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This Internet version of To Be A Minister is textually identical to the printed version. This version is intended for reading directly from the internet or copying onto your hard drive for personal ministry use and help.  No portion of this book may be reproduced on paper nor further published without permission, but the links showing the original web address may be forwarded to other ministers of like precious faith for their personal use.  No copies whether printed or electronically copied may be downloaded without the copy below of the original Copyright  and notice of the Library of Congress Catalog Card Number, but may freely be downloaded to hard drive or printer and printed out on standard looseleaf notebook sixe for individual use so long as no word of text is changed and the Copyright notice is given.
To Be A



First Edition

Copyright ©  1989 by Up Way Publications

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced by any means without approval of the publisher, Up Way Publications, excepting for brief quotations giving full credit and Copyright  © notice.

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 89-51601

P.O.Box 1015
Kailua, Hawaii 96734

Page numbers refer to page numbers in the original paperback printed book


Foreword....................   i
Why Do You Want To Be A Minister?.....  1
The Ministry Is Not All Fun!*..........  5
How To Have The Original Apostle's Power.. 13
How To Conduct Spiritual Services...... 21
How To Preach Anointed Sermons....... 27
How to Deal With Problems in the Church.. 35
The Importance of Music To The Service.... 45
Standard Ceremonies.............. 49
   Communion.................. 49
   Water Baptism................ 51
   Marriages................... 56
   Dedications (Babies)............. 69
   Dedications (Buildings)........... 78
   Benedictions.................. 79
   Ordination.................. 86
   Funerals................... 94
   Additional Resources............ 98

7                   To Be A Minister  To Be A Minister 
The Importance of Music
To The Service

 IT HAS often been said that music is an international language, and that is really very true. The listener may not understand a single word of the lyrics, and still be touched by the melody and rhythm they hear. Grown, burly men can be touched to such a degree that they break down and cry like babies by just the sound of certain “tear-jerker” songs, other types of rhythm, harmony or melody may make you want to worship, to dance, or feel romantic or to become erotic or belligerent.
  A Spirit-filled songleader who has prayed for God’s direction in that particular service will lead in what seems completely spontaneous songs of worship, praise, consecration, repentance, surrender, personal edification or whatever way the Spirit is leading that service to go. It is no mistake to call such a songleader a “minister of music”, for truly his (or her) ministry is in leading spiritual worship through the medium of music. If you are privileged to be a pastor and have a truly Spirit filled, Spirit led minister of music working at your side, thank God and give him all the prayer support and cooperation you can.
  Notice that I said “what seems to be completely spontaneous” in the foregoing paragraph. By that I do not mean to imply any phoniness, because the Holy Spirit knew long beforehand what the need would be in that service and began to direct His (not your) minister of music to feel a special anointing on this song and that chorus and whatever other song or songs were appropriate and so even if the songleader did not have a preplanned list, the Holy Spirit had it all planned long before! But the songleader should at least have some idea or list of the songs he  feels will be fitting for that service so that if he gets behind the podium to begin the praise and worship part of the service and cannot seem to feel a special leading it is not an embarrassing moment of “Lord, what do I do now” while Satan sits on the shoulder of the sinners in the congregation, and perhaps a few saints’ shoulders, too, and says, “See, this service isn’t going right already. You may as well get comfortable for a dull and boring service. 

Or better yet, just leave now. Nobody will notice if you leave now.” 
  Whether you are the minister of music, the pastor, or just a member of the church who has been called upon to lead the song service, your prayer for God’s anointing and careful listening to the leading of the Holy Spirit in selecting the right songs and choruses, the right key and the right tempo (beat) is one of the most important things affecting the outcome of that service!!! With the proper anointing on the songleader, the pastor or evangelist, who may have prayed, even fasted, and studied and prepared several sermons and still feels unsure of which one to preach, may sense the leading of the Holy Spirit through the words of one or more of the songs sung in that service or the response of the entire congregation or the tears of joy or repentance of just one person, whether a regular member or a visitor who has been touched by a song especially anointed for that service.
  As we have said several other places in this book, “... the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.” (Isaiah 10:27).
  I know that on numerous occasions when I have gotten into the pulpit to preach and have even felt sure what I was going to preach, something about certain words in a song and the response I saw on the face or faces of persons in the congregation caused me to begin talking about that song, perhaps telling how the songwriter came to pen those words, or how responding to those words changed my own life or the life of someone I knew, or even a whole church. And from there, the service went a completely different way than I had planned and thought I had the Holy Spirit’s leading to go!
  If you are leading the song service, always heed the words of the song and “Give of your best to the Master.” He is not satisfied with your second best, and, even more important, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good,  and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17).  In fact, the meaning of the original words translated sin  in both the Old and New Testaments  mean “you missed the mark,“  and the Greek word Amartia, a derivitive of Amartano, was an archery term which not only meant “you missed the mark,” but even more specifically, you fell short of the mark. So, if you are not singing your BEST for Jesus, you are sinning!
8                   To Be A Minister  To Be A Minister 
 Standard Ceremonies

  It is my prayer that this little book will be helpful to you and a resource to turn to when you need guidance in finding the will of the Lord in any situation, or don’t know the appropriate form to follow for a baptism, dedication, wedding, ordination, funeral or other formal occasion.
  Some basic formats of certain types of service are included in this chapter. This is in no way endorsing ritualism, but the Apostle Paul told us to do everything decently and in order. Jesus gave His apostles a standard format for prayer God hears. It is known as “The Lord’s Prayer”. The Old Testament prophet Hosea told Israel, “Take with you words, and turn to the Lord and say to Him...”(Hosea 14:2). If you have performed fifty or a hundred weddings or funerals, you pretty well know what and how to do it, but if it is the first time for you, no matter how much you pray and await the leading of the Holy Spirit, you still may find that the basic formats offered here will give you additional confidence and peace of mind, as well as complying with various laws and ordinances of the government. Many fear any following of form, but even though you attempt to keep services at your church informal, they  will, over a period of time, begin to follow a regular pattern which in and of itself becomes a sort of form or ritual.


The minister should have the following in mind as he reads directly from the Bible, or he may read directly from below:
Minister:  “Dearly beloved, we are about to obey an ordinance given to us by none other than Jesus, Himself.  Communion is not an option. It should be a time of honest soul searching, consecration of your life to Jesus Christ and thanksgiving for the awful price that He paid for your salvation and healing. 
  “Communion is a time of real consecration and soul searching. And consecration is something that is lacking in the lives of far too many of those who name the name of Jesus Christ today.
  “As we continue this service, please be in a spirit of prayer that the Holy Spirit will search your heart and convict you of any hidden sin, that you may repent and so be worthy to partake of the elements of this communion.
  “Our scripture reading today is taken from the writings of the Apostle Paul, 1 Corinthians 11:23-30. 
  “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you. That the Lord Jesus the same night in which He was betrayed took bread: And when He had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is My body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me. After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in My blood: This do as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show forth the Lord’s death till He come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread and drink this cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.”
  The context of Paul’s giving us that passage was the way in which communion was being abused as a feast meal. Paul rebuked the abuse and gave a stern warning that the partaking of the Lord’s Supper unworthily could bring sickness and death.
  As an optional reading, you might prefer to read from the Gospel of Matthew  or the Gospel of Luke as follows:
Minister:  “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Matthew 26:26-28).
Minister:  “And he took bread, and gave thanks and broke it, and gave to them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of Me.” (Luke 22:19).”


