Giertz says, in the first paragraph of his ordination sermon from May 25, 1955, that “We need to constantly pray this prayer anew in the Christian Church and with particular zeal when we ordain new servants to walk in the holy pastoral office” (p. 18). Boldness certainly was a clear mark of the early Christian church. The Apostles were given a great boldness to proclaim the Gospel.
In these last years of being a pastor I have met quite a few pastors. No surprise. What I have noticed is that the pastors are all unique, having varied personalities. Some are quiet and introverted. To this situation, Giertz’s comment seems fitting, “The boldness is needed. It has never been easy to be a proclaimer. If the Word is rightly proclaimed, then it will also awaken offense” (p. 19). You may be shy or introverted. Perhaps you might say you simply have a quiet personality or don’t like to make waves. To such a man called by God to proclaim the Gospel a prayer for boldness is a great gift. To a quiet person, who is called to speak, prayer for boldness from God Himself is his only hope. But don’t forget for a person who is outgoing and quick to speak. A prayer for boldness is also great gift. For the words we would like to speak are often our words and not God’s words. Remember the prayer in Acts is that the servants would “speak your word with all boldness.”
Giertz continues his sermon saying, “Therefore all God’s Church needs to pray that the Lord may lay His servants proclaim His Word with all boldness, and nothing but His Word. Even more this prayer is needed by those who will be ordained to proclaim this Word themselves” (p. 20).
I have prayed for boldness; would you also pray for boldness for me and those serving as pastors today. We have been called and placed into our positions as God’s stewards; as His servants. May we do this with humility and mercy which Giertz says is behind true boldness (p. 20). Giertz ends his sermon saying this to those being ordained: “May the Lord lead you to live by this Word, to not be able to live without it, and to not be able to leave it. Then He shall also give you, His servants, grace to proclaim it with all boldness” (p. 21).