AN ORDER FOR COMMISSIONING TO CHRISTIAN SERVICE
This order is intended to recognize and consecrate a commitment to the service of Christ in the world, either in general terms or in connection with a particular responsibility in the world or in the Church. It is designed to be used within a service of worship. When used separately, it should follow appropriate praise and prayer, scripture lessons, and sermon.
Individual reaffirmation of the Baptismal Covenant, using appropriate parts of the service, may be used as an alternative to this form, since baptism is the Christian's basic consecration to ministry and its reaffirmation is appropriate to celebrate any form of commitment to Christian service.
As a Response to the Word or at some other appropriate place within a public worship service, the pastor invites the person(s) undertaking some special responsibility to come forward and then says to the congregation:
Dear friends, today we recognize the ministry of Name(s)
and commission him (her, each of them) to a special task
in the service of Jesus Christ.
The pastor or the person being commissioned briefly describes the form of service to which each person is being commissioned.
The pastor turns the person to face the door leading out of the sanctuary. From behind, the pastor lays hands on the shoulders of the person being commissioned and invites the congregation to stretch their hands in prayer toward the person being commissioned.
Name, in the name of this congregation I commission you to this work
and pledge to you our prayers, encouragement, and support.
May the Holy Spirit guide and strengthen you,
that in this and in all things
you may do God's will in the service of Jesus Christ.
After the commissioning(s) the pastor concludes with extemporaneous prayer or with the following:
Almighty God, look with favor upon Name (these persons )
who today (re)affirm(s) commitment to follow Christ and to serve in his name.
Give him (her, each of them ) courage, patience, and vision;
and strengthen us all in our Christian vocation
of witness to the world and of service to others;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A hymn may be sung and a blessing given. Jesus, We Are Here (Hymn 187) and the following hymns in UMH are suggested:
|425 –50||Social Holiness||548||In Christ There Is No East or West|
|567 –93||Called to God's Mission||383||This Is a Day of New Beginnings|
|939||Hymns listed under Commitment||344||Tu Has Venido a la Orilla (Lord, You Have Come to the Lakeshore)|
|413||A Charge to Keep I Have|
Go, Tell It on the Mountain
Copyright: Original version: “An Order for Commitment to Christian Service,” alt. from The Book of Common Prayer (The Episcopal Church, 1979). Further altered 2013 by the Discipleship Ministries to align with language and rubrics used in Services for the Ordering of Ministry in The United Methodist Church, 2008 and 2012. For a more recent and interactive version of this service, see “Pentecost Commissioning of Laypersons for Ministry in Christ’s Name.”