Every minister who preaches and teaches the same Gospel that the early Apostles preached and taught should hope and pray that of all the ceremonies he conducts water baptism should be the most frequent. I strongly recommend that every one of the following verses be quoted and explained much as follows. The minister should first talk with and assure himself that  the baptismal candidate understands the serious nature of the ceremony. Many  times, the minister may have occasion to baptize a single person with only one or two witnesses, but it can be a great blessing for all if it is done as a part of a regular church service, usually near the close.
  At the appropriate time, the pastor or other minister  conducting the service should turn the pulpit over to another person to continue worship and praise by the general congregation. The baptismal candidates will be taken to change into robes or other appropriate attire by chosen deacons or deaconesses or other approved members of the congregation. The minister should enter the water first with the candidates following as appropriate to the space available.  (Most baptismal tanks will hold only the minister and one or two candidates but in rivers, lakes or other large bodies of water, all the candidates may line up in the water.) Each candidate should be individually shown how to hold his (or her) nose and given any other important instructions (such as, for example, a heavy candidate may need to assist the slender minister or the minister may be pulled down into the water himself -- very embarrassing!) Before baptizing the first candidate, the following scriptures should be read loudly enough for all candidates and witnesses or congregation to hear: 
Minister:  “We know that beginning with our first father, Adam, ‘All have sinned and come short of the Glory of God’. (Romans 3:23). ‘But God commendeth His love toward us that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Romans 5:8). And because ‘...God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life,’ (John 3:16), He also gave His first ministers instructions so that we could receive the forgiveness or remission of sins. After the Holy Spirit sent a spectacular sign in the form of the sound of a rushing, mighty wind and cloven tongues like as of fire which drew a crowd of scoffers, the Apostle Peter preached a great holy Spirit anointed sermon which, as soon as the scoffers believed, brought conviction in their hearts. The Bible tells us in Acts 2:36 that those who felt the conviction of the Holy Ghost because of their belief were ‘pricked in their heart.’ Then they asked, in verse 37, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’ To which question, the Apostle Peter replied in verse 38, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.’ By so doing, he turned the key in the lock of the Kingdom of Heaven as Jesus had promised him in Matthew 16:19, and more than 3,000 souls entered in that day. 
  “Many more scriptures demonstrate how the apostles and evangelists of the early church obeyed that command. In Chapter 8 of Acts, Philip the deacon turned evangelist went to Samaria and there baptized all who believed in the name of Jesus Christ. Later, he also baptized the Ethiopian eunuch. In Chapter 22, verse 16, the Apostle Paul tells of his own baptism which actually took place in Chapter 9. In Chapter 10, the Apostle Peter baptized the household of Cornelius, the first outright Gentile believer and his family in verse 48. In Chapter 16, the Apostle Paul baptized first the household of Lydia in verse 15 and the Philippian jailer and his household in verse 33. Chapter 19 tells how Apostle Paul rebaptized the believers in Ephesus who had already been baptized as John the Baptist had commanded.
  “The symbolism of baptism in the name of Jesus Christ is given by the Apostle Paul in Romans 6:3 and 4, Galatians 3:27, and Colossians 2:12, where he likens our repentance to death of the old man and baptism to the burial of that old man, from which we arise with our Lord Jesus Christ to the glory of God our Father to walk in newness of life as a new creature in our Lord Jesus Christ.
  “Clearly, from the scriptures we have already given, baptism means going down into the water and being buried in it. The original language of the New Testament was Greek, and those who sprinkle are not baptizing, but ‘rhantiz-ing’ and those who pour water over the head are ‘cheo-ing’ according to the Greek. And thus, we go down into the water and our old man, our old nature, which died in repentance, is now buried and the person who arises from this watery grave does so to walk the new life in Jesus Christ.”
  After completing the general instruction, each candidate should be asked the following immediately before being baptized:
Minister:  “Do you,___(name)______, believe that you were born in sin and shapen in iniquity and that Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, by His grace, paid the full penalty for your sins on the cross of Calvary?”
 The candidate should answer, “I do”. 
Minister:  “And do you  hereby confess Jesus Christ as your personal Savior before all men?”
 The candidate should answer, “I do”.
 Minister:  “And do you hereby sincerely give your life to the lordship of the Lord Jesus Christ, to die out to your old sin nature be buried with Him in Baptism, that like as He was raised again from the grave to the glory of the Father, do you desire to be raised with Him to walk in newness of life?
The candidate should answer, I do”. 
Minister:  “Do you promise before God and men that as He gives you the power to do it, you will walk by His grace in newness of life in a manner worthy of that name in which you are now baptized?
 The candidate should answer, “I do”. 
Minister:  “Upon your public confession of your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and desire to die out to your old sin nature so that you may come alive in Him to walk hereafter in newness of life, I now baptize you, (use full name) in the name that is above every other name, in that precious name by which alone we have salvation; I baptize you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins. Now receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
  [At this point, lean the candidate backward until he (or she) is completely and totally immersed (buried) in the water, then raise him (her) back up out of the water. Begin praising the Lord honestly and sincerely and, if the newly baptized convert is not already worshipping or speaking in tongues, encourage him (her) to praise and worship the Lord as they leave the baptistry.] It is nice to provide signed baptismal certificates, but not mandatory.


Marriage is both a religious and legal civil form and therefore must comply with all local and state laws as well as meeting the moral and spiritual needs of the couple, their friends and family. As a minister, it is your responsibility to learn what requirements must be met in order for the marriages you solemnize to be properly recognized by law. Persons unknown to the minister should be required to produce satisfactory legally acceptable evidence of their true identity and the minister should do all he can to counsel and advise the prospective husband and wife on how to have a successful lifetime relationship. The minister’s wife may provide additional counselling to the prospective bride.
  Both to protect himself legally and to provide a back-up record for the couples he marries, the minister should also keep his own register of all marriages he performs giving full names, ages and legal addresses of each couple.
  Since marriage is also ordained of God, the minister should make every effort to only solemnize such unions as meet Biblical, and especially New Testament standards. Unbelievers and believers should never be united in matrimony, because it is scripturally forbidden, is doomed to failure, a step toward heartbreak and usually results in the Christian being led into sin. (However, you might proceed to solemnize ceremonies in such a forbidden case if the couple is so determined to marry that your refusal will only drive them away from God and the church but not without warning of probable heartache.)
  Personal tastes, particularly as to the location where the ceremony is to take place, dress, music and grand entrance of the bride and groom and their attendants are usually left up to the bride and her family with the approval of the groom and his family. The minister may be asked to make suggestions but will not usually be responsible for the details.
  It is customary for the Minister to be paid for his  services when he performs the marriage ceremony, but the exact amount is usually not specified and is in part dependent on the financial situation of the persons being married or the person paying the wedding expenses. Customarily, the bride’s parents pay all wedding expenses except the Minister, who is usually paid by the groom. 
  It is suggested that you have copies of these ceremonies made to give to the prospective bride so that she can choose between them and you should be willing to make some changes or to take part of one ceremony and blend it with another. The ceremonies following have been adapted for use in churches following the original Apostles’ doctrine from ceremonies used in denominational churches.

