Congregation of Jesus Christ:
For some time you have known that (name) is to be ordained to the Ministry of the Word [or: installed in the ministry to which he has been called]. No one has alleged anything against his person or teaching. We shall therefore proceed, in the name of the Lord, to his ordination [installation].

The Holy Scriptures teach us that God, our heavenly Father, intends to gather his church out of the corrupt human race to life eternal, and to give to his church such teaching and care that it may grow in faith and love and service. Thus God, by a particular grace, appoints his people to preach the gospel and to build up the body of Christ. The apostle Paul solemnly charged Timothy to "preach the Word" (2 Tim. 4:2), and our Lord Jesus charged his disciples to "make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you" (Matt. 28:19-20). The apostle Paul declares that the Lord Jesus Christ intended "some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up" (Eph. 4:11-12).

Let us now hear what the Scriptures say concerning the office of minister of the Word: The minister of the Word is called by the command of God to preach the gospel of his kingdom. This preaching has the twofold object of calling sinners to reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ and nurturing believers in the faith and life of the kingdom of God. Ministers are called "Christ's ambassadors," as though God were pleading by them, "Be reconciled to God" (2 Cor. 5:20). This preaching must be addressed to all people. The preaching of the gospel must also be addressed to the gathered congregation for the nurturing of Christian faith and life and for strengthening them against the ploys of the devil. Paul charged Timothy, "In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus . . . preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season, correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction" (2 Tim. 4:1-2), and he charged Titus that a minister "must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it" (Titus 1:9). The minister of the Word is called to administer the sacraments which the Lord has instituted as signs and seals of his grace. Christ gave this charge to his apostles, and through them to all ministers of the Word, when he commanded them, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matt. 28:19); and when he said of the Lord's Supper: "Do this in remembrance of me" (1 Cor. 11:24-25).

The minister of the Word is called to the service of prayer. In speaking of their calling, the apostles said: "We will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word" (Acts 6:4). So, too, it is the calling of all God's ministers to lead the people of God in "requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgivings . . . for everyone--for kings and all those in authority" (1 Tim. 2:1-2).

The minister of the Word is called, together with the elders, to shepherd the people of God in the Christian life, guiding and counseling in strictest confidence, exhorting them to contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3), and keeping the church of God in good order and discipline. They are pastors, appointed to shepherd the church of Christ which he purchased with his own blood, in keeping with the Lord's command: "Feed my sheep!" "Feed my lambs!" They, together with the elders, watch over the house of God for the right and fruitful ordering of the faith, life, and worship of the people of God. In their exercise of the keys of the kingdom, what they bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and what they loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven (Matt. 18:18).

[The officiating minister shall now read section (1), (2), (3), or (4), depending on whether this is the ordination, or installation, of the pastor of an established congregation, a foreign missionary, or a home missionary, or the ordination of a teacher of theology.]

(1) For the Pastor in an Established Congregation
We will now ordain [install] a minister of the Word in this congregation. We rejoice that in his faithful love the Lord Jesus has provided a minister to serve as pastor and teacher to this people, and also as their leader in the missionary calling of this church. We receive this servant of our Lord from the hand and heart of the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls. We thank our Savior for committing preaching, teaching, and pastoral care to the office of the ministry, and we pray that he will continue to use sinful people for such high and holy purposes until the day of his return.

We are not equal to this holy ministry in our own strength. We put our hope in Jesus Christ, our Lord, who has said: "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matt. 28:20). Now, to show that you, (name) , intend to accept this office, you are requested to stand and, in the presence of God and his church, answer the following questions:

Do you believe that in the call of this congregation, God himself calls you to this holy ministry?
Do you believe that the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God, the only infallible rule of faith and life; and do you subscribe to the doctrinal standards of this church, rejecting all teachings which contradict them?
Do you promise to do the work of your office faithfully, in a way worthy of your calling and in submission to the government and discipline of the church?

Answer: I do so believe and promise, God helping me.

[The officiating minister shall then say (in the case of ordination with the ceremony of the laying on of hands, other ministers present participating)]:
God, our heavenly Father, who has called you to this sacred office, guide you by his Word, equip you with his Spirit, and so prosper your ministry that his church may increase and his name be praised. Amen.

[The officiating minister shall address the congregation]: Dear people of God and members of this church:

Since this solemn act obligates you also, I ask you before God: Do you in the name of the Lord welcome this brother as your pastor? Do you promise to receive the Word of God proclaimed by him and to encourage him in the discharge of his duty? Will you pray that he may, in the power of the Spirit, equip you to build up the church, so that God's children may be saved and his kingdom advanced for the honor of Christ our Lord? To these questions, what is your answer?

Answer: We do, God helping us.

