Home Worship Planning Planning Resources Pentecost Commissioning of Laypersons for Ministry in Christ's Name

Pentecost Commissioning of Laypersons for Ministry in Christ's Name

After a call to discipleship and a confession of faith (The Apostles Creed would be most appropriate), invite those being commissioned to the font. Ensure that the font is located in place in clear sightlines of the whole congregation, preferably in the center of the center aisle. Invite those being commissioned to form a circle around the font, and ask the congregation to gather more closely and encircle the font and those being commissioned.

The pastor begins, addressing the congregation:

My brothers and sisters in Christ:
Today we give thankful witness
to the work of the Holy Spirit
in the lives of these who are gathered around this baptismal font.
By water and the Spirit, they have been made new creatures in Christ.

In the Spirit and with this body of Christ,
they have discovered their gifts for ministry,
connected with the passion for service that God has placed in each of their hearts,
and heard God's specific call
to offer their gifts and passion
in the work of God's kingdom in this community (or other places).

The Lord is with us!
Yes, God is with us!

Lift up your hearts and hands and voices!
We lift them to you, Lord!

Let us give thanks to our Triune God!
It is right to give you thanks and praise!

Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One,
you have poured out your mercy upon us.
You have opened eyes that were blind to the harvest around us.
You have opened ears that were deaf to the cry of the sick, the poor, and the imprisoned.
You have opened minds that perceived only need to realize the deep giftedness of all people.
You have opened hearts that were hardened to your compassion for all your creatures.
You have opened hands that are now ready to serve you,
laborers into your fields white to harvest.

Blessing and honor and glory are yours,
now and forever!

Those being commissioned may be invited to state their name and offer a brief (one sentence) description of the ministry they will offer. A fuller written description of the ministry may be provided in the bulletin. After each person has shared, the congregation may respond:

Thank you, God, for (Name) and for the ministry (she/he) will offer.

The pastor then 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. When all are ready, the pastor continues:

Come, Holy Spirit!
Come, Holy Spirit!

Fill your servant, (Name), with grace and truth,
with wisdom and strength,
with every spiritual gift
to engage this ministry in your power.

Come, Holy Spirit!
Come, Holy Spirit!

Fill us with your love for (Name),
that we may support (him/her) in this ministry
with our prayers, counsel, encouragement,
and all things needed
that your will be done in (him/her) and through us. Amen.

When all have been commissioned, the pastor invites the congregation to sing "May You Run and Not Be Weary" (TFWS 2281) or a similar song of blessing. Use a strong hymn of sending forth, such as "The Spirit Sends Us Forth to Serve" (TFWS 2241) after Holy Communion at the very end of this morning's worship.

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