The first biblically recorded commissioning service took place at the church of Antioch in the Book of Acts, according to The Christian & Missionary Alliance in Canada. Commissioning services provide public support for those embarking on short-term or long-term missions trips and baccalaureate degrees. Churches and non-profit organisations commission their students on global missions or national endeavours to serve others. Commissioning services are similar to graduations. They publicly declare students as ready to move on in their journey.
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Campus Missionary suggests that leaders pray for students during a commissioning ceremony. Parents and friends may also participate in saying a prayer for those being honoured. Be creative by providing prayer cards for family and friends to write on. The students can take the prayer cards with them on their journey. Prayers include blessings for those who may be entering the mission field in dangerous places. Pray for students to remain committed to their task, no matter how difficult it becomes. Campus Missionary also advises following the biblical example of the church in Antioch, by placing hands on the students' heads while praying. This is called "laying on of hands," and pastors use it as a form of spiritual connection during prayers.
Seek others who have worked in the mission field for years to provide testimonials. Local leaders or pastors may be willing to participate in the commissioning ceremony. Written testimonies tell specific stories of struggle and triumph. Volunteers may also share the ways they stayed strong on the mission field. Some testimonials can be spoken during the commissioning ceremony. Have speakers address the students and inspire them before they begin their journey. Prerecorded videos are also useful testimonials. Missionaries may provide footage shot on trips to show real examples of what students will experience. Testimonials should be encouraging and real for those being commissioned.
The Christian & Missionary Alliance in Canada suggests providing certificates to those being commissioned for service. Certificates are like a rite of passage from the learning program into the mission field. Leaders and teachers may call each student by name and present them with a certificate of course completion or training completion. The organisation or church name should appear on the certificate. Leaders, teachers and pastors should also sign the certificate for authentication. Students will cherish this piece of paper whenever they doubt themselves in difficult situations. It is tangible proof that they have the ability to succeed.
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