[The officiating minister (and/or others designated) shall then exhort the ordained minister and the congregation in the following manner]:

Beloved brother and fellow-servant in Christ, keep watch over yourself and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you an overseer. Shepherd the church of God which he bought with his own blood (Acts 20:28). Love Christ and feed his sheep, serving as an overseer not by constraint but willingly, not for shameful gain but eagerly. Set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Hold in trust those matters confided to you in counsel or confession. Attend to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching, to teaching. Do not neglect your gifts. Be patient in all trials. Be a good soldier of Jesus Christ, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will be given the unfading crown of glory.

And you, brothers and sisters, joyfully receive your minister in the Lord and honor him. Remember that through him God himself speaks to you. Receive the Word which he, according to the Scripture, shall preach to you, not as the word of human beings but, as it is in truth, the Word of God. Let the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace and bring the good news be beautiful and pleasant to you. Submit to those whom God has placed over you, for they care for you as those who will give account. If you do these things, the God of peace will enter your homes. You who receive this person in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet's reward and, through faith in Jesus Christ, the inheritance of eternal life.

We cannot do these things on our own. Let us call upon the name of God: Merciful Father, we thank you that it pleases you by the ministry of your people to gather your church out of the lost human race to life eternal. We acknowledge the gift of your servant, sent to this people as a messenger of your peace. Send now your Holy Spirit upon him. Enlighten his mind to know the truth of your Word. Give him speech to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel. Endow him with wisdom to care for and guide the people over whom he is placed. Through his ministry preserve your church in peace and grant that it increase in number and in virtue. Give to your servant courage to fulfill his calling against every difficulty and power through your Spirit to be steadfast to the end.

Help these people receive him as your servant. May they receive his teaching and exhortation reverently, and believing in Christ through his Word, become partakers of eternal life.

Grant this, O heavenly Father, for the sake of your dear Son, in whose name we pray:

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, 
your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

(2) For a Foreign Missionary
We will now ordain [install] (name) as a foreign missionary for service in (place) . It is the task of the foreign missionary to bring the gospel to other lands, so that all people may learn of salvation and so that the church of Jesus Christ may be established in all the earth. Jesus Christ has said, "This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come" (Matt. 24:14). Through its missionaries the church reaches into the lives of those who are yet without God and without hope. It brings to all lands the witness that Jesus is the Son of God, that the glory of the nations belongs to him, and that his grace, love, and redemption are offered to them in the way of repentance and faith. In this work of missions the church may lift up its eyes to the Lord's coming and look with longing to the day when the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord. We are not equal to this holy ministry in our own strength. We set our hope on Jesus Christ our Lord, who has said, "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matt. 28:20).

Now, to show that you, (name) , accept this office, you are requested to stand, and in the presence of God and his church to answer the following questions:

Do you believe that in the call of this congregation God himself calls you to this holy ministry?
Do you believe that the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God, the only infallible rule of faith and life; and do you subscribe to the doctrinal standards of this church, rejecting all teachings which contradict them?
Do you promise to do the work of your office faithfully, in a way worthy of your calling and in submission to the government and discipline of the church? 

Answer: I do so believe and promise, God helping me.

[The officiating minister shall then say (in the case of ordination with the ceremony of the laying on of hands, other ministers present participating)]:
Go, then, brother, and bring the gospel to those to whom you are sent. Make disciples of them and baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. God, our heavenly Father, who has called you to this holy ministry, enlighten you with his Spirit, strengthen you with his hand, and so govern you in your ministry that you may be engaged in it faithfully and fruitfully, to the glory of his name and the coming of the kingdom of his Son Jesus Christ.

And you, brothers and sisters, be in continuing fellowship with this missionary whom you send forth in the name of Christ. Sustain him with your fervent prayers. Support him with your gifts. Strengthen his hand and heart in every need. As Christ received you, be ready to receive those who are brought into the body of Christ through his ministry, that there may be one flock, one Shepherd.

We cannot do these things on our own. Let us call upon the name of God: Merciful Father, we thank you that it pleases you by the ministry of your people to gather your church out of the lost human race to life eternal. We acknowledge the gift of your servant, now being sent by this people in your name, to be a messenger to others of the good news of your peace. Send now your Holy Spirit upon him. Enlighten his mind to know the truth of your Word. Give him speech to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel. Endow him with wisdom to care for and guide the people over whom he is placed. Through his ministry build up your holy church, and grant that it increase in number and in virtue. Give to your servant courage to fulfill his calling against every difficulty, and power through your Spirit to be steadfast to the end.

Let those to whom he comes see in him the ambassador of Christ, calling them to be reconciled to God. May they receive his teaching and exhortation reverently, and believing in Christ through his Word, become partakers of eternal life.

Grant this, O heavenly Father, for the sake of your dear Son, in whose name we pray:

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come,
your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

(3) For a Home Missionary
We will now ordain [install] (name) as a home missionary for service in (place) . The home missionary is called to preach the gospel and to care for the spiritual nurture and instruction of those in our homeland, who, though exposed to the witness of the church and the gospel have been alienated or are yet estranged from the Lord and his church. In the parable of the great banquet the Lord Jesus Christ spoke about the master who sent his servants out into the streets and lanes of the city, into the highways and hedges, to invite all people to his feast. Even so our Lord calls us to bring others into the house of the King through the ministry of his love in order that his house may be filled. The gospel of the kingdom shall be preached for a testimony to our own nation as well as to all nations of the world. In this way all people will be called to walk in the way of God's commands and promises. And together we look to the day of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, when the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord.

