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9Marks Explained : A Letter From Mark Dever

What should an installation service seek to accomplish?

In a nutshell, an installation service should clarify and underscore the responsibility the pastor has toward the church and the responsibility the church has toward the pastor.

  1. An installation service should clarify and underscore the pastor’s responsibility to the church. In formally installing a man as their pastor, the church is recognizing that he is responsible to feed them with God’s Word, lead them to safety, protect them from attackers, and seek after lost sheep. Therefore, the sermon, the prayers, and the formal commissioning in such a service should highlight the pastor’s responsibility to faithfully preach God’s Word and take heed to all the flock (2 Tim. 4:2; Acts 20:28).
  2. An installation service should clarify and underscore the church’s responsibility toward its pastor. In formally recognizing a man as their pastor, a church commits to submit to his teaching and leadership, to honor and esteem him, and, if they are able, to provide for his material needs (Heb. 13:17; 1 Thess. 5:12-13; Gal. 6:6-7). An installation service should highlight these responsibilities and encourage the church to faithfully discharge them.  

(Some of this material has been adapted from Aaron Menikoff’s article, “The Goals and Benefits of an Installation Service”)