Following whatever processional entrance has been made, the bride and her attendants should be to the minister’s right (guests’ left) and the groom and his attendants should be to the minister’s left (guests’ right)
Minister (to the assembled guests and witnesses):
  “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here in the presence of God and the sight of these witnesses to unite this man and this woman in holy matrimony. The Bible, the Word of God, commends marriage to be honorable among all men; and therefore not to be entered into carelessly nor lightly. The state of marriage should be entered reverently, discretely, advisedly and soberly in the fear of God. Into this holy state, these two persons come now to be joined. If any man can show cause why this couple may not be lawfully joined together, let him now speak or forever hereafter hold his peace.”
Minister (to the two persons to be married):
 “I now require and charge you both that ye shall answer at the dreadful day of judgment when the secrets of all hearts are made open, that if either of you know any reason why ye may not be lawfully joined together in matrimony, ye do now confess it: for be ye well assured that if any persons be joined together other than allowed by the Holy Word of God, their marriages is not lawful. ”
Minister (to the man to be married):
 “There being no objections to this marriage, (groom’s name), wilt thou have this woman, (bride’s name), to be thy lawfully wedded wife, to live together after God’s ordinance in the holy state of matrimony? Wilt thou love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health; and forsaking all others, to keep thee only unto her, so long as ye both shall live?
 The groom should answer, “I will.”

Minister (to the woman to be married):
“Wilt thou (bride’s name), have this man, (groom’s name),  to be thy lawfully wedded husband,  to live together after God’s ordinance in the holy state of matrimony? Wilt thou obey him, serve him, love, honor and keep him, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health; and forsaking all others, to keep thee only unto him, so long as ye both shall live?”
 The bride should answer, “I will.”
Minister:  Who giveth this woman to be married to this man? 
  The Bride’s father or other person standing to present her should answer, “I do,” or “Her mother and I do.” He should then place her hand in the hand of the Minister and then be seated. The Minister will then place the hand of the bride in the right hand of the groom and instruct the groom to repeat after him one line at a time:
 “I, (groom’s name), do hereby take thee, (bride’s name), to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish until death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto, I pledge to thee my troth.”
 The bride should then take the man's right hand in her right hand and likewise repeat after the minister:
  “I,(woman’s name), do hereby take thee, (man’s name), to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish until death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto, I pledge to thee my troth.”
 Then the couple should loose their hands and the groom give to the bride a ring, The bride should hand the ring to the Minister who will hand it again to the groom to place on the third or finger next to the little finger of the bride’s left hand. After placing the ring on her finger, the man should say, (the Minister may prompt the words): 
 “With this ring, I thee wed, and all my worldly goods I bestow upon thee, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory and honor forever. Amen.” 
 (If the bride is also giving a ring to the groom, the above procedure should be now reversed with the bride giving the ring to the groom who gives it to the Minister to return to the bride to put on the third finger of the groom. She will then repeat the same words which the groom has said to her.)
Minister (to the entire assembly):
 “Let us pray.
 “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread. and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, for ever. Amen.
“Oh, eternal God, Maker of heaven and earth, preserver of all mankind, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace, and giver of eternal life, Send now Thy  blessing upon these Thy servants, (man’s name), and (woman’s name), whom we bless in Thy Holy Name; that as Isaac and Rebekah lived faithfully together, so also this couple may surely perform and keep the vow and covenant between them just now made, whereof the ring(s) given and received is (are) a token and pledge. May they ever remain in perfect love and peace together according to Thy laws; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.”
  The Minister should now place the right hand of the bride and the right hand of the groom together and say, to the couple:
Minister:  “Those whom God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.”
Minister:  (to the whole assembly):
  “Forasmuch as (groom’s name), and (bride’s name), have consented together in holy wedlock, and have witnessed to the same before God and this company, and thereto have given and pledged their troth, each to the other, and have declared the same by giving and receiving a ring, and by joining hands; I hereby,  pronounce that they are man and wife, in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. May the blessings of our Mighty God and Everlasting Father bless, preserve and keep you, and fill you with all spiritual benediction and grace; that ye may so live together in this life, that in the world to come ye may have life everlasting.  Amen.”

Following whatever processional entrance has been made, the bride and her attendants should be to the minister’s right (guests’ left) and the groom and his attendants should be to the minister’s left (guests’ right)
Minister (to the entire assembly):
  “God established the ordinance of marriage from the very beginning of mankind, when He said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone: I will make an help meet for him,’ in the second chapter of the Book of Genesis, verse 18. Verses 21through 24 continue, ‘And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof: And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.’
  “Our Lord Jesus further declared in the 19th chapter of the book of Matthew, verses 4 through 6, ‘Have ye not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
  “Jesus further blessed the ceremony of marriage by His presence at the marriage feast in Cana where He performed His first recorded miracle by turning the water into wine.
  “Dear friends, we are gathered here today for the purpose of joining our friend, (groom’s name) and our friend (bride’s name) together into that holy union we call marriage. If anyone can give reason why these two should not be joined as one into the holy state of matrimony, let that person now speak or forever hereafter hold his peace.”

  The Minister should now  pause and look in the direction of the guests for any indication of such an objection. 
Minister (to the entire assembly):
  “There being no objections, let no person henceforth ever accuse either of these for any past error made before this day.”
  The Minister should now  pause and look in the direction of the guests again.
Minister (to the entire assembly):
  “Who gives this woman to be  married to this man?”
 The Bride’s father or other person standing to give her in marriage should answer, “I do,” or “Her mother and I do.” He should then place her hand in the hand of the Minister and be seated. The Minister will then place the right hand of the bride in the right hand of  the groom.
Minister (to the man to be married):
(Groom’s name), will you have this woman, (bride’s name), to be your lawful and only wife, to live together after God’s ordinance in the holy state of matrimony?”
Groom: “I will.”
“Will you love her, cherish her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in the times of God’s blessings or when His blessing hand seems far from you, when sickness brings you low and in times God grants good health?”
Groom:  “I will.”
 “And will you turn your back on all other women and be honestly faithful only to her, so long as you both shall live?”
Groom: “I will.”
Minister (to the woman to be married):
(Bride’s name), will you have this man, (groom’s name), to be your lawful and only husband, to live together after God’s ordinance in the holy state of matrimony?”
Bride: “I will.”
“Will you love him, cherish him, comfort him, honor, obey and keep him, in the times of God’s blessings or when His blessing hand seems far from you, when sickness brings you low and in times God grants good health?”
Bride: “I will.”
 “And will you turn your back on all other men and be honestly faithful only to him, so long as you both shall live?”
Bride: “I will.”
 The groom should then take the bride's right hand in his right hand and repeat as the minister prompts:
Groom: “(Bride’s name), I, (groom’s name), am honored to take you, to be my lawful, wedded wife. As my God helps me, I will love you and cherish you, have and hold you from this day forward, in the good and prosperous times and in the hard times when everything seems lined up against us, in times of sickness and in times of good health until death calls us home to be with God; This I promise and pledge to you according to God’s holy ordinance.”

