This is part 2 in a series. Part one is found HERE.

Search Team Commissioning Service

I am glad your search team has requested a commissioning service before they actively begin looking for the man GOD has chosen to be your pastor. What they are saying is they cannot carry out their call unless GOD blesses it AND YOU participate w/ them. Did you get that?

Can they find a man to be your preacher? Yes… that’s easy! They’ll receive many resumes. It’d be easy to find a guy to preach… who’s got experience & education. It’s not hard to find one who is a good speaker of religious things in phrases you like with a charismatic personality. But that doesn’t mean he is GOD’S man, or even that he is saved!

Judas did those things & more, but wasn’t saved. My dad preached, served, led people to Christ, baptized, & served two church for nine years… but wasn’t saved. I know of another man who got saved under his own preaching![1] So getting a person to be your “preacher & leader” isn’t hard. The question is this, “Is he the man GOD has chosen?”

Goals today: 1) Glorify God, 2) Encourage & consecrate the Search Team for their call, & 3) Call you, the congregation, to participate in this holy endeavor as a family. Your ST is… (Name them)

The congregation: NHBC & Search Team needs 31 people. 31 who will pray one day a month until God brings HIS man to NHBC. People who will support the Search Team with their prayers one day a month… for as long it takes… until God’s man is called. Sign up in the back & down front if you will seek God & support the Search Team with your prayers. You’ll receive in the mail further info & instructions…

Overview: Consecration in our context is setting aside for special service to God. It began in the OT for priests in The Temple (Ex 29 & 40). God gave instructions about sacrifices, washing, clothing, & anointing. Blood from the sacrifice was to be placed on the tip of their right ear, thumb of right hand, & big toe of right foot (Hearing God, service, work). Anointing oil was also placed on their garments. Thus Ex 29:21, “He (Aaron) & his garments shall be holy, & his sons & his sons’ garments with him.”

In the NT consecration is “similar” to ordination… a formal blessing of the church to a particular service or call (Ac 6:6, 13:1-3; 14:23; 1 Tim 4:14, 2 Tim 1:6). Sacrifices are not offered in the NT because Jesus is our sacrifice.[2] There IS the act of anointing (literal {Ja 5:14} & figurative {1 Jn 2:20}).

We reserve ordination for Pastors (Ac 14:23; 1 Tim 4:14, 2 Tim 1:6) & Deacons (Ac 6:6). We consecrate individuals, groups, & families for home & international missions. Then in our tradition we consecrate Search Teams & other groups doing special services for a congregation. Well w/in Scripture & tradition.

Consecration is recognition by NHBC that the ST & this process is special, important, & significant with eternal consequences. Thus it must begin & be carried out in a Biblical manner. This is not a process that should “run in the background” of NHBC (Understand?)

Now To The Search Team. I hope you have reflected on the seriousness & gravity of what God thru His people has called you to do. Did you get that? What GOD through His people has called you to do. I don’t want to place undue responsibility on you, but consider this: You will one day stand before God & give an account of what you did & how you did it in calling your next pastor. Let that sink in…

Being in God’s family assures your salvation, but not your reward (1 Cor 3:10-15). While God is in control of the process (Eph 1:11-b), you are responsible for due diligence (1 Cor 15:10).

God’s man is somewhere “out there.” You know nothing of him & he knows nothing of NHBC. How you will meet is hidden in God’s secret wisdom to be revealed in His time. Thus I ask you to consider Ro 8:28… w/ a little nuance you may not have considered before.

God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (NASB)

That first phrase must stay in your mind regarding process & timing. God’s man & NHBC will intersect… at some point. But maybe 100 events must happen before you meet to prepare both TO meet! It isn’t known what God must do to move the man & family to come. It may take many contacts & events to occur … unknown to you & beyond your control… so when it happens it IS God’s perfect timing.

God could do it immediately. He’s God. Just like God could’ve sent ONE plague on Egypt, but he sent 10. God could’ve created everything in 1 day, but he took 6. Why? B/c He’s God & does whatever He desires. If/when things seem slow, remember God is “working all things together…”

Church… you remember it! Don’t get anxious or impatient w/ the Search Team. If you do, what you are really doing is getting impatient w/ God’s leadership of the Search Team. If you are tempted to impatience, pray & ask God to “Make the connections… in His time… for His glory.”

Now ST & NHBC… it is important you take into account the unseen. Eph 6:12…

We do not wrestle against flesh & blood, but against the rulers… authorities… & cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to w/stand in the evil day, & having done all, to stand firm.

Satan does not want you to find God’s man. You will be engaged by the adversary. He will put a full court press on you, your family, job, & here. He’ll try to distract you in an attempt to discourage you. There may be times you have done due diligence & it’ll seem as though nothing is happening. Dan 10:11

O Daniel, man greatly loved, u’stand the words that I speak to you, & stand upright, for now I have been sent to you. 12 Fear not, Daniel, for from the 1st day you set your heart to u’stand & humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, & I have come b/c of your words. 13 The prince of the kingdom of Persia w/stood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there w/ the kings of Persia, 14 and came to make you u’stand what is to happen to your people in the latter days. (Explanation of vision) 20 Then he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? But now I will return to fight against the prince of Persia…”

The answer to Daniel’s prayer was sent THE VERY 1st DAY. But because of what we know we don’t see, it took another 20 days & an arch angel to deliver the answer. Trust me, the Adversary recognizes the eternal nature of your task also. The “rulers… authorities… & cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” assigned to Titus & NHBC will attempt to stop what God wills. But… “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world” (1 Jn 4:4).

And so you… the Search Team… are publicly asking for God’s people to consecrate you to seek God’s man… to battle the Adversary… to honor God in this process. You are asking not to go thru this alone, but w/ all God’s people here at NHBC. You are asking them to pray with & for you b/c you know that unless God is 1st, there is no chance of success… finding God’s man. As Jesus said, “Apart from me you can do NOTHING” (Jn 15:5-b).


[1] NOBTS, “History of American Christianity,” Dr. Claude Howe, class notes.

[2] 1 Corinthians 5:7