#18:Why Does The Pastor Give a "Charge and Benediction"
Why does the pastor give a "charge and benediction" at the end of the worship service? Christian worship does not end at the conclusion of corporate worship. Rather, we go forth from the sanctuary to love and serve Christ in daily living. The pastoral Charge is a distillation of the Word of the God into a formula for action. The Charge makes clear that worship guides the congregation into God's mission to the world -- you have heard the Word of God, now go and live it! This is no small task, so we need God's grace and assistance. For this reason, the pastor couples the Charge with a Benediction. "Benediction" means "blessing." Just as the ancient priests blessed the people to invoke God's mercy and faithfulness over them, the pastor blesses the congregation in the name of the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We are blessed to be a blessing. Departing with the Charge and Benediction orients us and empowers us to pursue our chief end: to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.