 The bride should then take the groom's right hand in her right hand and likewise repeat as the minister prompts:
Bride: “(Groom’s name), I, (bride’s name), am honored to take you, to be my lawful, wedded husband. As my God helps me, I will love you and cherish you, have, hold and obey you from this day forward, in the good and prosperous times and in the hard times when everything seems lined up against us, in times of sickness and in times of good health, until death calls us home to be with God; This I promise and pledge to you according to God’s holy ordinance.”
 The couple should now loose their hands and the groom give to the bride a ring, The bride should hand the ring to the Minister who will hand it back to the groom to place on the third or finger next to the little finger of the bride’s left hand. After placing the ring on her finger, the man should say, as the Minister prompts. 
Groom: “May this ring, being in the form of an endless circle, symbolize the endlessness of my love for you. May it be a token of my devotion to you and a sign that all my worldly goods I now bestow upon you. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory and honor forever. Amen.” 
 (If the bride is also giving a ring to the groom, the same procedure should be followed with the bride giving the ring to the groom who gives it to the Minister for return to the bride to put on the third finger of the groom. She will then repeat the same words above.)
Minister  (to the entire assembly):
“By the laws of God and of man and the authority vested in me as a minister of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, I now pronounce that (groom’s name) and (bride’s name) are husband and wife, in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. ”
Benediction:  “May the blessings of our Mighty God and Everlasting Father bless, preserve and keep you, overflow your lives together with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus, our Lord and Master, and fill you with His Spirit and grace; giving to you the patience, courage and confidence both in Him and each in the other that you may so live together in this life, that when you come to the end of life on this earth, you each will inherit life everlasting. Amen.”


Suitable for small, simple marriages without guests or wedding party. (However there must be at least two witnesses present.) The bride should stand to the Minister’s right (guests’ left)  and the groom stand to the Minister’s left (guests’ right).

Minister:  “Marriage was first ordained by God Himself in the Garden of Eden, confirmed by the law given on Mount Sinai, and blessed by the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at the wedding feast in Cana of Galilee.
  “In marriage, two hearts and lives are united, their interests and goals, sympathies and hopes blended. It requires that each put care and consideration of the other ahead of their own and that each be patient, willing to compromise and trust the other.
  “I caution and advise you both, therefore, that as you enter upon this hallowed union, you seek the favor and blessing of God through our Lord Jesus Christ, whose blessing enriches and  whose Spirit will guide your footsteps in paths of wisdom.”
Let there now be a distinct pause:

Minister:  “Let us pray. Lord Jesus, we ask now that you would come by Your grace to this marriage. Help these two who are here to be married that they shall have a full understanding of the duties and obligations they are now about to assume. Fill their hearts with Your divine Love which enriches and overflows all other loves that each may truly esteem the other ahead of themselves and so each be a true helpmeet to the other until that time when You, in Your Wisdom call them to come home to You.”

 The groom should then take the bride's right hand in his right hand and answer as the minister asks: 
Minister: “Do you (groom’s name), hereby take this woman whose hand you now hold before God and these witnesses, to be forever hereafter your wife?” 

Groom: “I do.”

If a ring is to be used, the Minister should say:
 “What token do you give as your pledge that you will faithfully perform these vows?”

Without speaking, the man should now present the ring, but continue holding it in his fingers. 

Minister (to bride): “Do you receive this ring as your pledge that you will faithfully perform these vows?”
Without speaking, the woman takes the ring from the man and passes it to the Minister, who passes it back to the man,  so making an unbroken circle.  The man now places the ring upon the third (next to smallest) finger of the woman’s left hand.

Minister: “May this ring henceforth be the pure and changeless symbol of your unswerving, pure and changeless affection each for the other.”
 The couple should then join right hands. The minister pauses momentarily:
Minister: “Forasmuch, then, as you, (groom’s name), and you, (bride’s name), have consented together in holy wedlock, and have plighted each to the other your sacred troth, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, I now pronounce you husband and wife. Amen.
  “Therefore, what God hath joined together, let no man dare to put asunder.
  “Hereafter, as you travel life’s way together, let love be the charmed word in the language of your home and hearts. May Heaven’s constant blessing and benediction crown your union with ever increasing joy and blessedness, and unite your hearts and lives by all the grace and true affection of a lasting and happy marriage.”

The Minister should now offer a simple and sincere prayer from his heart in benediction.

9                       To Be A Minister 
To Be A Minister 

  It is not possible to overemphasize to parents the importance of teaching their children right attitudes as well as actions from the very beginning. Several studies have shown that serial killers and much of our most heinous crime today is caused directly by wrong attitudes instilled in the subconscious mind of very small children by parents who mistakenly think that children are unimportant until they are at least old enough to do work. Therefore, it is important that you, as a minister, strongly impress upon those who come to you to dedicate their babies or small children just how really important is  the task of raising their child to have right attitudes toward God and their fellow man. Many parents, and too many ministers do not take the dedication of babies nearly seriously enough, for it is, in fact one of the very MOST IMPORTANT of all ceremonies.
  The parents should be called to come and stand at the front of the congregation as a children’s song is sung by the congregation or a soloist. The minister should come down in front of the pulpit to join them. While it is nice for the minister to hold the baby (or child), it is usually best for the mother to hold, as the child feels more comforted in her arms, unless  the transfer of the baby to the minister, then to the father and back to the mother is used as a symbol of the circle of training.
Minister ( to all present): “My friends, this is a happy yet significant and solemn occasion into which we now enter. Like Hannah the mother of Samuel and Mary, the mother of our Lord, you have brought your child to God’s house today to present him (or her) to the Lord and to dedicate your own lives to raising your child for His service. You have gladly received Jesus’ invitation, ‘Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.’
  “Dearly beloved, the family is the institution by which God has made mankind to be a reflection of His own glory from the very beginning. Children are a heritage of the Lord, entrusted to their parents for care, protection and training. 
  “By her godliness, kindness, complete honesty, considerate, caring and compassionate attitude, maturity, love and devotion, the mother more than any other person in the child’s life instills into her child those same attitudes of life that she exhibits.  In the same way, a mother who is unkind, inconsiderate, selfish and uncaring unknowingly plants the seeds of her attitude in the developing mind of her child. More than anyone, she is responsible for raising a caring and compassionate person who may well make a mark in the world for good works and compassion that benefit all he or she contacts, or one who is bitter, frustrated filled with hate and becomes a thief, robber, drug or sex abuser or even a mass murderer.
  “The father also, by setting a godly, completely honest, caring, loving mature and responsible example during the child’s early years can strongly influence the adult attitudes that child will exhibit when he or she grows to adulthood. Or as immature, cheating, dishonest, selfish, unloving, un-caring and irresponsible father sets that pattern in his child’s life.
  “Seldom, if ever, will a child raised by parents who exhibit true caring love, honesty, devotion maturity, responsibility and godliness, ever bring disgrace or dishonor to his (or her) parents or to God. And seldom, if ever will children raised by dishonest, selfish, uncaring and immature parents ever bring anything but further embarrassment, disgrace and infamy to their parents.
  “The wise king Solomon advised, ‘Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.’ (Proverbs 22:6). Through the centuries until this day, that statement remains perfectly true.”
The Minister now pauses, then begins the vows:
 “Do you, _________ and ________, in the sight of God and these witnesses solemnly promise to raise this your child ________, to trust, reverence and depend upon the grace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ?”
Minister:  The parents answer, “We Do.” 
 “Do you understand the importance of setting a godly example full of consistent love, patience and caring responsibility before this your child, _________?”
  The parents answer, “We Do.”
Minister: “Do you promise to guide ________, in those paths of righteousness and instruction in the Word of God that will cause ________, to believe in Jesus Christ as his (or her) Savior and Lord at an early age, and to repent of his (or her) sins, few though they may yet be, to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of his (or her) sins and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit?”
 The parents answer, “We Do.” 
Minister:  “Inasmuch as you have promised before God and this congregation to dedicate your child to God , and yourselves to the task of rearing him (or her) for God, I now charge you to give yourselves wholeheartedly to this sacred obligation with wisdom, patience and devotion, and may the blessing and guiding hand of our Lord Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit be upon you.”
 The minister now lays his hand upon the head of the child and begins a Spirit led prayer with words such as:
Minister:  “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I dedicate this child, _______, to God for a life of service to Him and to his (or her) fellow man.” The minister should now continue with a dedicatory prayer and benediction in his own words.


