In which I commission you

Here, come and stand in front of me.

Stand on your own two feet, let’s look each other right in the eye. It’s a beautiful day outside, warmer than it should be in October, and the trees are slowly staining scarlet, the gold is shaking down, and the early autumn sky is already far away from us. I picked a nice spot for us, the wind can take your breath, and your eyes are not satisfied with seeing, I know.

Stand now, head up, you are loved, remember? You are loved, and you are free. No shame here.

Let me stretch my arms out wide, like an Old Testament prophet, my hands are worn and lined, I have mama-hands, and let’s do this properly.

I commission you.

In the mighty and powerful name of Jesus, I commission you, for the work of the Gospel, as a minister of Jesus Christ, to live in your world as an ambassador of the Kingdom.

I commission you in the work of healing, and serving, and loving, and reconciliation. You are an emissary of justice, and your work from now on is to put things right, to call those things that are not as they will be.

I pray that the God of hope would fill you with peace that passes all understanding. I pray that you will be drawn into community, so rich, so deep, so diverse, that you will disagree and fight and remain in fellowship together anyway. I pray that you will bring casseroles, and prayer, and laughter, and tears, to one another. I pray that you would have your toes stepped on, your feelings hurt, and that you would forgive. I pray that you would be given the gift of realising you were wrong about some things. I pray that you would be quick to seek forgiveness when you are the transgressor. I pray for messy living rooms, for late nights, for dirty dishes littering your counters, and I pray for a faithful handful of friends and family to call when the darkness presses in close to you. I pray that you would be quick to show up at the right time for another person.

Come a little closer, I’m about to get all charismatic on you. Oh, yes, I want to lay my hands right on your head, let’s do this.

I call you to joy, friend.  I set you apart in your regular, walking-around life for the daily work of liberation and love, proclaim the Gospel with your hands and your feet and your voice to every soul in your care and influence. May your soul long for prayer and for the Scriptures, may you keep secrets, may you give away your money, may you share your meals, may you sit alone in silence outside under the sky and be satisfied, may you change the bedding in the middle of the night after yet another childish accident without anger, may you hold babies, and comfort the dying, and be the voice of knowledge tempered with grace and wisdom, and may you never forget how to sing and be silly. May you make room in your life to be inconvenienced and put-out, may you be Jesus with skin on for a few people. May you be fearless, and may you eat good food.

I pray that no matter your tool or method: mothering, preaching, cooking, writing, organising, washing, teaching, building, money-making, all of your whole life encompassing it all, that you will walk in knowledge of the sacredness and purpose of your calling. I pray for dreams and visions, for the active leading of the Holy Spirit, and I pray that you would never ever ever forget that Abba is very, very fond of you.

I pray for perseverance and for discipline, I pray for speech seasoned with salt and goodness. I pray that when you are bored, and you are tired, and you are discouraged, when you feel futile and small and ridiculous, I pray that you will never, never, never give up.

Your ministry, your work, begins now, and it began long ago, in your world. Turn around, and face your life. Look it in the eye. This is it.

If you are surrounded by jelly-faced toddlers or thousands of longing hungry souls, or if you lift your head to find yourself in a hospital or a back alley or a church or an orphanage or your own suburban kitchen, if you are given a voice for dozens or only one other soul, you are a minister, feel it, say the words, roll them against your teeth: you have been commissioned for the work of the Gospel, in Christ Jesus, you have.

I send you out.

I send you out to the spot where you are, right now. You are right where you belong, you have everything you need to begin, and we will walk it out together, you and me.

Blessed be His Kingdom, now and forevermore. Peace be with you, my friend, peace.

Keep your eyes open for the signs of God’s presence, he’s already at work in your world, revealing his ways to us all. You get to be a part of it, and me, too. We’re in this together, let’s do it together, we’re calling people outside to the bonfire.



church, community, faith, fearless

89 Responses to In which I commission you

  1. Ed_Cyzewski October 5, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    Commissioned right where we are… there is contentment and peace in that commission. It’s so easy to keep looking forward that we can forget to look right where we are and what God would have us do for our family and for our neighbors. Way to unleash the prophetic power!

    • Sarah Bessey October 6, 2012 at 8:23 am #

      “Unleash the prophetic power!” love when we get all Vineyard-y on folks.

