Gifts for Service

A Litany for the Istallation of a Minister

The following litany was used for the installation of Rev. Robert Drenten as Minister of the Word at Immanuel Christian Reformed Church in Orange City, Iowa. The litany includes several prayers, after which members of the congregation came forward and placed gifts symbolizing the prayers in a clear plastic tub. We encourage you to adapt the symbols and litany to reflect your own context.
—JB

The Instruction

Scripture portrays the minister’s duties in various ways—a servant to Christ and of the church, a steward of God, a teacher to explain the gospel, a shepherd caring for the flock, and an ambassador proclaiming the good news of salvation to all.

The preaching of the Word is a chief task of the minister. The preaching must faithfully reflect the Word of God and relate it to the listeners. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow, it judges attitudes of the heart.”

Thank you, Lord, for your Word. Bless [name] as [he/she] studies and preaches from the Bible. Help [him/her] grow in devotion to you. Amen.

[gifts: Bible, devotional]

Since the minister has the responsibility to preach the Word and to administer the sacraments in public worship, it is [his/her] task to conduct the worship service so that God receives the glory and the congregation
is edified.

Thank you, Lord, for the sacraments. May you receive all the glory and praise as we worship and participate together in baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Amen.

[gifts: bread, wine, pitcher for water]

In [his/her] capacity as a shepherd, it is the task of the minister to instruct the “young lambs” of the congregation in the way of salvation. [He/she] should encourage those who wish to profess their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and so become part of Christ’s body here.

Thank you, Lord, for the younger members of our church. Bless [name] as [he/she] encourages and teaches all of us to follow the Shepherd. Amen.

[gifts: stuffed lamb, sunglasses, Frisbee, or other symbols of the youth of your church]

In [his/her] capacity as a shepherd, the pastor calls on those who are sick and suffering, comforts those who mourn, admonishes those who stray, counsels those in need of counseling, is trustworthy with confidential matters, encourages the weak, rejoices with those who rejoice, and mourns with those who mourn.

Bless [name] as [he/she] ministers in each situation. Grant wisdom to know when [his/her] presence is all that is needed; when to offer an encouraging smile or gentle hug; and when to speak words of comfort, admonition, or encouragement. Amen.

[gift: shepherd’s hook, blank cards and envelopes with pastor’s initials, or praying hands]

The minister is also called to engage in and promote the work of evangelism—to show that the church exists also for the world and to encourage us to help spread the gospel to our city, state or province, country, and the world. As a servant of Christ, the minister must encourage and help the congregation as it cares for the hungry, the homeless, and others whose lives need to be touched by God and God’s people.

Thank you, Lord, for your Word as it is spread around the world. Bless [name] as [he/she] models for us what it means to be your light in this world. Amen.

[gift: candle, map of the community or globe]

In all [his/her] work, the minister proclaims, explains, and applies the Holy Scripture in order to gather in and build up the members of the church of Jesus Christ. For this work, the minister devotes [him/her]self to the ministry of prayer, joining all Christians in confession, intercession, thanksgiving, and praise.

Bless [name] as [he/she] lives out [his/her] calling in our midst. Encourage us to follow [his/her] example in lives of service and worship. Amen.

[gifts: cooking apron, hammer, mirror, prayer book]

Mary Goslinga (stmagos@orangecitycomm.net) teaches grades 1-2 at Ireton Christian School and is Worship Coordinator at Immanuel Christian Reformed Church in Orange City, Iowa.