  Dedications of buildings fall into two categorties. The dedication of churches is most common, but private homes and businesses and even motor vehicles, ships and aircraft may also be dedicated if the owner is a Christian and so desires. 
  The dedication of churches is usually done as soon as the building is ready for use, as a solemn setting apart or consecration to the service of God. Often, visiting dignitaries, ministers of high esteem and recognized authority and civic officials such as mayors, city and county commission or council members, and even legislators and governors from the state or national level may be invited and attend.
  I strongly suggest that you read 2 Chronicles chapters 3 through 7 for your own inspiration and instruction as you begin plans to build, remodel or dedicate a building for the service of the Lord.
  Personally, I do not care for all the pomp and ceremony that is often part and parcel of such dedication services. Far too often more emphasis is placed on the men who had a vision to see that building erected and participated in its design and construction than on the actual dedication and consecration to the service of our Lord, who rightfully desires ALL the honor and credit. And the people in attendance are often more awed by the government official or highly respected visiting minister than by the presence and power of God. If the minister responsible for planning such a church dedication will be careful to see that the attention of all in attendance is focused on the Lord Jesus Christ instead of on man, the dedication service for the building can and should also be a time of reconsecration for the people that will bring about a real Holy Spirit revival as the inaugural service.
  Since there are so many variable factors depending upon who will be participating in the service, and since senior ministers from parent churches or organizations will likely control much of the service, and rightly so, they will have their own way of holding the service, so only a few key scriptures will be referenced here and a couple of thoughts.
  Remember that the church building you are about to dedicate to the service of the Lord is not the church, but is merely a building designed and set apart to house the spiritual worship and instruction of the real church, which is the people who attend. It may be the finest new architectural design with carpets, padded seats, a stereo sound system with videotaping capabilities and a distinctive appearance, or it may be made of straw or thatched palm fronds (nipa) in a jungle or a storefront in a big city. Whatever its construction, it should be the very best you can afford, since it does represent the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Creator of the universe and owner of the cattle on a thousand hills. Your plans, even at this moment should include keeping it clean and well-maintained as a demonstration to your community and the world that you really believe in this loving Lord and Savior are truly serious in your own love and devotion to Him. Poorly maintained church buildings indicate an “I don’t really care about God’s house,”  to the casual observer who passes by and brings discredit to our Lord. 
  Scriptures about the church or tabernacle which might be appropriate to read in the dedication service are: 
  “Then said Solomon, The Lord hath said that He would dwell in the thick darkness. But I have built an house of habitastion for Thee, and a place for Thy dwelling forever. And the king turned his face and blessed the whole congregation of Israel: and all the congregation of Israel stood. And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who hath with His hands fulfilled that which He spake with His mouth to my father David...
  Oh, Lord God of Israel, there is no God like Thee in the heaven, nor in the earth; which keepest covenant and shewest mercy unto Thy servants, that walk before Thee with all their hearts. Now then, Oh, Lord God of Israel,  let Thy word be verified, which Thou hast spoken unto Thy servant David....But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain Thee; how much less this house which I have built! Have respect, therefore to the prayer of Thy servant, and to his supplication, Oh Lord my God, to hearken unto the cry and the prayer which Thy servant prayeth before Thee: That Thine eyes may be upon this house day and night, upon the place whereof thou hast said that Thou wouldest put Thy name there; to hearken unto the prayer which Thy servant prayeth toward this place...Then hear Thou from the heavens, even from Thy dwelling place, their prayer and their supplications, and maintain their cause, and forgive Thy people which have sinned against Thee. Now, My God, let, I beseech Thee, Thine eytes be open, and let Thy ears be attent unto the prayer that is made in this place. Now therefore, arise, Oh Lord God, into Thy resting place, Thou, and the ark of Thy strength: let Thy priests, Oh Lord God, be clothed with salvation, and let Thy saints rejoice in goodness. (2 Chronicles 6:1,2,4,14,17-20,39-41).
  Concerning the joy of being in the place of worship, the house or tabernacle of God: Psalm 122:1-9; 27:4,5; 84:1-12; Acts 7:47.
   Concerning reverence for and the sacred purpose of God’s house: Matthew 21:12,13; Mark 11:15-17; Luke 19:45,46 (especially the Mark passage).
  At the ground breaking ceremony: 1 Chronicles 29:10-13 and 15-19.
  At the cornerstone laying: 1 Chronicles 29:10-13 and 15-19.
  Suggested dedicatory aaddress:
  “We are thankful for the blessings of God who has prospered the work of constructing (remodeling, buying, obtaining the lease, or whatever the case may be) this house of worship, to be used in His service for the glory of His name.
  “We now join our hearts in joyful, yet solemn dedication of this house of worship which is and hereafter shall be known as, ___(church name)___, to house the worship of our King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ, to whom be glory and dominion both now and forever, in whose name, the Apostle Paul declares we should do all things to the glory of God the Father.
  “So as He shall enable us, by the Holy Spirit, we now consecrate and dedicate this place to be used to sing His praises and worship Him; to train up our children to become His saints and to go forth to serve mankind; to teach the Word of God without fear or favor in its fullness and completeness; to preach His word under the unction and anointing of the Holy Spirit; to provide a haven and a sanctuary in time of lifes troubles, trials; a lighthouse in the time of  storm; to become known in this our community as a house of prayer where any and all can come to commune with God and find peace and rest unto their souls. We devote it to the preaching of the Gospel that sinners might be converted; to the teaching, training and spiritual equipping of the saints to go forth and spread the Good News of  our Lord Jesus Christ into all the world. Here, let us offer the sacrifices of praise, thanksgiving and joy as well as our very lives. 
  “May we, the people who are the real church, rather than this mere building , be known as our Lord Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, that ye have love one to the other.” Therefore, let no note of discord, strife, hypocrisy or selfish pride ever find lodging here in this place nor rumor nor gossip of such ever leave these walls. But may all who enter find a place of love, peace and unity of purpose in our Lord Jesus Christ.
  “May all who enter recognize as did Moses, that we are standing on Holy Ground, and that while we offer joyful praise with the shout and the voice of triumph through our God, it is also a place dedicated to our great Creator who so loved us that He became Our Creator, and let us therefore treat it with due respect, in a spirit of purity and holiness.
  “May many hungry souls feel the magnetic Power of the Holy Spirit and be drawn here to find the salvation their souls long for, so that when those of us who are gathered here today have all gone to our eternal home, others will maintain the pure Word of God they have learned from us and continue His service here until He comes again in glory and majesty. 
  “Arise, oh Lord, into Thy rest, and the ark of Thy strength. Let those of us who are priveleged to be Thy ministers be clothed with righteousness and let Thy people shout for joy.  Put Thy Name in this place and Thy glory upon it. Let Thine eyes be open toward this house of Thy habitation and hearken unto the supplications of Thy people when they pray in this place, and when Thou hearest, in Thy kindness, love and everlasting mercy, forgive.
  “And now establish Thou this work of our hands upon us and let the fruits of our labor be many souls who find peace and rest unto their souls here. Yea, the work of our hands, establish Thou it. And to Thy  great name, Oh God, whose we are and whom we serve, be glory and honor everlasting in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen.”

