Tomorrow evening we will have the privilege at Laurel Baptist Church to ordain one of our first preachers to the gospel ministry. Although we will greatly miss David & Jodi Ozuna, I couldn’t be more happier for this opportunity they have been given to join the staff at Promised Land Baptist in Gastonia.
What is an ordination service? In Acts 13:1-3, the Holy Spirit came to the church at Antioch and called both Barnabas and Paul for the work of the ministry. The church took seriously this calling as they responded in “prayer and fasting” toward the Spirit’s work. At the end of the period of fasting and prayer the leaders of the church “laid their hands on them [Paul and Barnabas] and sent them away.” The formality of the ordination service is not for the purpose of cross-examining the one whom God has called. It’s an opportunity for the church to acknowledge the calling of God on a man’s life and commit themselves to supporting this call.
Today, Pastor Harold Blankenship (my father), Dr. Carl Nannini (member of LBC and former pastor in Michigan), and myself met with David for the purpose of encouraging him about the work of the ministry. It was our desire to “stir up the gift of God” which is in him. Great wisdom was shared with David about the seriousness of God’s call on a man’s life and the responsibilities that come with that calling. I’m thrilled that tomorrow evening we will lay hands on him and commission his family to the ministry of the gospel.
Our church will be providing a book to David and Jodi filled with prayer and encouragement. I want to share with you what I wrote as the first entry to that book this afternoon (our church family will get to write in it Sunday).
David & Jodi,
I am so proud of you and where God is taking you in His work. I feel as Paul did with Timothy. Thank you for allowing me to help you fulfill God’s calling in your life. There is no greater calling than the call to preach the Word. Remember to…
- Preach it boldly.
- Preach it blamelessly.
- Preach it biblically.
Love people and serve them. Follow the example of Christ and always be willing to wash the feet of those who are undeserving or may even mistreat you (i.e. Peter, Judas, etc.)
Allow the Word of God and the prayers of God’s people to strengthen you in difficult times. “Consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your mind.” (Hebrews 12:3)
Put your family first. The greatest people you minister to is Jodi, Aliyah, and Jeremiah. Walk with God daily. Abide in Him. It is more important that you prepare yourself than your sermons.
Enjoy the ministry. Learn from my father. Labor together with the people God has called you to. Preach as a dying man to dying men.
I love you,
Let’s pray for David & Jodi in this new chapter of life, and don’t miss our 5:30pm service Sunday!