2016 Wesleyan Discipline: 5905

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5905. Order of Installation of a Pastor.

(The district superintendent or representative shall preside over the installation of a pastor 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1310:26. The presiding minister or other appointed minister shall give the invocation:)

O Lord, You have made known your will to us that we should pray for You to send forth laborers into Your harvest. We earnestly ask you to send forth into the world true teachers and ministers of Your Word, and to enlighten their minds with the knowledge of Your truth, that they may faithfully make known the whole counsel of God unto salvation, to the glory of Your name and the saving of souls; through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.

(The presiding minister or other appointed minister may read a scripture lesson such as 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:John 15:1-8 and may deliver an appropriate message. At the proper time, the presiding minister shall address the congregation, saying:)

Dear friends, we are assembled before God to install the Reverend _____________________, who has answered your call to become the pastor of this church, and whose installation has been duly authorized by the _____________________ District of The Wesleyan Church.

(The pastor shall come and stand before the presiding minister, who shall address the pastor, saying:)

Dear fellow minister, the duties of your holy office are clearly set forth in the Word of God. As an ambassador of our Lord Jesus Christ, you are first of all to preach both Law and Gospel, as they are comprehended in the Holy Scriptures and defined in The Discipline of The Wesleyan Church. This you are to do without the addition of private opinion, as the apostle admonishes, “If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God” (1 Peter 4:11).

Whatever is contrary to sound doctrine shall be refuted with all restraint as the Scripture warns, “The Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct” (2 Tim. 2:24–25a).

Those who are committed to your pastoral care are to be diligently admonished to walk in the commandments of the Lord blamelessly. The erring are to be warned with the fidelity which the Word of the Lord demands of faithful pastors, as the Prophet Ezekiel was instructed, “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel” (Ezek. 3:17).

You are also to be the steward of the holy sacraments which you are to administer to the comfort of troubled souls. In view of the Savior’s gracious words, “Let the little children come to me” (Mark 10:14), the children and youth of the church must in a special sense be the object of your pastoral instruction and care.

The measure of faithfulness with which you are to seek the erring is set forth in the Holy Scriptures in the words of the Apostle Paul who said, “I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears” (Acts 20:31).

The example of holy men and women of God will impel you to pray diligently for your people and to be a pattern unto them in faith and good works.

Do you therefore earnestly purpose to diligently fulfill these duties, and thus be able in this life to answer before The Wesleyan Church and the Church universal, and in the life to come to give an account before the judgment seat of Christ?

Answer: Yes, I do so purpose, by the help of God.

“In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word, be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction . . . keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry” (2 Tim. 4:1–2, 5).

(The congregation shall rise, and the presiding minister shall address them, saying:)

And now, dear friends, I admonish you to receive as your pastor, the Reverend _____________, whom God has given you. Accept the Word of God as preached by His messenger to you, whether it be for your comfort, your admonition or your instruction, even as Christ has said, “Consider carefully how you listen” (Luke 8:18).

Use all diligence that your children receive instruction in the Christian faith and are present with you in the services at God’s house, in accordance with the counsel of the Apostle Paul to Christian parents to bring children “up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4).

Pray for your pastor that the ministry offered in this place may tend to the salvation of many souls, and that through sacrificial labors, you, together with your pastor, may be saved.

Honor and esteem the one who is to minister to your souls. As the Apostle Paul exhorts, “Respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other” (1 Thess. 5:12–13).

Do you now, as becomes a Christian church, accept these obligations?

Answer: Yes, by the help of God.

(Then the presiding minister shall address the pastor, saying:)

Upon these, your solemn mutual promises, I now install you, the Reverend _____________, as pastor of the _____________ Wesleyan Church, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

(Then the presiding minister shall lead in prayer, concluding by leading the congregation in the Lord’s Prayer. Then the presiding minister shall address the congregation and the pastor, saying:)

The Lord bless you that you may bring forth much fruit and that your fruit may remain.

(Then the congregation shall join in singing a hymn such as, “2016 Wesleyan Discipline:A Charge to Keep I Have.” Then the congregation may come forward to greet the pastor and family at the altar. The pastor shall pronounce the benediction.)