(Personal homes)

  Occasionally, a member of your church may ask you to come and hold a service of dedication as a sort of housewarming party for their new home. This is a fine opportunity to meet many of their friends and relatives you might never otherwise meet and to establish a base of confidence in you as a minister of God in their minds. I will here give only a few references I have used in this situation, but many more can be found in your Strongs Concordance underheadings of House or Home.
  Scriptures about the residential house or home which might be appropriate to read in the dedication service are: Matthew 10:12-13 (Salute worthy...); Proverbs 24:3 (...built through wisdom...); Hebrews 3:4 (...every house is built by some man...); Matthew 12:25 (...house divided against itself...); Joshua 24:15 (...as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.)

(Businesses, Motor Vehicles, Airpl;anes, Boats or Ships)

Basically, you should look up in your concordance, words about dedication and consecration, since most of these things were unknown in Bible days. You pray that God will accept the offering of this thing which is now being dedicated to His service and honor, and will bless the one making the dedication with both the wisdom to properly use it for God’s glory and honor and prosperity for making the sacrifice willingly and joyfully. 

(For All Occasions)

  The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: the Lord make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. (Numbers 6:24-26).
  And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them that are sanctified. Amen. (Acts 20:32).
  Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith from God the Father and? the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen. (Ephesians 6:23,24).
  Grace be unto you, and peace from God our Father, and? from the Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:3).
  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. (Romans 16:24).
  The Lord that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion, world without end. (Psalm 134:3; Ephesians 3:21).
Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: that ye may, with one mind and one moiuth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:5,6).
  Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. (Romans 15:13).
  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen. (Galatians 6:18).
  The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be unto you. Amen. (2 Timothy 4:22).
  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. (2 Corinthians 13:14).
  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7).
  But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus,after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. (1 Peter 5:10).
  But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen. (2 Peter 3:18).
  And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto Him that loved us,  and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and?  His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 1:5,6).
  Now unto Him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20,12).
Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:20,21).
  To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. (Jude 25).

?  The Greek word eis´ is here translated “and” but would be better translated “even” in this verse.

Some church organizations recognize several levels of ministry such as Exhorter or Christian Worker as the entry level into the ministry, followed by the licensed ministry and finally, those fully ordained. It is true, of course, that we all learn and mature the longer we are in the ministry, but even when we have ministered for twenty, thirty or more years, we are still learning, or should be. However I can find no basis in scripture for the separation of levels of ministry as mentioned above. 
  Many feel that Sunday School teachers are less important than the deacons and ministers. Some may never feel a call nor desire to ever assume a “higher” ministry, but many do go on to become very good ministers. Therefore, I consider them to be on the first step into the ordained ministry. An installation service at the local church level is recommended for Sunday School teachers.
  The Deacon was a position which faithful men were placed into and seem to have moved on to the position of evangelist as Stephen, the first martyr of the church, and Philip, who evangelized Samaria and the Ethiopian eunuch which resulted in the establishment of the Coptic Church in Ethiopia. Deacons were chosen and appointed by  the elders of the local church. I recommend the procedure set forth in the book of Acts be followed. 


The Sunday School teacher fills a VERY IMPORTANT position. Let no man be guilty of belittling that ministry. Teaching at any level is of crucial importance to healthy spiritual growth, and those responsible for teaching the very small children in reality have the most important assignment of all. Adults have already formed their learning habits and become relatively set in their ways, so even the best teacher may have serious difficulty overcoming errors taught in the student’s youth. Teenagers have already formed a large part of their learning habits and usually acquired a know-it-all attitude which is difficult to overcome. But the teacher dealing with the children of pre-kindergarten and up through about the second grade level have the opportunity to mold the child’s thought processes and learning habits as teachers of no other age group ever will. Thus, your MOST GIFTED teachers should be assigned to the pre-school through about seven or eight year old classes. It may be fine to assign your gifted and spiritual teenagers to teach the nine, through eleven or twelve year olds. No teacher should ever be installed who is not faithful and a good scholar of the Bible. Ceremonies of promotion have long been recognized as motivational tools to secure enthusiasm, a feeling of importance and responsibility, and an installation service for both Sunday School teachers and Deacons.
The pastor or Sunday School superintendent should conduct a service along the following lines, usually at the beginning of Sunday School as part of the opening exercises.
Minister or Supt.: “Our Lord Jesus’ primary ministry while walking the dusty roads of Galilee and Judæa was of teaching His disciples and those who followed Him. His final command to His followers was to go and teach all nations. (Go ye therefore into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature...Matthew 28:19.) The Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:11 names one of the five-fold ministries given by God to the church as teachers. It has become evident through your life and by your own declaration, that God has called you to be a teacher of His Word. This is a serious ministry of the utmost importance in the kingdom of God, for it is by teaching of God’s Word that we all come to know His plan and purpose for our lives.”
  The following question can either be asked of each teacher individually or as a group. More emphasis and impact occurs when only a few teachers are being installed if each is asked personally for all to hear.
Minister or Supt.: “Do you promise before God and this Sunday School that you will be faithful to pray, study and be present and on time to teach the Word of God to the class assigned to your ministry to the best of your ability?”  (Answer: “I do.”  ) 
Minister or Supt.: “Do you understand that you are responsible before God, Himself, for giving instruction in His Word to every student placed in your class both in the classroom and wherever you have any contact outside of the classroom, and that if ever you cause one of His lambs to stray because you have not been faithful to your responsibility as a teacher, both the prophet Jeremiah and Jesus, Himself have pronounced woe unto you?”
(Answer: “I do.”  )
The Minister or Superintendent should then either offer a prayer dedicating the teacher(s) to the Lord and to their teaching assignment, or ask a Deacon or other respected church member to do so.