      • Ed_Cyzewski October 6, 2012 at 8:36 am #

        Laying my hands on my computer right now… ;)

  2. JennaDeWitt October 5, 2012 at 1:10 pm #


  3. wendy October 5, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

    Dang, Sarah, how did you know I needed this today?? (Except for the messy living room/dirty dishes part. That bit I’ve nailed already.) I’m keeping this window open so I can read and re-read as needed!

  4. Brenna D October 5, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    Thank you, Sarah. I receive it, dirty dishes and all.

  5. HopefulLeigh October 5, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    Thanks be to God.

  6. Sarah Bickerstaff October 5, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    God, this is beautiful. I’m decidedly not churchy these days, but this – THIS – I love. Thank you.

  7. Mindi October 5, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

    beautiful, and thank you.

  8. Tara_pohlkottepress October 5, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

    my first response had a four letter word in it accompanied with “yea!”… so, i’ll stick with “amen.” but know there is another mama fist pumped high in the sky for these words lovely.

  9. Amanda Williams October 5, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

    Amen and amen and amen. Thank you, sister.

  10. Linda Stoll October 5, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

    powerfully amen.

  11. Jen Hatmaker October 5, 2012 at 2:28 pm #


  12. Lindsay October 5, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

    Amen, Amen, Amen. And thank you.

  13. morgan October 5, 2012 at 2:37 pm #


  14. Morgan October 5, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

    what a brilliantly written post
    “I pray that you will bring casseroles, and prayer, and laughter, and tears, to one another. I pray that you would have your toes stepped on, your feelings hurt, and that you would forgive”
    talk about the fundamentals! so important. it’s easy to get lost in the big picture and forget about what SIMPLE things we can do help others!

  15. Misty Krasawski October 5, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

    Oh my gosh. I’m totally printing this out and reading it over my small group Sunday night. Thank you, Sarah!

  16. Jim McNeely October 5, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

    Fantastic!! Do you live in Bellingham, your header photo looks like Mt. Shuksan. If so we need to meet you and fellowship, this is how our family lives. Blessings!

    • Sarah Bessey October 6, 2012 at 8:21 am #

      No, not in Bellingham, but yes that photo was taken near Bellingham. (I”m in Canada.)

  17. Leslie Lee October 5, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

    What life-giving words, Sarah. Printing this out and carrying it around with me to try and soak the words directly into my soul. Such a powerful encouragement to press on in Jesus’ name right where we are. Goodness. Needed that word today.

  18. Renee Ronika October 5, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

    You, my dear, are a prophet of the Most High–newer than both Testaments–but yourself commissioned to pray the heart of the Father over His weary, teary-eyed saints. God. Oh, how I need Him now. I need seasoned speech; I need my heart not only to know all these things, but to believe them more.

    • Sarah Bessey October 6, 2012 at 8:21 am #

      Both of us stand in that need, Renee. And thank you.

  19. Christine October 5, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

    Wow! Amen!

    I am overwhelmed. Thank you so much.

  20. Nacole Simmons October 5, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

    Sarah, this: “you are tired, and you are discouraged, when you feel futile and small and ridiculous, I pray that you will never, never, never give up.” Ah yes, I’m weary and I really needed this today. I’m taking you very seriously, and I’m reading it as though it was written for me. I receive it today from your lined mama-hands. Bless you.

  21. Wendy October 5, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

    Completely undone by your words and having one of those not so pretty cries friend. Thank you just doesn’t seem to cover it. No one has ever said these words to me. And oh how I have longed to hear them. Thank you for speaking to my heart today.

  22. Jessica Mueller October 5, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

    So be it.

    {thank you}

  23. Alex October 5, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

    Love this!

  24. kate October 5, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

    wonderful. sometimes you just need to get hit on the head with a direct hit on the head call, even through a blog!…

  25. Brooke October 5, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

    Even while nursing and hearing children from my community group tearing through the house above me, Amen!

  26. Charlotte October 5, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

    Okay, I’m crying now. Does this commission come with Kleenex?

  27. Ashleigh Baker October 5, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

    Oh, this. You already knew I’d be crying over these words in my messy living room on this Friday night, didn’t you? Amen and amen and amen.

