Ordination, Offices, Function and Authority

They came again to Jerusalem. As He was walking in the temple complex, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came and asked Him,"By what authority are You doing these things? Who gave You this authority to do these things?"
-Mark 11:27-8

Have you thought about ordination?  Maybe you have a desire to serve and you have older people who you hold in high esteem and you want to be like them.

I think that how we view ordination and church officials depends on our tradition or tribe we have been apart of.  There are denominations and traditions which are heavy on government and there is a whole range of governing styles, practices or models.  At the other end of the spectrum, we have what we could call 'simple' or 'organic'.

Heavy and complicated, careful and cerebral government in the church might be too much of a maze or a set of hoops to jump through.

I understand that safety is the 'good' reason.  But the simple perspective is a very high view of Christ and his power and abilities.  We believe in an active Christ who is building his church through simple people, some who are highly educated, trained and evaluated; but also through many and even the vast majority who are not.

The desire to minister and be an authorized minister is a simple passion and flame of desire to serve the bride of Christ vocationally.  But the daunting complexity makes it seem like you have to do a lot in order to be a recognized minister on the playing field of ministry.

We have made ordination and church offices very complex and complicated for safety perhaps.  But have we also abandoned the original deep and simple, holy and powerful ways that Jesus does ordination and the calling and sending of people?

Church governance is not an 'absolute', like the deity of Christ.  Who Jesus is and why he came and what for is the center of Christianity and the absolute thing.

Remember A-I-D:

  • Absolutes
  • Interpretations 
  • Deductions

Through interpretation of the scriptures and deduction, or perhaps 'what works' or 'what seems right' (your personal common sense or good fruit), and based of your tradition or your study of tradition; you come to your conclusion, or personal and communal belief, of what church government should look like and be.

The dark side is when you take that and try to impose it on other Christians who have come to a different conclusion.  Christians need to cultivate amicableness towards other tribes and traditions who interpret and deduce differently.  

In closing, think about this story:

A famous Christian leader, perhaps an Archbishop or a television preacher, was spotted at the beach, with his family.  He had on a pair of shorts.  A person recognized him and walked up and said, "What are you doing here?"

His answer was pretty simple.  "I am enjoying the beach with my family!".  The question is, is he in the office of ministry when spotted at the beach?  He is known by some as 'pastor', 'archbishop', 'priest' or any other title.  But, is he that when he is at the beach, or when he's taking out the trash at night?