Minister: “The office of Deacon was established in the early church by the twelve Apostles, which included Matthias. As the church was expanding in a very rapid growth, the Bible records in the Book of Acts that ‘...there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the Word of God, and serve tables. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually to, prayer and to the ministry of the Word. And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, aand Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: Whom they set before the Apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.’ (Acts 6:1-6).
  “The Apostle Paul, writing by Divine inspiration declares, ‘Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.  And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 3:8-13).”
Minister to each Deacon candidate: “Do you promise before God and this church body that you will faithfully fulfill the position of Deacon as created in the sixth chapter of the Book of Acts and that you now meet the requirements set forth in both scriptures we have just read in your hearing?”
Answer:""I do."
Minister to each Deacon candidate: “Do you promise before God and this church body that you will attend to the ministration to the needs of widows and orphans and to such other material needs of this church as may be needed for the Glory of God and the honor of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you will be faithful in your prayer and live in the fullness and power of the Holy Spirit to the best of your ability.”
 (Answer: “I do.”  )
The Minister should then either offer a prayer dedicating the Deacon(s) to the Lord and to their assignment of adminiistering the material needs of the church and asking God to give the wisdom they need to minister in the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit, or ask a Deacon or other respected church member to do so.


Candidates for ordination to the ministry should have already proven their faithfulness and the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon their lives and their ability to teach and preach with evidence of that anointing on the messages they bring. Those who have never once read the entire Word of God, those who make glaring errors of Biblical fact, those who refuse correction or instruction, those evidencing excessive pride in their authority or the manner in which God is or has used them should be refused ordination until they shall have met those requirements. Ordination services should be conducted by the highest ranking or senior minister of the organization with which the newly ordained minister is to be affiliated in the presence of other leading ministers of that organization. 
Minister in Charge:  “The office of the minister of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is the highest calling to which any person can aspire and is not of man, but of God, Himself. People look to their minister for leadership and guidance through the problems of life as well as instruction and inspiration in the ways of God which means that the minister, as no other person, can bring God’s blessing upon all of those who follow his ministry, resulting in not only their spiritual, but their physical and material wellbeing, or he can bring down the wrath of God upon all that follow his pernicious ways.
  “By rightly dividing the Word of Truth,  you, as a minister have in your hands the means by which not only will the lost find salvation, joy and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ, but they will also find the healing hand of God to cure their sicknesses and diseases, heal broken and disfigured bodies and keep them in that health that best reflects the glory of God. Because their sights are set on things above and not on things on the earth, God will provide for and abundantly bless them in their homes, families businesses and whatever they set their hands to do. But if you fail to teach and preach God’s Word aright, you will cheat those who follow you out of a blessing and the woes and judgement of God of Jeremiah the 23rd chapter will be upon you. 
  “Joshua, who followed Moses as the leader of the children of Israel, received his charge directly from God, as we read from Joshua 1:1 through 9. ‘Now after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord it came to pass that the Lord spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even, to the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of theHittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast. There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. 
  “‘Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the Law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; Be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’
  “Near the beginning of our Lord’s ministry, we see Jesus sending out ministers before Him as recorded in Luke 10:1,2. ‘After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before His face into every city and place, whither He, Himself would come. Therefore said He unto them, The harvest is great, but the laborers are few.: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He would send forth laborers into His harvest.’
  “Near the beginning of our Lord’s ministry, we see Jesus sending out ministers before Him as recorded in Luke 10:1,2. ‘After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before His face into every city and place, whither He, Himself would come. Therefore said He unto them, The harvest is great, but the laborers are few.: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He would send forth laborers into His harvest.’
 “Jesus declared of Himself, though He was King of Kings and Lord of Lords, that, as is written in Matthew 20:28 ‘Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.’ (Also, Mark 10:45). The Apostle Peter wrote, ‘For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:’ (1 Peter 2:21). So, if our Lord considered Himself to be a servant, as He further demonstrated by washing the disciples’ feet in John 13:5 through 14, how humbly we, his ministers should serve those to whom our Lord sends us.  “The Apostle Paul in his commission to his spiritual son, Timothy instructed him, ‘Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves, teachers having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.’ (2 Timothy 2:2-4).”
  The presiding elder should then call the minister(s) to be ordained to come and stand (or kneel) before him, singly unless there is a very large group to be ordained.  Other senior ministers, bishops, deacons or other elders of the church should join in the laying on of hands. 
Presiding minister: “As we, the ministers and undershepherds of our Lord Jesus Christ who are charged with overseeing this flock of believers (known as the _[organization name if desirable to use]__) do lay hands upon you, Brother (or Sister)_________, as the Apostle Paul and his assistants did to Timothy, which he refers to in 1 Timothy 4:14 and 15, I likewise charge you that you: ‘Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profitting may appear to all.’
  “You, Brother (or Sister)_________, have declared to us that God has called you and given you the desire to be a minister unto Him, and you have further demonstrated by your life, example and testimony that you are faithful to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit and that His anointing and power are evident in your life.
  “You have demonstrated that you are knowlegeable in the Word of God and that your home and family are endeavoring to fulfill all those requirements set forth for deacons and bishops in 1 Timothy 3:1 through 15 [If time permits, the presiding minister may wish to have his Bible open to that passage and read it in its entirety.] We, the ministers charged with the duty and responsibility of assisting and overseeing this body of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ in which you desire to minister do hereby require that you answer honestly before this congregation:
Presiding minister: “Will you, Brother (or Sister)_______, faithfully and unselfishly give of your time and effort to teach the Word of God wholly within its proper context and meaning to the instructing of the flock entrusted to you in all the ways of peace, righteousness, holiness and the divine love of God?”
Answer: “I will, as God enables me to do my best.”
Presiding minister: “Will you, Brother (or Sister)_________, preach the Word of God fearlessly and honestly to the bringing of conviction upon the hearts of those living apart from God in selfishness, pride and sin?”
Answer: “I will, as God enables me to do my best.”
 Presiding minister: “Will you, Brother (or Sister)_________, maintain a personal standard of holy and pure living which will be an example to your own family and to all believers who know or come in contact with you; will be a testimony and a light in the darkness for all you meet who do not yet know the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior andLord, and a source of conviction for the wicked and a source of hope for the distressed and oppressed?”
Answer: “I will, as God enables me to do my best.”
Presiding minister: [Omit or modify this question if the ordainee is not married.] “Will you, Brother (or Sister)_________, so maintain your family and home life that those not yet married will look upon your family as an example of a goal to be attained; those already married will see your family as a model and ideal to be copied; and those already having marital discord be given a new desire to work harder to make their own a joyful relationship like yours?” 
Answer: “I will, as God enables me to do my best.”
Presiding minister: “Will you, Brother (or Sister)_________, ‘Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.’ Will you be patient with the sheep who is forever attempting to stray, remembering that that one is also your brother (or sister) in Christ Jesus, your fellow laborer for the salvation of the lost, a joint-heir with you of the riches of God in Christ Jesus, and one whom our Lord commanded you to forgive ‘seventy times seven’ in the same day?
Answer: I will, as God enables me to do my best.”
Presiding minister: “Will you, Brother (or Sister)_________, show forth the love and compassion of our Lord Jesus Christ for the little children, the poor, the fatherless and the widows and be ever ready to sacrifice of your own means with which the Lord has blessed and endowed you?”
Answer:“I will, as God enables me to do my best.”
Presiding minister: “Brother (or Sister)_________, as you have affirmed the call of God upon your life to be a minister of His word, have demonstrated your own determination that nothing shall stop you from faithfully serving Him and your fellow man as a ministering servant of His Divine love and grace, these your fellow servants and ministers do hereby recognize that the Hand of God is upon you and that He has ordained you to be our fellow minister in His Word and Compassion. 
Presiding minister: “Brethren, let us now welcome to the ranks of God’s ordained ministry, our beloved Brother (or Sister)_________.”
Beginning with the presiding minister, the other ordained ministers, deacons, Sunday School teachers and the rest of the congregation now pass by and give a heart-felt handshake and word of welcome and blessing.


