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This order is intended for the public commissioning of class leaders following their appointment by a Charge or Church Conference of the congregation.

The order may be led by the pastor of the congregation, the district superintendent, or the bishop of the area.

As a Response to the Word or at some other appropriate place within a service of congregational worship, the pastor invites the newly appointed class leader(s) to come forward.

Pastor to congregation:

Dear friends,
the office of class leader is one of the most important contributions
made by world Methodism
to the pastoral leadership of Christ's holy Church.

In the General Rules of 1743,
John Wesley described the Methodist societies
as companies of men and women who,
"having the form, and seeking the power of godliness,"
came together in order to pray,
to receive the word of exhortation,
and "to watch over one another in love
that they may help each other work out their salvation."
To this end, the societies were divided into small companies, called classes,
each with an appointed leader
"to advise, reprove, comfort, or exhort, as occasion may require."

Class leaders of today continue this tradition.
In the founding Discipline of our church, they are described as persons
"not only of sound judgment, but truly devoted to God,"
who are willing to help others in the congregation
"to grow in the knowledge and love of God."

Presider to class leader(s):

Do you accept the office of class leader
in this congregation of The United Methodist Church?

I do.

Will you exercise this office
by helping other members of the congregation
to fulfill the general rule of discipleship:
To witness to Jesus Christ in the world, and to follow his teachings
through acts of compassion, justice, worship, and devotion,
under the guidance of the Holy Spirit?

I will.

Will you help other members of the congregation
to be accountable for their discipleship,
not by judging them, but by watching over them in love?

I will.

Will you meet weekly in covenant with others of like mind
and purpose to be accountable for your own discipleship?

I will.

Presider to congregation:

Will you affirm the call of these men and women to be class leaders
in this congregation of The United Methodist Church?

We will.

Will you acknowledge them as your leaders in discipleship,
and accept their guidance as they watch over you in love?

We will.

Presider to class leader(s):

You are hereby commissioned as class leaders
in this congregation of The United Methodist Church

(or, if multiple congregations are represented,
in the congregation of The United Methodist Church
where you hold professing membership).

Let us pray.

Most gracious God,
bless your servant(s)
whom we now entrust with the office of class leader.

Grant them wisdom tempered by your love,
and courage tempered by your justice,
so that Jesus Christ might be honored and served
by all in this congregation,
to the furtherance of your coming reign, on earth as in heaven;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

UMH 438, Forth in Thy Name, O Lord, may then be sung.

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Copyright: “An Order for the Commissioning of Class Leaders” by David Lowes Watson Copyright © 1992 by UMPH. Altered 2013 by the Discipleship Ministries to reflect the possibility of such a service being held at a district, conference, or episcopal area level.