On January 10, 2015, the members of the Pipestone Seventh-day Adventist church gathered for a very special service – the ordination of the District pastor, Pastor Tyson Kahler as a local Elder. The ordination of a licensed minister as a local Elder is the conference’s way of conferring authority on persons “to represent and speak for the church as ministers and Gospel workers”. Church Manual chapter 9
In many Christian churches, the position of a local church Elder is misunderstood. Even among Seventh-day Adventists, the thinking is that an elder is the most influential lay member in the local congregation. I would argue that ordination according to the New Testament is for service. An Elder leads the church and preaches the Word. The Elder is an overseer protecting the church from false teachers and false doctrines. The Elder visits the sick and leads out in prayers. Paul in 2 Corinthians 11: 28, reminds us that it is the Holy Spirit who places Elders in the congregation. They are, a) to be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock and b) to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. Acts 20:28 says that like Paul, Elders are to be “concerned about all the churches.” In 1 Timothy 3:5 Paul says they should know how to “take care of God’s church” Ministers, as Elders therefore, should not to be seen as or consider themselves as corporate executives or CEOs but they are to serve as “servant leaders.”
The Church Manual and NAD Working policy L 25 15, does exclude the following functions from the functions of a Licensed Minister: Organizing of a church, uniting churches, and ordaining local elders and deacons.
Congratulations Pastor and Mrs. Kahler, we pray Gods blessing on your new ministry. This ordination service was conducted by the Minnesota Conference Vice President Elder Brian Mungandi.
Brian K. Mungandi, Vice President for Administration
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