10                  To Be A Minister  To Be A Minister 

EACH of us will some day face death unless our Lord Jesus Christ comes in His clouds of glory to catch us away first as is described in 1 Thessalonians 4:15, 17. Whether you are called upon to perform a funeral service for a member of your church or for a member of your community or neighborhood who never attended your church or for a total stranger who happened to die in your community and you were called upon to minister the funeral, you face both a great opportunity to reach living souls for the Lord Jesus Christ and a time when you may be called upon to use great wisdom and compassion.
  The greatest responsibility, of course comes when it is a member of the flock over which the Lord has made you shepherd. In time of grief, it is almost unbelievable the number of unscrupulous salesmen who will swoop on the family and try to sell them everything from overpriced caskets and cemetery lots to newspaper clipping service and living memorials of all sorts. While there is honest need for most, if not all these things, there are also reputable funeral homes which can and will provide every needed service at a price which is substantially below what the rip-off artists charge for the same or poorer service after all the “add-ons” have been added on. A good rule for you to follow when you first move into a community is to learn which funeral homes have a reputation for honest dealings and reasonable prices, so that you can recommend them to families of your church who lose a loved one.
  While each of us can expect to die, it is something that will happen only one time and as a minister, this will be the only occasion when all the family, friends and loved ones will gather around the casket and view the remains of the departed. The fact that even more than weddings, a funeral is a once in a lifetime opportunity to minister in the stead of our Lord Jesus Christ to these in sorrow and should be viewed as a most serious responsibility.
  This is the time when your calmness and the sense of assurance they can see evident in the way you act toward them and the deceased that “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose,” can be far more effective to reach those in sorrow who are lost than the finest sermon you could ever preach. It is the one time you may ever have the opportunity to show the care and concern of Jesus to many of these people and you will surely be accountable for how you use it. 
  Unlike weddings and dedications in which a certain amount of ritual and ceremony that follow a set pattern are both acceptable and expected, a funeral sermon should be tailored to the life of the person who has passed on. It is not necessary to avoid the word “death” and if you attempt to be overly careful about saying the person has died and always use  terms like “deceased,” “departed,” and “passed on” when speaking of the death, you may come through as a solicitous phony instead of a living caring person. Of course you don’t want to go to the other extreme and speak nothing but death, died, dead, or killed, either. Neither do you want to preach a sermon just like the one you preached for the last funeral. For that reason, no form sermon nor set words are included in this book.
  You really should know if the deceased was truly “born again” or lived at least a nominally Christian life, and to know as much as possible about their life as possible. A ministerial joke concerns the minister who eulogized a dead stranger and told what a fine person he had been in life, only to find out later that he had been a horse thief and drunkard! As a suggestion, you might preach about the assurance that a child of God has of going to a better place to be with Jesus; or tie in some event having to do with the time,  place or circumstance of the death; or you might choose to point out how a truly Godly person touched the lives of all he or she met and helped them to be better people also.
  Following are a few scriptures which may prove handy to read and use in your sermon preparation. (Unless distinctly led by the Holy Spirit to do otherwise, you really should not attempt a really “anointed” and totally unprepared sermon in such a case.)
 Our Shepherd’sCare. Psalm 23:1; Isaiah 40:1,1
 The Lord’s Care for Children.   Matthew 18:1-6 & 10-14;   Luke 18:15,16; Jeremiah 31:15-17; Zechariah 8:5
 Loving Chastening of the Lord. Deuteronomy 8:5; Ezekiel   20:37; Hebr3ews 12:6,7; Revelation 3:19
 The Lord, Our Hiding Place. Psalm 27:5
 Being Wise While We Live.Psalm 90:12
 Trusting Jesus. John 11:25,26; 14:1,18, 27; 16:22 
 Death of the righteous.  Numbers 23:10
 Tears Shall Be Wiped Away. Revelation 21:3,4
 Assurance Of Reward. 1 Corinthians 15:58
 God’s Provision Through Life’s Troubles. Job 5:6-23
Special comforting passages:   Job 11:16;   42:1-5; Psalm 27:5; 30:5; 42:5; 103:8-18; 119:50; 138:7; Isaiah 46:4; 51:12; 61:1-3; 63:9; Matthew 5:4; John 16:22,33; Romans 8:28, 35,37;  2 Corinthians1:3,4;  11:9; 1 Thessalonians 3:7; 4:13; 1 Peter 5:7; Rev. 14:13
The Sovreignty of God: 1 Samuel 2:4-9; Job 7:6;8:9;    9:25-2612:10;  14:1-2;  ; Psalm23;  34:22; 36:6; 46:10; Psalms 90; 91; 97:1-2; 102:11; 103:15-16; 144:3-4;  Proverbs 14:26; 18:10;  Isaiah 26:3-4; 40:6-8, 13-22, 28-31; Daniel 4:35; Romans 11:33-36; James 4:13-15.
Many other scriptures often used at funerals fit only when removed from their context and therefore do not seem appropriate for use by those of us who teach that all scripture must be used in agreement with its context, and so have not been included in the above listing. Of course you may recall other scriptures which fit the situation of the particular funeral you are conducting better than these, and you should use what is most appropriate. 
While it is always your duty to do your best for Jesus, the ministration at a funeral is one of the most vital in your entire ministry and most urgent that you really do your very best.
Songs often sung at funerals:

Abide With Me
Jesus, Savior Pilot Me
I Will Meet You In The Morning
Jesus, Lover of My Soul
Nearer My God To Thee
Rock of Ages
Shall We Gather at the River
‘Til We Meet



For Additional Bible study helps:
 Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, available from several  publishers and most gospel bookstores.

 Faith For Healing, by Dr. Hobart E. Freeman, Faith  Publications, P.O. Box 1156, Warsaw, IN 46580.

 Foundations Firm Bible Study and Sunday School  quarterlies, by Samuel M. Smith, Up Way Publications,  P.O.Box 1015, Kailua, HI 96734

 Selected Sermons, by Samuel M. Smith, Up Way Publi  cations, P.O.Box 1015, Kailua, HI 96734

For additional marriage and family counselling:
 Focus on the Family, Dr. James Dobson, Pomona,  CA 91799, phone (714) 620-8500 or  1-800-A-FAMILY (for ordering only). 

 MARRIAGE: Delight or Disaster, by Samuel M. Smith,  Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 89-51186 Up  Way Publications, P.O.Box 1015, Kailua, HI 96734

For additional financial advice from a Christian perspective:
 Christian Financial Concepts, Larry Birkett,  Route 5, Box 4184, Dahlonega, GA 30533.

All Up Way Publications and published writings of Rev. Samuel M. Smith acccessed on this website or by writing to the address above.

Dr. Dobson and Focus on the Family are now located in Colorado Springs, CO.
Phone: 1-800-A Family (232-6459)

Larry Burkett and Christian Financial Concepts have also moved. New address is P. O. Box 2377, Gainsville, GA 30503-2377.  Phone 404/54-1000 or 1-800-772-1976.  Website: http://www.cfcministry.org

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