Posted by: gbake783 | April 28, 2011

Ordination

At the beginning of the year, our church listed some goals. Two of them were rather straightforward: I submit to the ordination process and our church host a family conference.

These would have been time-consuming enough, but for whatever reason – I’m not sure what I was thinking, perhaps I thought I’d earn points for degree-of-difficulty – I decided to combine these events into the same weekend.

Readers of my blog (okay, mostly just my mom) have been reminding me that the blog posts dwindled to nothing about three weeks ago. And they she is right. So, let’s catch up.

The ordination process was a great blessing from the preparation through the ordination service. As I prepared for the doctrinal questioning, which was Friday, April 15, I saw the Lord using two particular tools: (1) the wisdom of my professors at Bob Jones University and (2) my former church in Greenville, SC (Mount Calvary Baptist Church).

The wisdom displayed in my educational program at BJU is truly remarkable. As a 22-year-old entering seminary, I didn’t know what I needed. I remember trusting that the Lord was directing my steps and that His equipping agency would do the work. As I read through my course notes, prepared my doctrinal statement, and explored avenues for further research/reading, it became clear just how wise my professors are. I’m by no means saying that BJU’s Seminary is the only place where men can be trained successfully, just that their professorship can be trusted to prepare men for ministry.

The second prepatory experience was from my former church, Mount Calvary. Every year MCBC ordains several young men to the gospel ministry.In the last four years or so they’ve changed their ordination questioning. They used to hold them on Sunday afternoons before the evening service. I always took careful notes, which I re-visited for my own ordination. The spirit, content, and mood of those MCBC doctrinal questionings and ordination services greatly prepared me for my own. As the pastor of FBC, I wanted the ordination service itself to have a particular mood, which I learned at MCBC.

The questioning itself was a rewarding and enjoyable experience. I felt the men on the panel asked challenging, yet fair questions. It was reasssuring to see the Lord provide me with answers to the questions, to give good recall of memory, and to challenge my ability to articulate the cardinal doctrines of our faith.

The ordination service itself, which was on Sunday, April 17, was also a terrific blessing. We had three speakers: Dom and Elaine Gonino and Pastor Joel Owen. It was the first ordination service for Fellowship Bible Church; our people received it with eagerness, anticipation, and thankfulness over what the Lord has done. Pastor Dom addressed the church. He explained the need and purposes of ordination. And, as the planter of our church and spiritual father of many of our members, he brought a unique perspective that was both informative and pastoral. He framed why the event is so important in the history of our church. His wife, Elaine, gave a challenge to my wife. I have to say, Elaine knocked it out of the park! I’ve heard several challenges to wives – Elaine’s was the finest. Her words were encouraging, realistic, meek, and godly. Then, Pastor Joel Owen issued me a challenge. He planted an idea that is still reverberating in my mind – I exist for the good of the flock. What a challenge.

BMW presented me with a gift: a hand-crafted pulpit. Thanks to Lee Whitworth (one of our BMW church-planters). It’s a beautiful piece. I will treasure it for years to come.

After the service, the church hosted a small reception. It was so good to have my parents there, my in-laws, and several representatives from around the area. It was truly a wonderful day in our church’s history and in my life as a minister of the gospel.

Later I’ll attach some pics.

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Responses

  1. Greg,

    I’m so glad for both of you…so thrilled that you guys are in a ministry that you love and enjoy being in, and so thrilled that the ministry there can be richly blessed from your leadership and preaching.

    Any sermons online?
    Keith

    • Yes and no. They’re up on our new church website, which will go live this weekend, Lord weekend. Check our church website Monday (www.fbcliberty.com) and you should see them. Hopefully!


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