Commissioned work

Recently, a young couple stood before our church congregation. The man and his wife had grown up here and were now heading to a foreign country to become missionaries. With excitement, they showed pictures of their destination and asked for our support. In turn, we pledged our support, reciprocated the excitement and commissioned them.

But I missed most of it. I was there, of course, but instead of rejoicing, I sat there wondering why foreign missionaries are lauded more than local folks. And I wondered why we don't have this sort of ceremony for every church member who has sought God's leading in their career.

Specifically, I thought of the many college students I visit who are about to enter the world of advertising and marketing. For those who are following Jesus and preparing to employ their gifts for Kingdom use, why don't they get a blessing?

I mean, salvation came to Zacchaeus' house simply because he decided to do tax-collecting in the way it was intended to be done (Luke 19:1-10), not because he told the crowd he was taking his family to Zimbabwe.


Red Letter Believers July 1, 2008 at 11:49 PM  

Sam, I've often wondered the same thing. The guy who gets a promotion or the girl who starts a new job should be marched up front and hands land on, sending them out to a new mission field.

We have way missed the meaning of "a calling"


Real Live Preacher July 2, 2008 at 4:11 PM  

You're right on the money. It's not that we shouldn't celebrate one but that we ought to celebrate and bless them all.

Practically, those going overseas are indeed making a great sacrifice for what they believe. That could be noted I suppose.

Ordination is for the masses. We should be laying our hands on everyone and blessing all of God's work.

Anonymous,  July 13, 2008 at 4:22 PM  

I appreciate your thoughts. While I do think the commissioning of overseas missionaries is extremely important, I agree it is no more important than other callings. (In fact, should we have a commissioning each Sunday for every church member who exits the church?)

As far as college goes, I love that our church does have a time in our service to honor those students each year, talk about where they are headed and pray over them. It's a simple way to both celebrate/congratulate them AND send them out.

Sam Van Eman July 14, 2008 at 11:50 AM  

I'm glad to hear that your church commissions its college students. When I've seen his done, it often amounts to the church praying for youth group graduates to make their way past college wolves without being ripped apart. Statistics on what happens to so many entering college certainly justifies this type of praying, but it's also nice to hear a church validate the college route as a response to God's call.

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