There’s a framed print in my office of the prophet Samuel anointing David as king—a gift from a friend that serves as a reminder of my calling, a Spirit animated and anointed call to “shepherd the flock of God among you” (1 Pet. 5:2). It’s a painting you look at in those discouraging moments, those moments where you wonder if you can do it.
A few times a year I joke with my wife that I want to move to Tuscany, buy a vineyard, work the land, eat cheese, chase my kids, and play guitar. Maybe I could lead a small church, preach to 30 people.
But I’ve not been called to that.
On March 10th, 2013, I was praying in the park near our house, discouraged, and the Chief Shepherd, Jesus, spoke to my heart. He told me he didn’t call me to plant and pastor this church to be awesome, succeed, and never suffer. He did it because I would get more of him. And he called me to stop asking all the suffering and discouragement to go away, and, instead, to rejoice in his grace that presses me more and more into him.
It’s those moments, those dog-eared moments in our stories, the bookmarks in our life, that remind us what he has done and what he has called us to, that keep us going when it gets dark.
Being installed as a pastor/elder should be a dog-ear moment. A sacred, solemn, joyful moment where the Spirit of God, the people of God, and other pastors, affirm and confirm your calling.
So I wanted to share this resource, an Elder Installation Liturgy, to help with that. Use all of it, change it up, use just one part, or merely let this post be an encouragement to write your own for you church.