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What is “Ordination”?

October 5, 2018

This is a nudge to all people, especially millennials, to take a moment and listen to what God is calling you to do with your life.

Proclaiming Christ, making disciples, serving the community and effecting change for growth in the church will always require people to be set apart to lead others in these ways.  This is not primarily about keeping the institution of the church going.  Rather it is about seeing the mission of Christ fulfilled now and in the future.  Ordained ministry is the setting apart of people as sacrificial servant leaders, for the mission of Christ.

As Paul said to Timothy “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young.” (1 Tim. 4:12) In the Uniting Church and beyond, there are men and women who need to hear God saying that “even though you are young, I have gifted you to be set apart by my Church so that you can be the example for all people in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.”  Paul’s encouragement for Timothy serves as a prophetic call to many, particularly millennials, who have written off ordination because of the institutional shortcomings of the church.

The beauty of the body of Christ is seen in the diverse expressions of gifts and ministries fulfilled by lay and ordained people.  However, in much of the mainline Church, especially the Uniting Church the vision for ordained ministry needs to be renewed and recast whereby the focus on serving the missional and pastoral needs in our world are prioritised over meeting the expectations of the Congregation.  This is not to ignore the Congregation but rather it is a call for ordained ministry to be more concerned with leaders mobilising God’s people to lovingly serve and shape the world around them.

The ordained ministry is the calling and setting apart of individuals, by Christ and the people of God to proclaim the divine love in word and deed.  As such, it is a ministry that always points back to Christ, ensuring that it is never really about the individual or the church but constantly about the one with whom the calling begins.

Today is a great day to listen out to what God is calling you to do with your life.  Christ will always be setting people apart with the gifts and conviction to sacrificially serve and lead in his mission.  If Christ is calling you then step out in faith and give your life to it, knowing that he will never leave you nor forsake you in the adventure that is ordained ministry!

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