Deacons - The Ordination
Last time we undertook try to
attempt to examine the process of choosing the man or men to fill the office of
a deacon. And now this brings us down to the actual service that will be used
the church to ordain them to the office.
After the church has made its choice of
whom they feel have the “qualities” of a good and sound deacon and they
have determined that these men have thus committed themselves to be faithful to
the office in all of its meaning of service in the manner that we have discussed
previously in other articles, then the church, being lead by her pastor will
then move to call for their sister churches to send ordained elders and deacons
to aid in the service of ordination.
We find that the scriptures speak of the “laying
on of hands” by the apostles and elders of the churches. And although I will
write about the actual service used in the church by the presbytery, I would
like to say here and now that what I am about to say is not meant as being
anything that ought to be binding on any particular church body but is that
which is the way and manner in which we; that is to say I as the pastor at the
Dixie Old Line Primitive Baptist Church feel is scriptural and orderly. That
being stated I do believe that there ought to be within each individual service
these basic scriptural principles in order to govern the ordination service.
First, the service ought to magnify the
Lord God as well as the office to which the man or men are being placed into,
whether we are speaking of the office of an elder/pastor or deacon, in order to
be of any real service to the church that has called for the ordination.
Second, the whole membership of the
ordaining church should, as much as is possible, be present at the proceedings.
Third, the service should be conducted
with dignity and sincerity as this is a sacred moment in the life of the church
and of the man or men who are to occupy the office.
The service should first be opened with
prayer by someone that has either selected by the pastor or the nominee. After
which the pastor of the church calls for the formation of the presbytery, who
are then seated. It is at this time that the elders and deacons who have
responded to the ordaining church to come forward and be seated. After which the
pastor will ask the members of the presbytery if they are satisfied with members
of the presbytery as seated. This will allow for anyone within the church body
or any other man who have come to be able to speak as to the orderliness of any
person who has responded. And so if there be any objection to someone as to
their calling or their order this is the time to state it, and bring forth their
reasons. After which the pastor and the ordaining church will consider whether
or not the objection is valid. And then the pastor will ask the church, who they
wish to appoint a spokesman for the congregation from among the male membership
to represent the church. This being answered in the affirmative, the pastor will
move to request that the members of the presbytery elect a moderator, which is
usually, but is not always the case, the pastor of the ordaining church,
followed by the electing of a clerk from the members of the setting presbytery.
Next, the Moderator will request that the
church spokesman come forward and take a seat before the presbytery and the
ordaining church. Having been seated he will then ask him if the church is
satisfied with the presbytery as it is now seated. Then the Moderator will ask
the members of the presbytery if they are thus satisfied with all of the members
and proceedings thus far.
This being established the moderator will
ask that the candidate be seated by the church spokesman before the church and
the presbytery. Then the moderator will give an explanation of the office of the
deacon; the significance and the service which this man to be ordained has
accepted. Then this is followed by the interrogation or questioning of the
nominee as to certain matters of his faith and understanding of the scriptures
and the Old Line Primitive Baptist Church. The elder that will do things may be
either chosen by the members of the presbytery or by the candidate and given
leave or approved by the presbytery.
This is followed by the appointment of the
Elder who will give the charge to the candidate, who also may be chosen by the
presbytery, or by the candidate, and given leave or approved by the presbytery.
Then the choice will be made for the elder
who will deliver the ordination prayer, which is usually chosen by the candidate
and approve by the members of the presbytery.
And all of this having been completed to
the satisfaction of the members of the presbytery, and the church; the
interrogating elder will come forward and question the candidate as to his
understanding of the doctrines of God and the Church of Christ.
This being satisfactorily completed the
moderator will then ask each member of the presbytery if they have any further
questions that they would like to ask the nominee. This being done he will ask
the presbytery and the church spokesman if they are satisfied with the answers
This being established in the affirmative
will ten be followed by the laying on of hands by the presbytery during the
After this the moderator will ask the
church spokesman to bring forward the newly ordained deacon’s wife to be
seated next to her husband and the elder who has been chosen to deliver the
charge will come forward and he will charge the new deacon, his wife as
to their duties to the church and to one another, and to and the church as to
their responsibilities in their support their new ordained deacon.
All being completed to the satisfaction of
the presbytery and the church, the moderator will proceed to deliver the
newly ordained deacon to the service of the church. The moderator will then
move to dissolve presbytery and the pastor will then extend the “right hand of
fellowship” to the newly ordained deacon.” Who will as long as he lives
function and serve in that office as long as he lives and remains faithful to
Beloved, let us who are the true disciples
of Christ always endeavor to keep and to maintain the proper order that our Lord
Jesus Christ has provided us in His church. And in so doing may we reap the
blessings of God the Father who will send us the Holy Ghost to dwell with us as
we undertake to serve Him in such a way that we will give Him all the praise
that He is due, and that He will bless us in our efforts, saying, “well done
thou good and faithful servant.” May God bless you and keep you all in His
grace and mercy.