MY FELLOW MINISTERS, the church has considered your call to the ministry and by prayer and the laying on of hands recognizes you as representatives of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Your duties will be many and varied. Principally your work is to preach--by voice and action--to preach a gospel of reconciliation, in all of your preaching to make Christ the center. The counsel given to young Timothy by the apostle Paul is pertinent and relevant to this occasion:
To preach the Word of God urgently at all times, whenever you get the chance, in season and out, when it is convenient and when it is not. Correct and rebuke your people when they need it, en courage them to do right, and all the time be feeding them patiently with God's Word. For there is going to come a time when people won't listen to the truth, but will go around looking for teachers who will tell them just what they want to hear. They won't listen to what the Bible says but will blithely follow their own misguided ideas. . . . Bring others to Christ. Leave nothing undone that you ought to do (2 Tim. 4:2-5, Taylor).*
The same apostle, in writing to the church at Corinth as it appears in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 in the New English Bible, said of himself and for our benefit, "I declared the attested truth of God without display of fine words or wisdom. . . . The word I spoke, the gospel I proclaimed, did not sway you with subtle arguments; it carried conviction by spiritual power, so that your faith might be built not upon human wisdom but upon the power of God."†
Your entire energy, time, talents, are to be directed to your work. There is no turning back. No side lines are to divert your attention or dilute your influence. Your conduct must be an example and your integrity beyond question. Your words and personal appearance must be in keeping with your calling.
Your ordination is a public recognition of your divine appointment, for indeed you have been called to the ministry for "such a time as this." You are authorized hence forth to perform the sacred rites of baptism and marriage as well as all other functions that are reserved to an ordained minister. By your own submission to the laying on of hands and in recognition of your call, I now charge you with your sacred duties. Fulfill them to the fullest extent so that upon the completion of your task you will hear the cheering words: "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: . . . enter thou into the joy of thy lord."
Young men, it is my privilege on behalf of the ministers of the ________ Conference to welcome you into our ranks. You are now fully qualified to perform all the acts of an ordained minister. The duties of a minister are varied and they are many some you have already been performing. Innumerable experiences await you some sorrowful, some frustrating, some that will bring you much joy. You have had the hands of ordination laid upon you at a most significant hour. The messages of the angels pictured in Revelation 14, which it is your duty to proclaim, become more and more significant. This church that grants you credentials expects you to preach a Christ-centered message, to call sinners to repentance, to baptize the converted, to unite in matrimony those who are members of this church, to comfort those who mourn, and to counsel and guide the concerned and the brokenhearted.
The ministry is more than a vocation, it is more than a profession, it is more than a career, it is more than a position; it is a calling, it is a commitment, it is a life. God bless you as you enter this enlarged field of service bless you with clear minds, keen discernment, a heart overflowing with sympathy, patience, love, concern, forgiveness, the ability to preach with conviction, and above all an experience with Jesus Christ that will transcend all other things. We en courage you to press on and on until you hear the Master say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: . . . enter thou into the joy of thy lord."
The secretary will now present you with a certificate of ordination, and then your fellow ministers will clasp your hands as we unite our energies in forwarding God's work in the _______ Conference.
* From: The Living Bible, Tyndale House, Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois, Used by permission.
† From: The New English Bible. © The Delegates of the Oxford University Press and the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press 1970. Reprinted by permission.