It's hard to believe that just about a week and a half ago we all gathered at the Welcome and Installation Service with the PCA. There was a lot that happened that evening. We had a great time of singing together some of the great hymns that tell of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in both new and old ways. We witnessed the installation of the Teaching Elders and Ruling Elders. We as congregations took vows. And we heard a powerful message from Acts 20:28 by Rev. Dr. Ligon Duncan. Here is my brief recap of what took place that night.
It was such a blessing to hear hundreds of people responding in worship through song to God. These were powerful moments being lead by Brent Stutzmen from Trinity PCA in Hindsale, IL.
On this night we sang some of the old favorites like Brethren We Have Met To Worship, A Mighty Fortress, and Great Is Thy Faithfulness.
The Teaching Elder
Pastor Paul Vroom (along with Andy Nearpass, Ben Kappers from First Church, David Smith from Crete Church, and Kurt Kruger from Peace Community Church) took the following vows before God and His Church.
- Do you believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as originally given, to be the inerrant Word of God, the only infallible rule of faith and practice?
- Do you sincerely receive and adopt the Confession of Faith and the Catechisms of this Church, as containing the system of doctrine taught in the Holy Scriptures; and do you further promise that if at any time you find yourself out of accord with any of the fundamentals of this system of doctrine, you will on your own initiative, make known to your Presbytery the change which has taken place in your views since the assumption of this ordination vow?
- Do you approve of the form of government and discipline of the Presbyterian Church in America, in conformity with the general principles of Biblical polity?
- Do you promise subjection to your brethren in the Lord?
- Have you been induced, as far as you know your own heart, to seek the office of the holy ministry from love to God and a sincere desire to promote His glory in the Gospel of His Son?
- Do you promise to be zealous and faithful in maintaining the truths of the Gospel and the purity and peace and unity of the Church, whatever persecution or opposition may arise unto you on that account?
- Do you engage to be faithful and diligent in the exercise of all your duties as a Christian and a minister of the Gospel, whether personal or relational, private or public; and to endeavor by the grace of God to adorn the profession of the Gospel in your manner of life, and to walk with exemplary piety before the flock of which God shall make you overseer?
- Are you now willing to take the charge of this church, agreeable to your declaration when accepting their call? And do you, relying upon God for strength, promise to discharge to it the duties of a pastor?
We then took a moment to pray for the Ruling Elders from all the churches.
Then all the members from the various congregations stood and took the following vows.
- Do you promise to receive the word of truth from his mouth with meekness and love, and to submit to him in the due exercise of discipline?
- Do you promise to encourage him in his labors, and to assist his endeavors for your instruction and spiritual edification?
- Do you engage to continue to him while he is your pastor that competent worldly maintenance which you have promised, and to furnish him with whatever you may see needful for the honor of religion and for his comfort among you?
Shepherd the Flock
We then heard a powerful sermon from Acts 20:28 from the Rev. Dr. Ligon Duncan for the shepherds, teachers, elders, pastors, overseers to shepherd the flock of God. Listen to his sermon here.
Pastor Paul Vroom then left us with the following benediction from Hebrews 13 and Numbers 6:
"Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen." - Hebrews 13:20-21
"The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace." - Numbers 6:24-26
We are extremely thankful for the Elders of Missio Dei Church, the other four pastors and their congregations, and Pastor Paul Vroom who walked us all through this process. We are thankful for God's protection over our congregations and we look forward to what God has for us in the years and generations to come in our new denominational home.