Public Worship and Aids to Devotion Committee Website


General Assembly of Australia

Ordination of a Minister

An Order for the Ordination and Induction of Ministers

The congregation stands while the presbytery enters the church and afterwards the Moderator shall call the people to worship with the following words:

Let us worship God:

Our help is in the name of the Lord the maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 124:8)

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, 'Your God reigns!'

(Isaiah 52:7, Psalm 65:1-5) Rejoice! 3 may be sung.

Let us pray:

Living God, creator and sustainer of the universe we thank you for coming to us in Jesus Christ to reveal your love and to redeem mankind, for founding the church and imparting to us your Holy Spirit. Inspire and bless our worship that we may offer ourselves to you in spirit and in truth.

Holy God, we confess our sins to you. We have broken your commandments, we have forgotten your goodness, we have not been faithful to the trust committed to us.

Have mercy on us O God.

Forgive us and grant us the assurance that we are forgiven, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Heavenly Father, purify our love for you, deepen our devotion to your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, strengthen our loyalty to his church, and inspire in us a greater desire to serve your kingdom and glorify your name, through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with you our Father, and the Holy Spirit, be honour and praise for ever. Amen.

An Old Testament reading (such as Isaiah 61:1-6).

Psalm 68:18-20 (Rejoice! 245) may be sung.

A New Testament reading (such as 1 Peter 5:1-4, John 21:15-17)


The Apostles' Creed may be said by the congregation, standing:

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

Let us pray:

Lord our God, founder of the church on earth, in Jesus Christ you promised to abide with her for ever, cleanse and enlighten her by your Holy Spirit.

We pray for all ministers of your Word and Sacraments. Increase in them your grace so that with joy and assurance they may guard and feed your people, always looking to the Chief Shepherd of the flock.

We pray for this congregation and parish. Surround your people with the knowledge of your love and care that with one heart and with one mind they may strive together for the faith of the gospel.

We pray for the growth of your kingdom in all the world that many will come to know Jesus Christ as Lord.

We pray for our rulers and for all in authority among us that our nation may be built up by the love of righteousness, enriched with liberty and order and kept in unity and peace.

We pray for the lonely and the sad, for the sick and the sorrowful, for all in any need. Give strength to the weary, relief to the sufferers, comfort to the sad and peace to the dying.

We give you thanks, O God, for all your servants who once lived among us on earth and who now rejoice with you in heaven. Finally bring us to be with them in your nearer presence, through Jesus Christ our Lord who lives and reigns with you Father, and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.

Announcements may be made.

The offering/collection of the congregation is received and a prayer of dedication is said.

A narrative of the steps leading to the ordination and/or induction is read by the Presbytery Clerk or the Interim Moderator.

The licentiate or minister having stood before the presbytery, the Moderator shall read the following preamble:

In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the King and Head of the Church, who being ascended on high, has given gifts to his people for the building up of the body of Christ, we have met here as a presbytery to ordain (and/or induct) M....... into the pastoral charge of this congregation and parish.

In this act the Presbyterian Church of Australia, as part of the holy catholic Church, worshipping one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, affirms anew its belief in the gospel of the sovereign grace and love of God, wherein through Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, incarnate, crucified and risen, he freely offers to all men, upon repentance and faith, forgiveness of sins, renewal by the Holy Spirit, and eternal life, and calls them to labour in the fellowship of faith for the advancement of the kingdom of God throughout the world.

The Presbyterian Church of Australia acknowledges the Word of God which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the supreme rule of faith and life.

The Presbyterian Church of Australia holds as its subordinate standard the Westminster Confession of Faith, read in the light of the Declaratory Statement contained in the Basis of Union adopted by this Church on 24th day of July 1901, recognising liberty of opinion on such points of doctrine not essential to the doctrine therein taught, and claiming the right, in dependence on the promised guidance of the Holy Spirit, to formulate, interpret, or modify its subordinate standard, always in agreement with the Word of God and the essential doctrines contained in the subordinate standard.