We are not equal to this holy ministry in our own strength. We set our hope on Jesus Christ, our Lord, who has said: "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matt. 28:20). Now to show that you, (name) , accept this office, you are requested to stand, and in the presence of God and his church to answer the following questions:

Do you believe that in the call of this congregation God himself calls you to this holy ministry?
Do you believe that the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God, the only infallible rule of faith and life; and do you subscribe to the doctrinal standards of this church, rejecting all teachings which contradict them?
Do you promise to do the work of your office faithfully, in a way worthy of your calling and in submission to the government and discipline of the church?

Answer: I do so believe and promise, God helping me.

[The officiating minister shall then say (in the case of ordination with the ceremony of the laying on of hands, other ministers present participating)]:
Go, then, brother, and bring the gospel to those to whom you are sent. Call the unbelieving to faith, the faithless to obedience, and invite people in the name of the Lord into the house of your King. God, our heavenly Father, enlighten you with his Spirit, strengthen you with his hand, and so govern you in your ministry that you may fulfill it faithfully and fruitfully, to the glory of his name and the coming of the kingdom of his Son Jesus Christ.

And you, brothers and sisters, be in continuing fellowship with this missionary whom you send forth in the name of Christ. Sustain him with your fervent prayers. Support him with your gifts. Strengthen his hand and heart in every need. As Christ received you, be ready to receive those who are brought into the body of Christ through his ministry, that there may be one flock, one Shepherd.

We cannot do these things on our own. Let us call upon the name of God: Merciful Father, we thank you that it pleases you by the ministry of your people to gather your church out of the lost human race to life eternal. We acknowledge the gift of your servant, now being sent by this people in your name, to be a messenger to others of the good news of your peace.

Send now your Holy Spirit upon him. Enlighten his mind to know the truth of your Word. Give him speech to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel. Endow him with wisdom to care for and guide the people over whom he is placed. Through his ministry build up your holy church and grant that it increase in number and in virtue. Give to your servant courage to fulfill his calling against every difficulty and power through your Spirit to be steadfast to the end.

Let those to whom he comes see in him the ambassador of Christ, calling them to be reconciled to God. May they receive his teaching and exhortation reverently and, believing in Christ through his Word, become partakers of eternal life.

Grant this, O heavenly Father, for the sake of your dear Son, in whose name we pray:

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, 
your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

(4) For the Teacher of Theology

(Name) has been appointed by the synod of the Christian Reformed Church and called by this congregation for the particular task of teaching in the theological seminary of the Christian Reformed Church.

[If the person assuming this position is to be ordained to the office of minister of the Word, the first sentence shall read: "We will now ordain (name) and commission him to the particular task of teaching in the theological seminary of the Christian Reformed Church.]

We recognize the need for the training of those who, as ministers of the Word, shall preach the gospel of salvation to people both inside and outside the church of Christ.

The first messengers of peace in the days of the New Testament were personally taught and sent by our Lord Jesus Christ. After Pentecost the Holy Spirit gave the church a diversity of extraordinary gifts and knowledge of the mysteries, to continue this work of teaching for the salvation of sinners and the edifying of the saints. But these extraordinary methods lasted only as long as the Lord judged them to be necessary for the founding of his church among the nations. The church soon recognized the necessity of training pastors for the holy ministry under the ordinary dispensation of the Spirit by the regular methods of education. Thus Paul wrote to his fellow minister, Timothy: "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others" (2 Tim. 2:2).

To fulfill this task in our day, the church has established a theological school and appoints ministers of the Word who will serve the cause of the gospel by teaching and training those who are to become ministers of the Word in Christ's church. Our brother, (name) , has been called to serve in this important task.

We are not equal to this holy ministry in our own strength. We set our hope on Jesus Christ our Lord, who has said: "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matt. 28:20). Now, to show that you, (name), accept this office and fulfill this task, you are requested to stand and in the presence of God and his church answer the following questions:

Do you believe that in the call of this congregation God himself calls you to this holy ministry?
Do you believe that the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God, the only infallible rule of faith and life; and do you subscribe to the doctrinal standards of this church, rejecting all teachings which contradict them?
Do you promise to do the work of your office faithfully, in a way worthy of your calling and in submission to the government and discipline of the church?

Answer: I do so believe and promise, God helping me.

[The officiating minister shall then say (in the case of ordination with the ceremony of the laying on of hands, other ministers present participating)]:

God, our heavenly Father, enlighten you with his Spirit, strengthen you with his hand, and so govern you in your calling that you may discharge its duties faithfully and fruitfully, to the glory of his name, and the coming of the kingdom of his Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

[The service is then concluded with appropriate prayer.]