Where and how to have the candidates kneel.
Laying on of Hands is a very important part of the service. It needs to be done decently and in order (1 Corinthians 14:40). The congregation will be especially interested in this part of the service. Make sure they can see what is going on.
I don’t know how to delicately say this; make sure the candidates’ rear ends are not pointing toward the congregation!
Pastor, get a couple of deacons and practice this a day or two before the service. Have someone kneeling and someone laying on hands. While they do this, the pastor should sit out in the sanctuary to see how it will look to the congregation. If you have a large pulpit that could obstruct the congregation‘s view, you may want to move it and use a smaller speaker’s stand for this service.
Once you decide on the procedure, let the deacons, deacon candidates, and council know the procedure and what to expect.
We took two nice, armless chairs and placed them on the platform back to back on either side of the pulpit. The candidates knelt at each chair and were sideways to the audience. Each member of the Ordination Council would come, one by one, stand to the side of the kneeling candidate, with the candidate between them and the audience. This allowed the audience to see everything that was going on.
The Ordination Council is led by the pastor. He goes to the first candidate, lays hands on him, and quietly, but aloud, prays for the new deacon. The pastor then goes to the next deacon, while the next member of the Ordination Council lays hands on and prays for the first deacon. This procedure continues until all members of the Ordination Council has laid hands on the deacons.
Some council members may lay their hands on the head of the deacon. Some may lay hands on the shoulders of the deacons. Just however they fell led by the Spirit. What do they pray as they lay hands on the deacon? That is between the council member, the deacon, and the Lord.
Don’t make the people bow their heads and close their eyes during the Laying on of Hands. They want to see, and they ought to see what is happening.
This is no time to skimp on your sermon (if there ever is a time to do so). Make this an outstanding sermon. Preach like you were preaching in a Revival Service. Preach the Word of God. Preach to the deacons, their wives and families, and to all the church. This is a great opportunity to emphasize the peacemaking role of deacons.
Presentation of the framed Deacon Certificate of Ordination
Have new deacons’ families come and stand with them for the prsentation. You may want to have them continue to stand at the front so that after the closing prayer folks can shake their hands and congratulate them.
Have a Fellowship after the Deacon Ordination Service to honor the deacons, especially the new deacons.
Send a brief news article to area newspapers. Send brief news article to your state Baptist Paper.
Afterwards make a nice photo copy or two of these articles and give them to the new deacons. By the way, a photo copy (on good paper) of a newspaper article will last longer than the original newsprint copy. Make sure to write on the copy the name, city, and state of the newspaper and the complete date.
NEXT: Deacon Charlie Joe Law; Questioning the Deacon Candidates; Order of Service for Deacon Ordination
-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, June 22, AD 2010.