Pastoral Installation Letter from Pastor Eric Channing
Sunday morning marks a significant moment in the life of our church. As always, our focus will be upon worshipping the Lord Jesus through the preaching of God’s Word, prayer, and song. In addition, during the service there will be a special moment where the elders will officially “install” me as your lead pastor. Here are three reasons (among many) that a pastoral installation is significant:
1. It is a public affirmation that the leaders of Hope Fellowship believe God has called me to shepherd this body of believers. The apostle Paul alludes to this practice when he writes the following to his pastoral protégé Timothy, “Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you” (1 Tim. 4:14, ESV). Elaborating on this practice, David Mathis at Desiring God.org writes, “When the elders lay their hands on a candidate for ministry, they both commission him to a particular role of service and they commend him to those among whom he will serve” (emphasis mine; click here for Mathis’s helpful article on the practice of laying on of hands).
2. It provides an opportunity for me to make a formal commitment to you, the people of Hope Fellowship, to follow Jesus and practice faithful Gospel ministry, relying on God’s strength and empowerment.
3. Most importantly, it is a time to give thanks and glory to Jesus Christ, the One who is the Head of the church and the One who has guided this entire process of pastoral transition.
Since this is a special service there will be a few unique elements you should be aware of. First, Josh Dennis, a very close friend of mine, will give a testimony and word of exhortation. Next, Pastor Ben Panner, a partner in ministry and friend for the past 10 years at College Church, will deliver the pastoral prayer. Third, Pastor Chris Castaldo, a former elder at Hope and friend in ministry, has graciously agreed to come and preach from Hebrews 13:7-17. Finally, the Hope elders will lay their hands on me and pray for me during the installation moment as explained above.
This is a special moment for Hope Fellowship, and I’m thrilled to be installed as your pastor. Please join me in praying and preparing our hearts to worship the King of Kings on Sunday.
Praise God from Whom all Blessings flow,