Preparing for Worship – Heather Mustain, associate pastor.
Today is fondly known around Wilshire as Deacon Ordination Sunday. Deacons, in our Baptist tradition, are members of the church who have been nominated and identified from within as those who already demonstrate service and commitment to the church.
While deacons are not a governing body, they do help staff and committees gauge the internal temperature and pulse of our life together. As we pray with and affirm them today, they in turn make a commitment to serve the church both with their presence and their gifts. You can find them on Sunday mornings on the preschool hallway, serving as a part of our Hospitality Team, serving the Lord’s Supper, teaching Sunday School and more. Let’s just say we could not and would not be the church we are without our deacon body, and for that we are eternally grateful.
The ordination of deacons reminds us of another core theological Baptist distinctive, the priesthood of all believers. As Baptists we maintain that each of us has equal access to God, and each of us is equipped for ministry. The work of the church isn’t meant to be relegated to those of us who hold seminary degrees or certain titles; it’s our collective work.
The book of Acts notes these are men and women of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom and who are appointed to the task of caring and serving others. Those who have agreed and have said yes today come knowing the responsibility and ready to accept the call.
This morning we pray with them and alongside them, we sing over them “Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace,” and we lay our hands upon them. This is the richness and beauty of being church together. This day, no doubt, will be a special memory for those whom will receive our affirmation; I know it was for me. As we pray for those who take on this mantle of service, may their acts of service and leadership deepen and enrich our lived life together.