Ordaining Our Leaders

On Sunday we will ordain elders. The Presbyterian Church (USA) has no “lay” leadership. By this I mean that our churches are governed by “ordained” presbyters or elders. I have been ordained as a Teaching Elder, with special responsibility for preaching God’s word, teaching the Word in light of the Reformed Tradition, and caring for the people’s spiritual needs throughout their life’s transitions. Likewise, Ruling Elders are men and women who are called by God and ordained by the session to, with the Teaching Elder, discern God’s will for the church and then lead God’s people to carry it out in the community and to the ends of the year. I love the terms teaching and ruling: teaching is easy enough to understand, but ruling elders are those who stand, as it were, the ruler in their hand measuring the spiritual progress of the people and encouraging them in their work for the Lord. This is one of my favorite days of the year – when we affirm our ordained leadership!