The Moderator, addressing the people, shall say:

I have to request you, the members of this congregation, to stand and signify your assent to the following questions. You will signify your assent by raising your right hand

  1. Do you, the communicants and adherents of this congregation, adhere to the call which you have already subscribed in favour of M....... N....... to be your minister?
  2. Do you cordially receive him as your minister, promising to provide him with suitable maintenance, and to give him all due respect, encouragement, and obedience in the Lord?

The following blessing may be said:

May Almighty God accept and bless you and give you his Spirit that those things that you have purposed in your heart you may be enabled to fulfil, to the glory of his name and the building up of his church. Amen.

The Moderator, addressing the licentiate or minister, shall say:

M......., you are now required to answer the questions appointed by the church.

1. "Do you believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, to be the Word of God, the only rule of faith and practice?"

Response: I do.

2. Do you own and accept the Westminster Confession of Faith, as amended by the General Assembly, read in the light of the Declaratory Statement contained in the Basis of Union adopted by this Church on 24th day of July, 1901, as an exhibition of the sense in which you understand the Holy Scriptures, and as a confession of your faith; and do you engage firmly and constantly to adhere thereto, and to the utmost of your power to assert, maintain, and defend the same?

Response: I do.

3. Do you own and accept the purity of worship as practised in this Church?

Response: I do.

4. Do you own the Presbyterian form of government to be founded on the Word of God and agreeable thereto; and do you promise that through the grace of God, you will firmly and constantly adhere to, and to the utmost of your power, in your station, assert, maintain, and defend the same?

Response: I do.

5. Are zeal for the glory of God, love to the Lord Jesus Christ, and a desire to save souls, and not worldly interests or expectations (so far as you know your own heart), your great motives and chief inducements to the work of the Holy Ministry?

Response: They are.

6. Do you accept this Call and promise through grace to perform all the duties of a faithful minister of the Gospel among this people?

Response: I do.

7. Do you promise to give conscientious attendance upon the Courts of this Church and to direct your best attention to the business thereof, doing all in a spirit of faithfulness, brotherly kindness, and charity?

Response: I do.

8. Do you promise, in the strength of Divine Grace, to lead a holy and circumspect life, to rule well your own house, and faithfully, diligently, and cheerfully to perform all the parts of the ministerial work to the edifying of the body of Christ in love?

Response: I do.

9. All these things you profess and promise through grace, as you shall be answerable at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ?

Response: I do.

The following blessing may be said:

May Almighty God accept and bless you and give you his Spirit that those things you have purposed in your heart you may be enabled to fulfil, to the glory of his name and the building up of his church. Amen.

The Moderator shall call upon the licentiate or minister to sign the formula, saying:

You are now required to sign the formula as a seal to these vows which you have made.

The Presbytery Clerk may read the formula and shall direct the licentiate or minister in signing the formula.

A hymn such as "Come Holy Ghost, our hearts inspire" (Rejoice! 263) may be sung.

The licentiate or minister shall take his place before the Moderator of the presbytery and kneel. The Moderator shall say:

Let us pray:

Almighty God who in your great love for all mankind gave your only Son Jesus Christ to be our Redeemer and the giver of everlasting life, and have exalted him to your right hand from where he has sent the Holy Spirit and given gifts to his people, we thank you for all your blessings to your people and we humbly pray that your Holy Spirit will fill your servant M......., whom we, in your name and in obedience to your will do now, by the laying on of our hands...

The Moderator and members of Presbytery lay their hands on the head of the licentiate. (See GAA 1994 BB Min. 66)

...ordain and appoint to the office of the pastoral Ministry in your church committing to him authority to dispense your Word and Sacraments and to bear rule in your church. Give him such fullness of your grace as shall fit him more and more for the work to which he has been called.

Where an ordained minister is being inducted the following prayer shall be used in place of the above, the Moderator saying:

Almighty God, through your Son, Jesus Christ, the Chief Shepherd of the sheep, you have appointed your ordained servants to feed and guide your flock. We thank you that you have provided a pastor for your people and we humbly pray that you will send your Holy Spirit to this your servant and give him such fullness of your grace as shall fit him more and more for the work to which he has been called.

