When pastors, elders and deacon begin their service in the church, they are ordained during a service of worship. Commitments are made by the new leader to the people and by the people to the new leader as responses to the following questions:
Questions for Pastors, Elders and Deacons
- Do believe in One God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and do you boldly declare Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, and acknowledge Him Lord of all and Head of the Church?
- Do you believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the Word of God, and, inspired by the Holy Spirit, the unique witness to Jesus Christ and the authority for Christian faith and life?
- Will you receive, adopt, and be bound by the Essential Tenets of ECO as a reliable exposition of what Scripture teaches us to do and to believe, and will you be guided by them in your life and ministry?
- Relying on the Holy Spirit, do you humbly submit to God’s call on your life, commit- ting yourself to God’s mission, and fulfilling your ministry in obedience to Jesus Christ, under the authority of Scripture and guided by our confessions?
- Will you be governed by ECO’s polity and discipline? And will you be accountable to your fellow elders, deacons, and pastors as you lead?
- Do you promise to be faithful in maintaining the truth of the Gospel and the peace, unity, and purity of the Church?
- Will you pray for and seek to serve the people with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love?
- (1) (for elder) Will you be a faithful elder, watching over the people in their worship, nurture, and service to God?
(2) (for deacon) Will you be a faithful deacon, serving the people, urging concern and directing the people’s help to those in need?
(3) (for pastor) Will you be a faithful minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ by proclaiming the good news, teaching the faith, showing the people God’s mission, and caring for the people?
Questions for the Congregation
- (for elders/deacons) Do we, the covenant partners of this congregation, accept (names) as elders or deacons, chosen by God through the voice of this congregation to lead us in the way of Jesus Christ according to the Word of God and the Constitution of ECO?
- Do we agree to pray for them, to encourage them, to respect their decisions, and to follow as they guide us, serving Jesus Christ, who alone is Head of the Church?
Having answered these questions in the affirmative, those to be ordained shall kneel, if able, for prayer and the laying on of hands by other ordained officers.
The Moderator will say to the ordained: You are now elders or deacons in the Church and for this congregation. Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Amen.
- (for pastor) Do we, the covenant partners of this congregation, accept (name) as our pastor (associate pastor, assistant pastor), chosen by God through the voice of this congregation to lead us in the way of Jesus Christ, according to the Word of God and the Constitution of ECO?
- Do we agree to pray for him (her), to encourage him (her), to respect his (her) deci- sions and to follow as he (she) guides us, serving Jesus Christ, who alone is Head of the Church?
- Do we agree to pay him (her) fairly and provide for his (her) welfare as he (she) works among us?
- Will we listen to the word he (she) preaches, welcome his (her) pastoral care, and honor his (her) servant leadership and authority as he (she) seeks to honor Jesus Christ?
Having answered these questions in the affirmative, the candidate to be ordained and/or installed shall kneel, if able, and the presbytery shall, with prayer and the laying on of hands, ordain the candidate to the ministry of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and install him (her) to the particular pastoral responsibility. The presbytery will invite other ordained pastors and elders to join in the laying on of hands.
The presiding member of the presbytery will say: You are now a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, a pastor (associate pastor, assistant pastor) for this congregation. Whatever you do, in word and deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Amen.
From ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians, Polity: 2.0103 Ordination Vows