  28. Joy October 5, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

    YES YES YES! Wonderful! Thank you!!!

  29. Lisa Pippus October 5, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

    Amen. Amen.

  30. Rebecca October 5, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

    Thank you. I needed this blessing today.

  31. Shelbey Frias October 5, 2012 at 5:40 pm #

    Man. Thank you. And I sit amazed again, at your writing and how I feel it was just for me.

  32. Deetz October 5, 2012 at 6:40 pm #

    “I pray for messy living rooms, for late nights, for dirty dishes
    littering your counters, and I pray for a faithful handful of friends
    and family to call when the darkness presses in close to you. I pray
    that you would be quick to show up at the right time for another person.” This reminds me so much of the small group we are part of. I love it!

    • Sarah Bessey October 6, 2012 at 8:20 am #

      That is a true gift to have in your life. So good.

  33. TammyBoltWerthem October 5, 2012 at 6:50 pm #

    This is beautiful, as is HIS love shining through your passion

  34. Handsfull October 5, 2012 at 7:05 pm #

    Oh my goodness.
    These beautiful words made me cry – I’ve never had anyone say anything like this to me before, but I’ve been feeling it, and needing it.
    Thank you, Sarah.

  35. Heidi Roesli October 5, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

    Wow! These words are inspirational and empowering! I picture Jesus standing with me speaking these words.

  36. hopejem October 5, 2012 at 11:03 pm #

    Oh my darling. I opened this up 10 minutes before I had to leave to go speak tonight. You know, the first time in years? I read it outloud and Russ said “Did she write that for you?” I replied “Yes she did,.She may not know it but she did.”
    Simply anointed dear one.

    • Sarah Bessey October 6, 2012 at 8:19 am #

      Thought of you last night, Jem. Pray it went well!

      • hopejem October 6, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

        It was one of those nights where you stand up in your own heart and say “I was made for this! Lord, I DID hear you and I will not only follow you, I will lead women and men to you!” Victory in so many ways!
        This post is a print and frame piece! (Just so you know.) xo

  37. Tanya Marlow October 5, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

    Tears and Amens. Thank you.

  38. Renee October 5, 2012 at 11:58 pm #

    (just) thank you…

  39. Heather Bowie October 6, 2012 at 5:06 am #

    Amen. I’m receiving this (and printing it out to be reminded over and over). Just amazing.

  40. Marina Lehman October 6, 2012 at 6:28 am #

    This is beautiful. I know that I’m making slow progress toward being able to receive it all. Right now, I’ll just rest in this:

    “I pray that when you are bored, and you are tired, and you are discouraged, when you feel futile and small ridiculous, I pray that you will never, never, never give up.

  41. Rhonda Hudson October 6, 2012 at 8:50 am #

    I stumbled on this today, having never read your blog before. I read it on the day that I should have been leaving on a mission trip to Mexico, but it has been cancelled due to violence and unrest. Thank you for the reminder that even in my disappointment (and I am so disappointed), that I am right where I belong (even if my heart is in Mexico) and that the commission remains even when the going out gets cancelled.

  42. Faith Hope & Cherrytea October 6, 2012 at 9:26 am #

    God’s impeccable timing… ty for being courageous in declaring; in posting this blessing

  43. pastordt October 6, 2012 at 10:03 am #

    Thank you so much for this. I need it today, more than most, Sarah. It’s a tough one. Love you.

  44. Sandra Heska King October 6, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    “Turn around, and face your life. Look it in the eye. This is it.” Oh yes.

    And this: “May you make room in your life to be inconvenienced and put-out, may you be Jesus with skin on for a few people.” For a few people. We can’t be Jesus to everyone. That’s why it takes all of us.

    Savoring every word, Sarah. Every. Word.

  45. Sharon O October 6, 2012 at 10:41 am #

    wow. such powerful real words. Just awesome. May we all be so bold to proclaim our commission and our pledge to each other.

  46. Jeff Bickley October 6, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    Sarah Bessey, that was absolutely beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes as I read it, and I could almost picture myself standing just as you directed at the beginning. I believe that what you wrote here today was directly from God, and, although it obviously wasn’t meant just for me, God still meant it for me. I needed that today. You are a different breed, Sarah Bessey. I don’t always agree with everything you write, but you are most definitely blessed by God, and I thank you for posting this today. This one is a keeper, one that I shall return to it regularly for inspiration and motivation.

