On Saturday, July 26, 2014, four ministers were ordained at New Canaan Worship Center in Richmond, Virginia where the pastors are Rev. Louis R. Blakey, Jr. and Rev. Lois Blakey-Paige. An ordination council met at 10 a.m. where the four candidates were examined individually in the areas of Christian experience, their call to ministry, the articles of faith and Baptist polity. The candidates were examined for about half an hour in this order: Rev. Blanche Murphy, Rev. Daniel Bradley, Rev. Wendy Bradley and Rev. Kay Word.
The ordination service began at 1:30 p.m. The catechizer and the ordination preacher was Rev. Dr. Herbert Ponder, pastor of Mt. Tabor Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia. Dr. Ponder's sermon title was "Expectations for Ministry" based on 1 Timothy 4:13-16.
During his introduction, the preacher said this was a day of celebration and a day of recognition, but it was also a day of commencement. It was the finishing of one thing, but it was also the beginning of another. It was the conclusion of long hours of study for the ordination, but this is the start of something else. Pastor Ponder said, "This day calls for the church to say it recognizes what God had done in the life of these four people."
In the text, Paul speaks to Timothy, his son in the ministry. Even though Paul is not present with Timothy at the time, he gives Timothy instructions in his absence. Dr. Ponder pointed out three imperatives that Paul gives Timothy. Those same three commandments are given to us today as we continue the work God has given us to do until Jesus returns.
Communicate the word. Devote yourself to public reading of scripture to share the word of God. Remember, you can't communicate what you don't know. God's word stands by itself. Your assignment is to communicate God's word so others might know God's word through your communicating it to them.
Care for self. In ministering to others, we often neglect to take care of self. See yourself as a gift that Jesus gave Himself for. Therefore, do not neglect the gift you have been given. Care for that gift.
Connect with others. Never think you are the only one God speaks to. Other people hear from God as well. There are people who have been on the road longer than you. You will get to where you need to be when you stay connected to the One who called you and to those who have encouraged you along with way.
Paul gave this advice to Timothy, but there is One greater than Paul. It is Jesus Christ, the Word; not just the printed word but the Living Word.