the Elders and by the congregation in attendance.
OPEN: Back in 1957 the 1st Brethren Church of Sarasota, Florida had a groundbreaking service. Ordinarily, a church will get a few shovels and certain people will turn over a few chunks of dirt. But recalling the words of Jesus, "Take my yoke upon you," this church decided to borrow an old one-horse plow and harness two of their strongest young men to it.
The signal was given and the men PULLED… but nothing happened. They strained at the harness, but they were unable to pull the plow even an inch.
So then the entire Building Committee of the congregation took hold of the rope, and they PULLED. But the plow wouldn’t budge. Even they couldn’t get the plow to move.
Other church officers were added, and the Sunday school officers and teachers, and they PULLED… but still they couldn’t get the plow to budge.
Finally every member of the congregation who was present each took hold of the rope. With every member pulling together, the plow moved, the ground was broken.
APPLY: Today we are having an ordination service.
Ben and Trampas are being set aside for works of ministry.
They are two of our most able bodied and ambitious young men and we’re hooking up to the plow… setting them aside to do the work of ministry.
But we need to remember: these young men are only going to be as good as we allow them to be. Their success in ministry will depend on our being willing to pull on the rope along with them.
Some have asked: “Why are we ordaining this young men?
o They’ve not been to Bible college.
o They’re not going to be preachers.
o Why not just hire them for the job that they are going to perform and let it go at that?
Well, the Elders will be laying hands on them to-nite because we’re a church. And ordination (the laying on of hands) is something the church has always done.
One of the reasons the church has always done this, is because - in that act - it declares that those who’ve been ordained have the confidence and commitment of the rest of the believers there.
In this act, we are declaring that we are going to stand behind these men and we are going to do everything we possibly can to make them successful.
Take, for example this story out of Acts 6
· The church “laid hands on” 7 men for a specific ministry
· These 7 men had NOT been Bible college trained
· And they were NOT being set apart to be preachers or teachers
They were being “ordained” to take care of the physical needs of certain widows in the church.
And notice the qualifications for these early “deacons”.
They were to be men who are “…full of the Spirit and wisdom.”
In other words, they were to be men who took their faith seriously.
They were to be men who could be trusted to do what the church needed done.
They weren’t being selected because of who they knew, or who they were related to.
They were chosen because they loved Jesus and were willing to do whatever was necessary to make Christ’s church successful.
Laying on of hands actually began back in the Old Testament.
In the book of Leviticus, we’re told that a priest would “lay hands on” the sacrifice.