Who Is in Charge of an Ordination Service?


Does the senior pastor of a CRC church have to lead the ordination/installation service for elders and deacons or can an associate pastor who is also ordained in the CRC as a minister of the Word handle this responsibility?

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Community Builder

According to the Church Order's Article 4 it is the council that shall proceed to ordain/install elders and deacons.  The council will typically do this in a worship service and will often ask the senior pastor to lead -- at least in that segment of worship, even if another preaches.  But there is no rule that this has to be so.  Council is at liberty to ask another ordained minister to lead in that segment or in the entire service.  There should be good reasons for that, of course, and councils should obviously not do this without the senior pastor's full consent.

I'm not sure about the consistency of "Council is at liberty...",  and the clause, "councils should not do this without the senior pastor's full consent..."  How is this liberty?  when constrained by such a condition?   


We have a situation where we need to ordain an elder but there are no ministers of the Word available for a couple of weeks.  After that, we have three weeks of baptisms and a Lord's Supper celebration.  Since we're already delayed in this ordination/installation (we typically replace outgoing officebearers in May), I'd like to get this person up and running sooner rather than later.  Is there any reason why the Chair of Council, an elder, cannot lead the installation part of the service?  

Community Builder

No, Everett, I can't think of any reason for that.  Please consult the last paragraph of p. 119 of my CRC Church Order Commentary.  It is the council that is in charge and an ordained minister leading such an ordination is not an absolute requirement.