Call it fuss, call it hype, call it excitement, call it attention, call it what you will, this ordained pastor is jazzed about participating in setting apart another godly man for the ministry of the gospel this Sunday night.
Lord willing, on January 19, 2014, 6 PM at OGC, Kevin Scott Wilhoit will become Rev. Kevin Scott Wilhoit. This, I am convinced, is the biggest of deals deserving all the fuss, hype, attention, and excitement an entire church can give to it. This begs the question, of course, why is that the case?
I can think of at least three important reasons:
First, the ordaining of a man to the pastorate constitutes an answer to a high priority prayer request commanded by Jesus Himself. I refer, of course, to Matthew 9:35-38.
And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
If anything suffers from a scarcity-of-resources dilemma it is the supply of godly ministers on hand for a plentiful spiritual harvest. That God has answered our prayers at OGC in giving us Kevin for these purposes warrants our ecstatic delight for the prospect of less harassed and helpless sheep in God’s church.
Second, the ordaining of a man to the pastorate recognizes the love and goodness of God to His church in gifting us with yet someone else capable of equipping the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ. Here, of course, I refer to Ephesians 4:11-12.
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.
Another ordained man in the pastoral ranks increases the likelihood that more of God’s people will acquire greater knowledge of God’s word and the discipleship training they need to function in such a way as to contribute to the edification of the church.
Third, the ordaining of a man to the pastorate delegates dreadfully serious and desperately necessary responsibilities to someone who acts on God’s behalf to care for those for which Jesus acquired ownership at the ultimate price. Now, of course, I refer to Acts 20:28-30 (a portion of the text selected by our guest speaker for the ordination service).
Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. 29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.
Such things can keep me awake late into the night. Guide the flock. Guard the flock. Care for the church. What a massive responsibility! Who is competent for these things?
I can think of no other compliment I can pay to a man or credit I can give to God than this: if I myself were not a pastor entrusted with similar privileges and responsibilities at my own church, I would put myself and my family under the servant-shepherding authority of someone like the soon-to-be Rev. Kevin Wilhoit. And I would definitely count myself blessed to do so.
I wouldn’t miss the opportunity this Sunday night to celebrate with him what God has done in calling Him to serve Christ’s church even for a chance to spend an evening picking John Piper’s pastoral/theological brain. And some of you know just how big a deal that would be for me!
My prayer is you will share with me in the ordination fuss, hype, excitement, and attention this weekend.
And please don’t forget to bring a finger food to share for the reception.