Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Reflections on Ordination

Sunday night was a warm, tearful, encouraging, emotional, spiritual blur. I wanted to reflect on the experience sooner, but hopefully I can get some of my thoughts down before they slip further to the back of my mind. First of all, I want everyone to know that my wife is the best spouse anyone could ever hope to have. She truly honored me, and I am so very thankful that Heather Leigh Brooks said yes so many years ago.

I can think of many people I wish could have participated, but I was so very thankful that so many of my church family, my close friends, my parents, and my parents-in-law could participate in my ordination to the ministry of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The evening began with Pastor Justin Guffey opening the service with one of my very favorite verses of Scripture, Romans 8:28. Then Pastor Justin and Roger Van Fleet, preaching pastor at State Street Baptist Church, delivered the recommendation from the elders that I be ordained to join them as an elder. Roger made clear that our long friendship was not the reason that the church sought to ordain me, but they recognized my desire and evidence of God's calling on my life.

My dad, Chuck Young, delivered the charge to the candidate, and he spoke encouraging words from Jeremiah 1. Pastor Roger then charged the church and administered the vows. I was then asked to kneel with Heather standing behind me, and all the ordained pastors and deacons in the church took turns laying their hands on me and praying for me.

After Pastor Roger introduced me to the church as Reverend Todd Young, he asked me to say a few words. I was not prepared, but I am so thankful that our Heavenly Father made me mindful of the Word to which I have been called, and I took the opportunity to briefly present the gospel and then thank my God, my church, my family, and my wife for their love and support.

From the sanctuary, we moved to Clark Hall to enjoy a time of fellowship. Debbie Bennett made the most awesome cake! It had Joshua 1:8-9 written on pages of a Bible, with "For the glory of God" written above and "Rev. Todd Young" written below. And it was made with butter cream frosting--the very best! We had chicken tenders and finger food, Diet Coke (thanks Roger!), and good conversations.

After a little while, I decided to peruse a scrapbook that my wife had made of encouraging notes and emails that people had written to me and given to her. I was blown away by the way my friends and family honored me. I guess part of that comes from knowing myself as the "chief of sinners." But all glory to God! He must increase, and I must decrease! I am only sinful without the Holy Spirit of God! He produces everything good in me, and for that I praise him!

I could not have asked for a better experience. A church family who loves me and recognizes God's amazing grace in my life. Moms and Dads who travelled hundreds of miles to be with us. A wife who honored her husband in the most godly way. Children who blessed their father with sweet, innocent admiration.

No one can deny, I am blessed beyond measure.

~ Todd

P. S. - God used my 8 year old son, Brandon, to illustrate the attitude we should have in giving. As I was opening a few gifts and cards, he walked up to me, handed me his allowance, and told me that he wanted me to have it because he loved me and wanted to give me a gift. I took it, because I wanted to honor his desire to show me love. I didn't need his money, and God doesn't need ours. You better believe he'll get his allowance back and then some.

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