A Solemn Commission
August 1, 2008
“I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ
Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing
and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of
season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.” II
“I solemnly charge you …” The words roll off
your tongue with grandeur and nobility. Paul calls God and Christ
as witness to his charge to young Timothy. He then delivers his
commission: Preach! Be ready! Reprove, rebuke, exhort!
To Paul, church wasn’t about sipping coffee in the sanctuary
on Sunday morning. Ministry wasn’t a volunteer list tacked
up on the bulletin board. The church was the kingdom of God at
work in the world, and ministry was a matter of commitment, rigor,
suffering, and purpose.
Perhaps it’s time to re-think how we approach ministry.
How we commission people to do ministry. What we expect out of
Ministry should be done with a purpose. People who are called
into that ministry should be commissioned by the church body to
fulfill their divinely-appointed charge. And the results of the
ministry should be regularly examined, to make sure it is bringing
forth good fruit.
When we do so, the kingdom of God will transform our world!
- What is God’s calling to you
right now? (Remember, God may call you to very different ministries
over the course of your life.)
- Are you struggling with feeling like your calling
has turned into monotonous routine? Or a thankless, fruitless
task? If so, why? Is it a problem inside you (for instance, in
your attitude or spirit), or a problem outside you (for example,
are you burdened down by unnecessary red tape that is impeding
- What would it do for your approach and attitude
if the apostle Paul were to give you a commissioning statement
like he did for Timothy?
- How can you and your church better commission
and support others in their ministries?