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The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity

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How to run a commissioning service for all kinds of ministry

The church has a long tradition of publicly recognising people’s ministries.

For the most part, however, that recognition has been confined to ministries that happen ‘in church’ – when Christians are gathered together.

It has, therefore, been tempting to think that the church has ‘ministers’ – who do get recognised – and then ‘others’ – who don’t. But we need to emphasise that the whole body of Christ has ministry in common. We are all called, gifted, and sent to serve Christ in the world.

So we are all ‘in ministry’. It’s just that for most of us it won’t be in a church building. We all need to keep on learning how to minister on our frontlines – the ordinary places where we meet those who don’t follow Jesus. We all need the ongoing support from our brothers and sisters. We all want to be held accountable to the promises that we make.

A commissioning service is a great way to help people grasp these truths for themselves. Rather than just praying for the overseas missionaries and kids’ workers (although definitely do pray for them!), take time to pray for everyone‘s ministry out in the world. In their jobs, their families, their streets, and their hobbies – in all the tasks and relationships God has given them.

 

A liturgy to get you started

Commissioning services can take many forms – here’s a suggested set of commitments you can use to help everyone in your church offer their daily ministry up to God. They use the 6Ms of fruitfulness – six ways we can spot how God is working through us where we are.

 

Do you believe in one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit and do you confess Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord?
Response: We do.

Do you believe that God has called you to the places where you live, work and play?
Response: We do.

Will you own your ministry on your frontline?
Response: We will.

Will you live to reflect the life of Jesus by Modelling godly character?
Response: By the grace of God we will.

Will you commit to Making good work with all your heart, as working for the Lord?
Response: By the grace of God we will.

Will you join God in what he is already doing in our world by Ministering grace and love to those who are not expecting it?
Response: By the grace of God we will.

Will you look to Mould culture where you live, work and play so that they are places where others thrive?
Response: By the grace of God we will

When the need arises will you be a Mouthpiece of truth and justice for those who need you?
Response: By the grace of God we will.

Will you be a Messenger of the gospel sharing your own story and giving reasons for the hope that you have?
Response: By the grace of God we will.

All: Father, thank you for the offer of new life in Christ. Thank you for giving my life renewed purpose – for transforming the way I see my daily work, my relationships and my leisure time. Thank you for all those who have showed and shared your good news with me. Now Lord, help me to live a fruitful life on my frontline – the frontline that you have called me to.

Lord, through me would you draw others to know you; stretch out your mighty hand to do great works in the places where I live, work and play and give me the courage and the presence of mind to share you each day through my actions, my speech and my behaviour. For your glory may it be so. Amen.

More ideas to try

Want to add more commissioning elements to your service? Check out our handy service planning guide.

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