An installation service for a christian pastor is a special church service for a newly appointed minister. It is an occasion to recognize the calling of the pastor, to acknowledge his responsibilities and duties, and to remind the congregation of their duty to follow their new pastor's lead. There are certain guidelines for writing the order of service.
Prayer, Song and Music
It is important to set a spiritual tone for the service from the very beginning, and having a meaningful opening prayer accomplishes this well. Choose an elder of the church who is mature in the faith for this task. Have the prayer mention the new pastor and offer praise to God for bringing a new leader to the church. The songs and music for the service should be uplifting yet fit the style of the church. Because this is a festive occasion, a soloist or special musical performance can be included as well.
A welcoming message can be delivered by a moderator, elder, other pastor, or church board member. The message must focus on the duties and responsibilities of the pastor being installed, while also tying in the teachings of the Bible. The installation sermon doesn't need to be as lengthy as a typical church-service sermon, unless the installation is taking the place of a regular church service.
Charge to the Pastor
The charge is a statement outlining the task of the pastor and what is expected of him as he takes up his ministry. Ideally, the charge should be carried out by a church elder, board member or the moderator of the service, and it should feature readings from scripture that support the biblical duties of a pastor. The charge must feature wording that asks if the pastor is willing to accept his responsibilities. The new pastor must respond by saying, "I will," or a similar phrasing of acceptance.
Charge to the Congregation
The congregation then must be charged to uphold their responsibilities to the new pastor. This charge can include elements such as adhering to the teachings of the Bible, carrying out the duties of Christians, and holding the new pastor accountable to the commitment that was just made. The congregation must be given the opportunity to agree to the charge, similar to the way in the which the pastor was given his charge.
The installation service concludes with the presiding minister, church elder, or moderator offering a prayer blessing over the new pastor. The pastor may be asked to kneel and bow his head during the blessing, which is a prayer asking for God's protection and encouragement to fulfill God's will. The person saying the prayer can lay his hands on the new pastor's head, as well as ask the congregation to extend their hands out for a symbolic laying of their hands.
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