The prayers continue, the Moderator saying:

Grant that he may boldly make known your Word and Will. Make him a light to those who live in darkness, a watchful and loving guardian of your flock and a follower of the Good Shepherd who gave his life for the sheep. Give him meekness, patience and firmness to bear the trials and troubles of his ministry and strengthen him by your Spirit that he may remain steadfast to the end and be received with all your faithful servants into the joy of the Lord.

O God, whose Holy Spirit has enlightened the minds of your disciples by the gift of your Spirit of life and truth, surround the people of this congregation with your love and favour. Bless the ministry now begun to their spiritual nourishment and growth in grace that, through the preaching of your Word and the grace of your Sacraments they may be strengthened in all holy living and be kept by your power through faith unto salvation.

These things we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord who taught us to pray:

The Lord's Prayer.

The minister rises from his knees and the Moderator addresses him in these words:

In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the King and Head of the Church and by authority of this presbytery we do hereby declare you duly (ordained to the office of the pastoral Ministry and) inducted into the pastoral charge of this congregation and parish and entitled to all the rights and privileges belonging to it, and in token of that we give you the right hand of fellowship.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

The Aaronic Blessing (Rejoice! 352) is sung.

The Moderator together with the members of presbytery shall give the newly inducted minister the right hand of fellowship.

A hymn such as "Pour out Your Spirit from on high" (Rejoice! 478) may be sung.

The minister who preaches the sermon shall give a solemn charge to the minister and the people setting out their respective duties from the Word of God using such scriptures as:

To the minister: 2 Timothy 4:1, 2; Colossians 1:9b-12

To the congregation: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 and 23-24

To both: Philippians 2:1-11,

or other relevant sections from the pastoral epistles.


the following charges may be used:


The minister shall say:

Forasmuch as you, N....... have been called by Almighty God in his fatherly love to the ministry of the Word and Sacraments and ordained by the Church and have now been appointed to the Pastoral Charge of ....... I charge you anew in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to walk worthy of the vocation to which you are called, with all humility, with long suffering, forbearance and peaceful behaviour, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the upbuilding of the Body of Christ.

Take heed to yourself and to the flock over which the Holy Spirit has made you overseer. Love Christ and feed his flock, taking the oversight of it, not as one who lords it over the people committed to you but being an example to all in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, and in purity.

Give attention to reading, to exhortation and to teaching. Do the work of an evangelist. Do not neglect the gift which is in you. Endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Pray always, watching with all perseverance. Thus shall you save both yourself and those who hear you; and in that day when the Chief Shepherd shall appear you shall receive a crown of glory which will never fade away.

Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that Good Shepherd of the sheep, make you perfect in every good work to do his will working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.


The minister shall say:

Brothers and sisters of this congregation, you have heard the solemn vows which N....... has taken, and the obligations laid on him as your minister in the Lord. I therefore charge you to honour and uphold him, in virtue of his office and authority as a minister of Christ, set over you to lead and guide you in the true way of life.

Do not neglect meeting together in worship. Be hearers and doers of the word. Avail yourselves of the sacraments. Use your spiritual gifts for the building up of the Body of Christ. Seek the blessing and counsel of the Lord, and encourage your minister with your love and fellowship.

Be generous and sacrificial in your giving for the proclamation of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Continually remember your minister in your prayers, seeking for him, and for yourselves, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that you may be able to know and do the will of God.

These things strive to do, so that, at the appearing of the Lord Jesus, you all, pastor and people, may be presented, holy and blameless, by him before the face of the Father in the unity of the one Body, with exceeding joy.

And unto the same our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, be ascribed in the Church all honour and glory, might, majesty, dominion and blessing, now, henceforth and forever. Amen.

Psalm 122:6-9 (Rejoice! 304) may be sung, after which the Moderator pronounces the blessing:

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.

The congregation remains standing while the members of Presbytery retire.