Chapter 8: Commissioning of Lay Workers
5850. The commissioning service shall be planned by the Council of Ordination (1405) and shall be presided over by the General Superintendent when present (1935) or, if absent, by a representative appointed by the General Superintendent (3091) or by the district superintendent (1310:23).
5855. Order of Commissioning of Lay Workers.
(This ritual is adaptable for use in commissioning any type of lay worker, including special workers, such as director of music, director of spiritual formation, youth director, song evangelist, children’s worker, spouse in ministry; including lay missionaries, such as doctors, nurses, teachers, spouses of ordained missionaries, office workers; and including any other lay worker commissioned by a district conference. In each case, the presiding minister (3091; 5850) and others helping in the commissioning service [cf. 1405; 1935; 3470; 3490] shall insert the title of the commission being granted in the blanks, and make such other adaptations or modifications as are needed.)
5860. (The presiding minister or other appointed minister shall give an extemporaneous invocation.)
(Then the congregation shall join in singing a hymn, such as one of the following: “Take My Life, and Let It Be,” “Hear Ye the Master’s Call,” “Give of Your Best to the Master,” “Hark! The Voice of Jesus Calling.”)
(Then the presiding minister or other appointed minister shall read a Scripture lesson, such as one of the following: Acts 2:41–44 and 6:1–8; Rom. 12:4–15; 1 Cor. 12:4–12.)
(Then the presiding minister or other appointed minister may give a sermon or address declaring the need and function of lay workers.)
Presentation of Candidates
5865. (Then the district superintendent shall present the candidates individually to the General Superintendent, saying:)
I present ____________ ____________ unto you to be commissioned as ____________.
(Then the presiding minister (3091; 5850) shall address the congregation, saying:)
Dear Friends, these are they whom we purpose this day to commission as ____________ in The Wesleyan Church. After inquiry and examination, we discover that they have met the stated requirements of the Church, and we believe them to be worthy and proper persons for this service.
Address to Candidates
5870. (Then the presiding minister (3091; 5850) shall address the candidates, saying:)
Dear Friends, we rejoice that in the providence of God a door of usefulness has been opened to you in the service of the Church. It is with infinite wisdom that God has provided diversities of gifts for His workers, distributing and administering them according to His good pleasure through the Holy Spirit. It is with joy that we have watched God’s will revealed in your lives, and your own resolve grow firm to use your gifts for His glory. Turning aside from worldly interests and pursuits, you are devoting yourselves to the Lord’s work, and to being helpers of the ministry. You will be pouring out of your talent, your time, your possessions, your strength, your very selves in a living sacrifice to Christ. You have not entered upon this solemn responsibility lightly, and doubtless already in the sacred stillness of the sanctuary of your heart you have consecrated yourselves to this service. What you have done alone with God, you do now formally and publicly in the presence of the Church.
Questioning of Candidates
5875. (Then the presiding minister (3091; 5850) shall question the candidates:)
Do you believe that you have been led by the Spirit and the providences of God to engage in this work and to assume the duties of this service?
Answer: I do.
Do you, in the presence of God and of this congregation, promise faithfully to perform the duties of ____________ in The Wesleyan Church?
Answer: I do.
Do you accept the Bible as God’s Word, and will you make it a lamp to your feet, and a light unto your path?
Answer: I accept it, and will walk in its light.
Will you be diligent in prayer, in the study of the Holy Scriptures, and in such other devotions as will help you to grow in the knowledge and love of God?
Answer: I will.
Will you cheerfully accept the direction of those whom the Church may place over you in the doing of your work?
Answer: I will cheerfully do so.
Consecration of Candidates
5880. (Then the candidates shall kneel for a brief season of silent prayer, after which the presiding minister or other appointed minister shall pray extemporaneously or use the following:)
Our Father, who called Stephen, Philip, and other lay members into the service of Your church, look upon these Your servants who are to be set apart to service as ____________. Give, we pray, such understanding of Your holy gospel, such firmness of Christian purpose, such diligence in service, and such beauty of life in Christ, that they may be to all whom they teach or serve a worthy revelation of the meaning and power of the Christian life. May they so order their time and nourish their minds and hearts that they may constantly grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, and steadily increase in the ability to lead others unto Him. Grant that they may have strength of body, mind, and soul for the fulfillment of Your will in the holy task to which You have called them; and grant them Your Holy Spirit, that they may worthily discharge the work committed to them, to the blessing of all people and to the praise of Christ our Savior. Amen.
(Then the presiding minister shall address the candidates, saying:)
May the Spirit of the living God descend upon you and abide with you always. May His holy anointing impart to you the grace for every trial, and gifts for every duty. May His presence be to you a pillar of cloud by day, and pillar of fire by night, all along the journey of life. And may the blessing of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be with you now and evermore. Amen.
Act of Commissioning
5885. (Then the candidates shall rise, and the presiding minister shall take each by the hand and say:)
I commission you to service as ____________ in The Wesleyan Church, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Hymn (Then the congregation shall join in singing a hymn, such as one of the following: “O Master, Let Me Walk with Thee,” “O Jesus, I Have Promised,” “Work, for the Night Is Coming,” “I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go.”)
(Then the presiding minister or other appointed minister shall pronounce the benediction:)
The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen.