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What Does the Bible Say About..Ordination?

Who should be ordained into the ministry? God has called me to teach and now I feel that he is leading me towards evangelism. Some hold that teaching is not a divine calling from God. What is your opinion on that? Also I have been struggling with this second call on my life for a while and God has really showed me some things about the offices and callings being misunderstood in today’s church. Can you provide any information?


It is hard for me to answer a question about ordaining somebody for ministry because I am part of a church that has always believed in the priesthood of all believers. Nowhere does the Bible say that any Christian required special ordination to teach others. In the churches of Christ the only “ordained” ministers I know are military chaplains, and that only because the rules of the United States military require “ordination” before a person can become a chaplain.

I find no example in the Bible of a special ordination ceremony for teachers of the gospel. Instead, Peter says of all Christians, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” (1 Peter 2:9) The book of Acts says, “Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.” (Acts 8:4) No special ordination was required. Everyone could, and was expected to, teach.

All of that, of course, is considering teaching of non-believers in general. Women were not allowed to teach or take authority in the assembly of the church (1 Timothy 2:12), but could teach those who did not yet believe (Acts 18:24-26).

Please see What Does the Bible Say About..Woman Preachers? for my previous answer about whether God calls people to specific professions or duties.