To consecrate something is to formally designate something or someone to a religious or divine purpose. We see in the following verses that Saul and Barnabas were formally designated for their work of missionary church planting by the church at Antioch.
Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off. (Acts 13:1-3)So why are we talking about consecration? As most of you are aware Christ Church has been laying plans with respect to church planting for some time now. Recently we have made some progress in identifying the location and the nature of the work that we are targeting. Christ Church members have started to raise their hands and say count me in. And over the summer we have constructed a staff team to serve these efforts. In the spirit of the church in Antioch we would like to commission these folks to this work this Sunday.
Addison Hawkins, Ruthy Rodriguez, and Daniel Eguiluz all are playing key roles in providing servant leadership to our fledgling efforts. They, along with others at CC, have sorted through demographics, talked to community leaders, visited restaurants, businesses and homes; all of which served to lead us to pursue a church plant in the Belknap community of GR. This is a rapidly changing community that is relatively under-churched in GR. It is a strategic location from which to reach current residents and extend existing ministry efforts to college students and the medical community. More information will continue to emerge as we follow the Lord’s leading forward.
But back to consecration. As a church we would like to set apart these three staff servants to this work. Sunday we will have a time of prayer in the service which we will invite all who want to come forward to do so, lay hands on these dear ones, and together as Christ Church, commit ourselves to this work. Sometimes I wonder what it was like to be in Antioch as Paul and Barnabas were sent out. This won’t be exactly the same, but God is still at work and the Gospel is still going forward unhindered! (cf. Acts 28:31).