This past Sunday, I was ordained by the elders of my church. It was a special and significant day for me. I was surrounded by my family and friends, my church family that has known me since birth, and new friends that I get to minister to and with on a daily basis.
However, I have been asked what does that mean exactly? Great question, because the next day, I got right back to work as I usually do; writing, mentoring, studying, and investing.
So why an ordination, and what is it? Yes, I can do weddings and funerals and get into hospitals to pray, but what else does it mean?
Well, ordination is actually not a biblical term. It’s a way for the elders to say, we are putting our stamp on you. We have watched, evaluated, and confirmed the calling that God has placed on your life to ministry. In turn, the elders become a group that I am accountable to.
I got to meet with the elders the following night. I told them how grateful I was that they were willing to put their stamp on me, but even more so, I was thankful for the accountability as there is comfort in boundaries and oversight. I felt a covering over me in their affirmation as they send me out to share Jesus with other women.
But here is the real lesson concerning ordination. Ordination means “to be set apart” or to be “chosen for a task,” both of which Jesus called us ALL to. Matthew 22:37 tells us the greatest commandment is to Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and the second is like the first, to love your neighbor as yourself. As a Christian, both you and I were set apart as a representative of Jesus. We were all ordained as part of His family when we accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
While I am really thankful for this covering and accountability, it does not make me unique; it also does not mean I have to do all the work in ministry.
Ordination is a representation of a calling that Jesus offers us all and has invited us into. Your ministry may not be a stage or a full-time job at church, but your ministry is your family, your friends and co-workers, and your church family. It is your circle of influence that God has entrusted to you. 1 Chronicles 4:10 tells us of a prayer by Jabez, who asks God to enlarge our territory or, in other words, to increase our level of influence. But God does not enlarge our territory until we are faithful with what and to whom He has given us. So, while Jesus has already ordained us all, count today your ceremonial ordination day and go forth, live a life that reflects the love and grace and character of our Heavenly Father, and share the gospel with everyone around you.
Matthew 28: 19-20 NIV
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
2 Timothy 1:9 ESV
Who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of His own purpose and grace, which He gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,
Tecia Farmer Janes
Founder/Director of Choosing Him Ministries