GCI: Ordination of an Elder

Ordination to the office of elder should normally take place during the worship service in the congregation where the elder will be serving. The ordination must be performed by the pastor or an elder designated by the pastor.


One or two of the following texts may be read.

The officiant asks the person being ordained and, if appropriate, that person’s spouse, to come forward. The officiant also invites the other elders who are present to come forward.

Officiant says: “[name of the person being ordained], the elders of [church name] and the church council have recommended that you be ordained to the office of elder in this congregation.”

Officiant asks: “Are you willing to serve this congregation as an elder?”

Person responds: “I am.”

Officiant asks the congregation: “Do you, as members of [church name], agree that Jesus has called [person’s name] to serve this congregation as an elder?”

Congregation responds: “We do.”

Officiant asks the person: “Will you faithfully serve the people of [congregation’s name] as an elder, with Christ’s help, to uphold the responsibilities and duties of that office?”

Person responds: “I will.”

Officiant asks the congregation: “Will you faithfully support this elder, pray for him/her and uphold him/her in his/her office as elder?”

Congregation responds: “We will.”

The officiant then anoints the person with oil using a finger to apply a small amount to the person’s forehead[1] and says: “In Christ’s name and in the power of the Holy Spirit, we ordain you to be an elder of the [church name] congregation of Grace Communion International.”

The officiant then lays hands on the individual being ordained, and asks the other elders to do the same, and offers the prayer of ordination.

Sample prayer:

Our Father in heaven, we rejoice in our Lord Jesus Christ, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and thank you for setting apart through the Holy Spirit [person’s first name] to serve as an elder in our [church name] congregation. We pray that you will fill him/her with wisdom, good judgment, courage, zeal, patience and your love that he/she might serve this congregation as you would have him/her. Bless him/her in all his/her service in Christ, in whose name we make this request. Amen.

[1] Some officiants may wish to make the sign of the cross on the person’s forehead.


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