What Happens at Ordination?

We have been thinking about ordination for a long time, of course, but recently, I’ve been pondering what happens at ordination, spiritually (see Theology of Ordination for more reflection on the meaning of ordination).

Practically speaking, ordination will take place at the Service of Commissioning and Ordination, the final service of annual conference, which meets at Messiah College, June 8-11. The ordination service will begin at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 11, 2011.

This year, eleven men and women will be ordained—ten elders, one deacon. The service is lengthy, at least two hours. Toward the end of the service, those to be ordained will be invited to come forward and kneel, one at a time. The bishop and other leaders will gather around, pray, and lay hands on the ordinand. Then the bishop will place a stole on the ordinand.

Ordination is the church’s recognition of one’s gifts and calling to ordained ministry. But I am praying that it will be more than just a symbolic act. I’ve been saying to God that I want ordination to be more than just another level we reach, another “notch on our gun,” an item to add to our résumé (or About page), a title we receive (“elder”), something we check off our to-do list.

The question I’ve been pondering is, what will God do at our ordination?

A few days before ordination, we will post our prayer(s) for ordination, what we’re asking God to do in our lives, particularly at ordination, which is now less than three weeks away!

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Randy Willis


Follower of Jesus. Husband to Joleen. Dad to Ethan & Sarah. Pastor to Wehnwood UMC.

3 thoughts on “What Happens at Ordination?”

  1. What will God do at your ordination? Show up! Heighten your awareness of the Holy Spirit’s power and activitiy in your life. Create and leave an indelible impression so that 30 years later you will vividly remember the moment the bishop and other elders laid hands on your head, prayed, and invoked the Holy Spirit. It will be a kairos moment, unlike any other. You will minister in its strength and recollect it on days when you have doubts about ministry…and you will have doubts about ministry. But you will remind yourself that you are ordained by the grace of God confirmed by an act of the church. God, through the church, will claim you for leadership to build up and feed the flock of Christ. And you will…because you are ordained. God bless you!


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