Some years ago, a fellow pastor was joking with me about his upcoming Induction Service. In their church, when a new pastor came to the church, they would have the denominational leadership come to lead the service. His church knew that the date had been set and they were looking forward to it. One lady came up to him and said: “I can’t wait for you to get induced!”
Some churches have Installation Services when a new leader steps into his role. This pastor’s denomination called it an Induction service. Sometimes Christian leaders are Commissioned as they step into their role.
I think we should be doing this for our leaders in our church, not just the pastoral staff. We need to celebrate that we have godly individuals willing to give of their time and energy to serve. In our smaller rural congregations we know that we often don’t have many people willing and qualified to take on a leadership role, so we value those who do it year after year.
How do you celebrate your leaders? One of the ways I’m planning on doing this is by having a specific Commissioning Service for our church’s new Elders on Sunday as part of our Worship Service. I’m attaching a copy below. If it is helpful, feel free to use it.
COMMISSIONING OF ELDERS CEREMONY
Our church functions under the leadership of an Elders Board. That Elders Board consists of a Pastor – who is hired – and some Elders – men who are prayerfully nominated and elected. These men are just that – men. That’s not a bad thing… What I mean is this: they are not super human and super spiritual men. At the same time we have asked God to lead and guide our process to determine the right men to lead us in this next year. Part of that process does include expecting that the men who we elect are men who love God with their whole hearts and who desire to be led by the Holy Spirit as they give leadership under the lordship of Jesus Christ.
Our ceremony today will include a couple of statements to our new Elders. It will include a statement to you, our church family. And then we will invite the past elders to come and to pray for our new elders, laying hands on them as they do so.
No, we don’t think there is anything magical about laying on of hands, yet at the same time there is a symbolism of passing on the torch, passing on the gift of the Holy Spirit to these new leaders. There are a number of times that this symbolism was practiced in scripture and so we will continue that this morning.
Charge to Elders
Will you make it your priority to live in daily communion with God through regular time in Scripture and in prayer? Will you live in daily obedience to the lordship of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit? And will you lead this congregation as its servants, striving to be examples of Christ in the midst of those whom He has set you as leaders?
Response: “I Will”.
Charge to Congregation (please stand)
Church family, will you pray for these men, will you follow their leadership, and cooperate with them in the direction they believe God is leading us?
Response: “I will”.
Prayer by Past Elders (lay hands on and pray for)