Last night I celebrated an unusual ordination. One of my former (and very gifted) students, Mike Moore, was ordained in Chicago. So much was unusual:
- It was held in the Tapestry Fellowship, which two years ago was a derelict building but which now houses a vibrant emergent church.
- Mike is protestant chaplain at Loyola University. He believes in living in community. Already a service he's started up has 50-60 students attending, and people in his apartment are aware of his ministry too.
- About 6 churches had come together - all rather unusual, witnessing to Christ in different neighborhoods and all with the same emphasis on community life.
- About 6 pastors preached or spoke including Mike's father, who is a pastor (and former President of Northern). It was moving to hear them speak so realistically of ministry and the call to love people in Christ's name.
- Mike was clearly rooted in these churches. Now belonging to the People's Church, several spoke about their love for him and their joy that he belonged to them.
- About 20 pastors went forward to lay hands on Mike at the moment of ordination - wonderful.
- Mike then spoke and said: "I know why I'm here? Because God has called me and sent me? But why are you here?" It was an important question. He probed - "Is it because you believe God calls and you are willing to be sent too?"
- And, forgive me, but this thrilled me having taught Mike homiletics! Someone else said that they loved to listen to him. Every time he spoke he had something new and fresh to say!
I drove back through the crowds Sunday evening exhilarated. The Sunday morning paper had a lead article: The Unbelievers - young atheists are bringing a friendly kind of skepticism to a campus near you. I was so glad to know Mike was right there for the Lord!