Those of us from a more sacramental perspective would say that it is in baptism that believers receive their primary ordination to ministry. If you are not ordained (in the broad baptismal sense -- priesthood of all believers) how can you participate in the priestly ministry of the church?
I haven't thought of baptism as ordination before, but given the nature of Jesus' baptism, I may just agree. I'll need to ponder...
Baptism is not just an act of obedience ("ordinance") but it is the means of grace that the Spirit uses to equip us for ministry. IOW, baptism isn't just a discipleship hurdle or a qualification to demonstrate serious faith but a necessity for functioning "in Christ".
While I do not believe baptism is a means of grace, I also do not believe it is "just an act of obedience" (though I realize my post may have communicated this). Baptism is at least an ordinance, but it is more. It is at least a symbol, but it is more. So, while I have not thought through all the details I believe that baptism in some way incorporates the individual inot the body of Christ (maybe psychologically), mirroring what the Holy Spirit does in reality (I Cor 12:13). So, even though we may differ on the basis, we likely agree on the result, that baptism is a "necessity for functioning 'in Christ'."
I would be open in some settings to having non-baptized folk -- even non-believers -- as assistants or aides -- perhaps even to help THEM get a sense of what ministry is about before they commit. Many find that they have to "belong before they believe."
Absolutely agree here. In fact, our policy allows for this very thing--which makes me wonder why this option has not been taken advantage of.