Laying on of Hands
Pastor Mark Wheeler, Stan Kulig, Joe Martin, Doug McVeigh, Doug Dolbow, (Elders at First Central Bible Church) as well as Bill Leino lay hands and pray for me during my ordination. (My lovely bride, Simcha Gilbert, is standing by my side.)

Can you think of an event in your life that was so pivotal that it would serve as an anchor-point for the rest of your life? There have been several of these moments in my past; moments which had a profound effect on my worldview, my view of self, or changed the way I do things in general. The day God called me out of death and into life through faith in Jesus Christ has been the most life changing. That day began a change in me in which my focus moved from self-serving to others-serving, from being the lord of my own life to serving the Lord of my life. Last night was another one of those pivotal moments in my life.

Last night (11 June 2017) I was ordained as a minister of the Gospel when the elders of First Central Bible Church (FCBC)  laid hands on me, praying that God would set me apart for the glory of His name and for the spreading of the Gospel. I am ordained under Converge and will begin a full-time position on July 1, 2017, as the Minister of Adult Education and Outreach at FCBC. My family and I will also be preparing over the next one to two years to become full-time missionaries with SEND International (more on that in later posts). Bill Leino, the regional representative in my area, also participated in my ordination.

Pastor Mark Wheeler of FCBC has served as my mentor over the last three years, teaching me much about the ministry, teaching, and about life as a minister of the Gospel. He organized my ordination council, as well as my ordination. In the message he preached at my ordination he challenged me with 1 Timothy 4:6-16. He called on me to be a life-long learner who is dedicated to growing in the content of ministry, in my character, in my competence of the scriptures and ministerial tasks, and in growing in my call as a minister of the Gospel.

One of the things Pastor Mark shared during the ordination sermon was that while the ministry is very rewarding, it can be difficult at times. There will be times when I will face spiritual attack, and times when I face personal attack from either inside or outside of the church. There will be times when I feel doubt as to whether or not I am doing the right thing by serving as a minister. One of the benefits of my ordination is that I can look back during those times of attack or doubt and see the ordination as an anchor point. The ordination serves as a confirmation of what God has done, what he is doing, and that to which he has called me. God calls; his people confirm.

Thank you, Lord, for the honor of knowing you through Christ Jesus, and for the privilege of being called as a servant leader to your people. May your name be glorified in all I do, and may the Body of Christ be built up and equipped for the work of the ministry by all that you do through me. Amen.

I’d also like to thank those who participated in my Ordination Council:
• Mark Wheeler, Senior Pastor at First Central Bible Church, Chicopee, MA

• Stan Kulig, Joe Martin, Doug McVeigh, Doug Dolbow, Elders at FCBC

• Brent Allen, District Executive Minister for Converge Northeast

• Rich Ainsworth, retired Senior Pastor of Wintonbury Church in Bloomfield, CT

• Jeff Chandler, Senior Pastor of Cottage Hill Church in Springfield, MA

To read my ordination paper, including the story of my conversion and call to ministry, click here.