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The history of the ordination of clergy is long and complex, too much to quickly explain and certainly beyond the scope of this blog.  If you have been a reader of the King James Version of the Bible, when you see people being assigned to various positions in the Church, you will see words such as “ordain” and “ordained.”  Though these are derived from several different Greek words, all these in English mean the same thing: “Appoint”.  You will see “appoint,” et cetera, in modern Bible translations like the New King James Version.


Essentially, ordination (appointing) of individuals in Church offices in the Bible can be thought of as folks being given job assignments, but it goes deeper than that.  When the Church Age began, ordination in the Church was an informal process, although spiritually speaking it was taken very seriously as you will see in these Scripture passages:


Acts 13:1-3:  Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.  As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”  Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.


Acts 14:23-  So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.


Titus 1:4-5:  To Titus, a true son in our common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.  For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you—…


Although some churches may use a less formal method of appointing (ordaining) ministers, most hold a more formal ceremony for this, and it is not unusual in Protestant churches, for example, for someone like a pastor to be the graduate of a theological seminary.  But what of the earliest days of the Church?


Acts 4:5-6, 13:  And it came to pass, on the next day, that their rulers, elders, and scribes, as well as Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the family of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem…Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled.  And they realized that they had been with Jesus.


In earlier times religious training by the Jews had become formalized, Paul (formerly Saul) having been taught by Gamaliel, one of the finest teachers of the Law in his day.  Peter and John had but a rudimentary education compared to these scholars, but they had been with Jesus Christ.  The writer of the book of Acts (Luke) was recording a fact about these men, not dismissing the necessity of studying.  At the same time, the Holy Spirit teaches us.  Note these passages:


Acts 17:11-  These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.


2 Timothy 2:15-  Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.


1 John 2:20, 27:  But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things…But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just and it has taught you, you will abide in Him.


Early on, the Church began to get away from the simplicity of ordination practiced in apostolic times, and by the time of the Church’s institutionalization it had become rather formal.  To repeat, today ordination is often tied to a person’s having obtained a degree from a theological seminary.  The Church has become as fixated on credentials as the world is.  There absolutely are standards for Christians to attain to in holding various offices.  But this having to earn a seminary degree as a condition?  No.


And to make things worse, seminaries are often attached to denominations.  Those ministers who are churned out by these “Christian factories” quite often must uphold denominational doctrines—or else.  How does that leave any room for a move of God in these individuals and in their churches as far as Scriptural revelation is concerned?


As for us at It Ain’t Over Ministries goes, the founder was already an Ordained Minister himself, not through seminary, but through a local church. His ordination is just as legitimate as if it had come from a seminary, however, and as such he has authority to ordain others. In fact he did ordain us who are the cofounders of IAOM. Credentials aside, the ultimate ordaining authority is God Himself.  Because of this we understand that despite man’s authorization, our ordination originated with God.


Just as the Holy Spirit assigns spiritual gifts, He also assigns Church offices (1 Corinthians 12; 1 Timothy 2:5-7.  Also review Acts 13:1-3).  And once you are gifted and called, God is not going to change His mind about it:


Romans 11:29-  For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.


Those who meet various qualifications for different Church offices can be ordained for those offices as they are called of God (Acts 6:1-6; 1 Timothy 3:1-13).  You should realize by now that Biblically, you do not have to be a graduate of a theological seminary to attain a Church office, despite many denominations’ requirements.  However, you do need to be mature in the faith, have a consistent Christian walk, and be knowledgeable in the Bible.


Do not get bogged down in man’s way of doing things.  If you know your calling, pursue it.  If you do not, then ask God.  He will tell you.  Man may try to put strictures, requirements, et cetera upon Kingdom work, but it is God who gifts, calls, and equips.  No one can take that away.


If you would like to become “Ordained” under It Ain’t Over Ministries, send us a message via the “Contact” tab of this website, put “Ministerial Ordination” in the subject box and someone from the Ministry will be in touch with you shortly.



One Response

  1. Amen! Good word! We, It Ain’t Over Ministries are going to be re-starting our Ministerial Licensing and Ordination services in July of 2023. So, stay tuned! 🙂