    Grace and peace,

  47. Jim Fisher October 6, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

    As I read this I could almost feel the olive oil of anointing dripping down my face. Awesome. Humbling.

  48. James Prescott October 7, 2012 at 9:25 am #

    Wow. I’m sitting here just thinking about how inadequate I am. How great God is and how pathetic my actions and attitudes can be sometimes My childishness, my immaturity, my sin, my knowledge that I will break many of my promises to Him no matter how good my intentions. I am almost reluctant to receive this commission because I know how much I will fail to live this out. This is an amazing piece of writing. I wish I could write this beautifully and honestly. Thank you for sharing this. I will try to receive this, and make this my prayer.

  49. Jess October 7, 2012 at 12:42 pm #

    beautiful, breathtaking. trembling thanks. our calling is glorious isn’t it?

  50. Lynda Gravier October 7, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

    My wonderful daughter has shared “you” with me several times over the past several months as she has been touched by your blog. Yesterday, she shared this post with me, and I simply wept as I read it. Bless you and and the gracious gift God has given you for encouraging with the pen. You have been a mentor in her journey of spiritual rediscovery, and you have provided healing for me as well. May God continue to open doors for your ministry.

  51. Katie October 7, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

    Love, love, love this. Thank you. What a powerful reminder to be all that God calls to be-no matter where we are. Thank you.

  52. Megan October 8, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

    Amen, and amen. Thank you for these empowering, beautiful words

  53. paul October 8, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    wow. I work in a senior high ministry. Can I use this to commission the teens? This is very powerful.

  54. Crystal October 8, 2012 at 10:40 pm #

    Love Love Love! Sharing with my ‘Hello Mornings’ group. :-) <3

  55. annette skarin October 10, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

    God heard that cracking sound, deep in my hidden places. I have learned to pray for the bullies and forgive the words which may have not been intentionally said, that bruised my trudging soul. I pray they can read these words along with me and begin to smooth their own jagged pieces. May they be touched and healed by kind words today as I have. I know I am loved.

  56. Bev October 17, 2012 at 10:44 pm #

    This is awesome… thanks so much Sarah… what a beautiful way of expressing the value of our normalness.

  57. Jenn October 28, 2012 at 2:40 pm #

    I just can’t stop reading this Sarah…I’m printing it and putting it up on my fridge.

  58. Anonymous November 25, 2012 at 6:05 pm #

    Lately God has been breaking my heart for different things and I’ve felt unworthy to do anything about it. You empower me. Thank you over and over again.

  59. Ursula January 4, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

    Thank you.

  60. Bev Murrill May 12, 2013 at 6:43 am #

    I’ve reposted this to the Kyria Facebook page. This is one of the best pieces of writing I’ve seen for a long time… and that’s saying something.

  61. Jennifer September 17, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

    I know I read this a year ago when you wrote it and I probably commented then. But when I was looking for a specific post to send to a friend tonight, I came across this one again, and it was beyond perfect to read to her tonight. So I want to thank you again for writing this post and all your posts for that matter. I can’t begin to tell you how much you have encouraged me in my journey over the past year or so and I can’t wait to read your book!!!

  62. Allie March 23, 2014 at 5:58 pm #

    Thank you so much for writing this. I come back to it every few months or so. Each time I’m grateful for your humble courage. Today I’m thankful for these words because they helped me remember that I can do it–be a mom and a wife, go to seminary, live in community, keep some sanity, learn to use my voice to add to the chorus of the Gospel–but I can’t do it on my own. Thank you.

  63. Kathryn Adele June 23, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

    I’m about 2 years behind the posting of this, but I just finished “Jesus Feminist” and hoped your beautiful commission was also online – and here it is! Sarah, I pray that one day you find yourself in Tampa, FL so that I can hug you and repeat “thank you thank you” as I do. Thank you for speaking truth and freedom and beauty. Thank you for acting on the promptings of God to share the words that you have. My heart is light when I think about the women and men working alongside me for the betterment of the Kingdom. Grace & Peace!


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