A Liturgy for Commissioning Mission Workers
Commissioning Mission Workers
Any Appropriate Sunday or Special Service
If this commissioning service is to be used as part of the regular Sunday worship service it should be used as a worship aid to the normal worship order. If it is a special service at a special time, it can be used as outlined.
Call to Worship (responsive)
Leader: Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, all peoples.
People: Will we receive power from the Holy Spirit?
Leader: Yes, God has made you a light to the nations.
People: We will declare the glory of God among all peoples.
Let us, declare God’s glory among the nations, God’s marvelous deeds among all peoples.
Lord of the ages, creator of diverse cultures, nations, ethnicities and peoples, we are grateful to you. You Lord find lost sheep and you found us. The lost and broken might be over the oceans, or over the mountains, they might be across the deserts, or through the valleys, they might be in the countryside or deep in the heart of a city, but Lord you find those that cry out to you. We praise you O Lord, and ask for your guidance as you lead us to those that are broken and hurting in our world. Amen.
Song of Praise (or read a Psalm of Adoration and Praise such as Psalm 145)
Call to Confession
If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We confess we are slow to love and quick to anger. We confess we are fearful to share about our Lord and bold to share about ourselves. We confess we run to entertainment and walk to service. We confess we promote division over unity. And we confess that we challenge those who desire to go and serve the world to stay and serve us. Forgive us Lord, let our ways be your ways.
Prayer of Confession
Now let us confess our sins in silence and pray for each other.
(Pause for a time of prayer) Amen.
Assurance of Pardon
Hear the good news from the word of God. James says, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed.” David reminds us, “I acknowledged my sin unto you, and my sins I have not hid. Have mercy on me, O God, according to your loving kindness.” And Jesus appeared to his disciples as they hid in guilt and fear and said, “Peace be with you.” Amen. Friends believe the good news. In Christ Jesus, we are forgiven. Thanks be to God!
Hymn or Song of Joy (congregational or special music)
Affirmation of our Faith
Leader: What do you believe?
People: We believe that Jesus is the Christ and we have been born of God.
Leader: Who do you love?
People: We love God and we love all the children of God.
Leader: Who are you?
People: We are the children of God, see how we love.
Leader: How will you overcome the world?
People: By our Love and faith in God and by following God’s commandments.
Leader: How do you have victory in our world?
People: By our faith in Jesus Christ, who has overcome the world.
—based on John 5:1-6
Prayer for the Mission Field
The person leading this prayer will specifically pray for the people in the place (country, ministry, state, or city) that the mission workers are going to serve in. The person leading this prayer will need some familiarity with the place of service and pray for those to be served.
Prayer of Illumination
Almighty God, in you is hidden all wisdom and knowledge. As a loving God you have revealed to us yourself through Jesus Christ your Son. Your word, both living and written, reveals to us your depth of compassion and love. Open our hearts so that we may understand and leave from here motivated and energized to service you and others with enthusiasm. Let us silence our minds and hear you O Lord. Amen.
Scripture Possibilities for the Message of Commissioning
The preacher can develop their message from the lectionary or from scripture selections related to missions.
Daniel 1 (Daniel’s influence on those around him of a different culture)
- Esther (The book of Esther talks about the influence of a Godly women on a nation)
- Jonah (A story about a reluctant missionary sent to a gentile nation)
- Isaiah 56 (God’s salvation for all nations)
- Luke 9 (Jesus’s visit to Samaria and Jesus’ rejection by the Samaritans)
- Luke 10 ( Jesus tells them about the good Samaritan)
- Luke 17 (the grateful lepers)
- John 4 (the Samaritan woman at the wel)
- Acts 9 (Tabitha, helping the Jewish and Greek poor)
- Acts 10 (Peter and Cornelius, God loves Romans)
- Acts 16 (Paul’s call to Macedonia, amazing results and amazing suffering for Paul)
- Acts 17 (Paul in Athens, addressing the polytheistic Areopagus)
- Acts 27 & 28 (Paul sails to Rome, shipwreck, adventure and Good News)
Prayer of Commitment
Lord of all, touch our hearts and fill us with more of you. Thank you for the witness we find in scripture of your love. Thank you that you call men and women like us to serve you. You never call any of us without empowering us. Thank you Lord. Amen.
Those being commissioned will be called forward. The minister will address the mission worker/s:
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with your always, to the end of the age. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the great head of the Church, we are here to commission you (name/s) who have surrendered to God’s call to service.
The minister should briefly explain where they are going and what they will be doing. Or, the minister might let the mission worker/s tell for themselves where they are going and what they are going to do.
As a missionary/ies sent from our church I would like to ask you these questions as a means to profess your faith and your call:
- Do you profess anew that Jesus Christ is your Savior and Lord, and acknowledge Jesus Christ as the head of the church, which is the Body of Christ?
- Do you profess the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament as the Word of God, the testimony of God’s covenant found in Christ that all may come to faith in God?
- Do you commit to promote unity, humility, and love as a servant of Christ?
- As far as you know do you profess that this call to service is indeed a burden God has placed on your heart and by standing here you acknowledge you are accepting God’s call to serve?
Optional—As a supporting community of faith, we will profess our faith as we send forth this (these) mission worker/s. We will now recite together the Apostles Creed as a profession of our faith.
I would like to ask (elders, or family members, or other church staff—whatever seems appropriate) to come forward. They can hold hands with the mission worker/s, lay hands on them, or just stand with them—whatever seems appropriate)and stand with our mission worker/s.
Prayer of Commissioning
All glory and praise be given to you our Lord. You prepare the fields for harvest and you call forth the laborers. We thank you for (name/s) and their willingness to serve you. We ask you protect and provide, that you sustain and fortify, that you encourage and bring peace to this (these) your servant/s. Bless this (these) missionary/ies and fill him/her (them) with your power and presence giving him/her (them) assurance that you are by his/her (their) side. Amen.
Be strong in the Lord, walk as Christ, show compassion, give generously, speak wisdom, be upright, be kind.
May God bless you and keep you.
May the Lord show favor and prosper your ministry.
May you and your family be blessed.
May you have peace
May you grow in grace.
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Extending the Right Hand of Christian Fellowship
The minister will invite those in attendance to greet the mission workers. The mission workers can be greeted with the right hand of Christian fellowship after the service.
Closing Hymn or Song
May the Lord give strength to the people! May the Lord bless the people with peace. Amen.