Opinion on Qualifications for Clergy

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by untangled, Jul 29, 2003.

  1. untangled

    untangled
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    Hey Brothers and Sisters.

    I was just thinking tonight about what everyone thought about traditional Baptist ordinations. Some denominations require some type of training and education to be eligible for full ordination. What's everyone's opinion?

    I am not talking about requiring getting a Ph.D. or D.Min but some type of training requirement. I have heard some scary stories about ordination. For example, a man who comes into a church, accepts Christ and is ordained three months after he is saved.

    Just wondering....

    May God Bless you and keep you all!

    In Christ,

    Brooks [​IMG]
     
  2. Dr. Bob

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    Your example is sad, and a "sham" of true ordination. "Not a novice" comes to mind.

    Before I would vote to ordain (if a local church should ask me to sit in council to recommend such) I would think the "minimum" should include:

    1. Character. I would go over these 19 points with a fine-tooth comb to be SURE he fulfills the Biblical character issues of I Tim 3 and Titus 1. That should weed out many.

    2. Training. I prefer at least some formal training and lots of informal, hands-on training in internship.

    3. Experience. I would expect somje years of service and ministering in a local church to demonstrate faithfulness, consistency, workability

    4. Testimony/Call. Clear and distinct depth of salvation experience and leading of God

    5. Wife. If he is married (and such would be recommended but not required) I would want to talk to his wife, hear her testimony and agreement to the ministry. Have learned the hard way that SHE will play a major role in days to come . .

    Hope this helps
     
  3. Ben W

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    I favour mentoring by a qualified pastor, in the way of an internship. What needs to be carefully looked at is that those who can not afford Bible College fees are not in any way precluded from entering into the ministry.
     
  4. Artimaeus

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    The qualifications set up in I Tim 3 and Titus 1 are God's "minimum" qualifications. If someone is MORE qualified than that, that is fine. We all want the most qualified men for the job. "Formal" training is not part of the minimum qualifications. Training certainly is (Titus 1:9; II Tim 2:15). If a man is able to "rightly divide" the word of truth, able to communicate that truth, and has the character by which he can convince people of that truth, then he is qualified. Specifically how to determine that a particular man is qualified is not spelled out in scripture and has come to be called the process of "ordination". Ordination is nothing more than officially declaring that a man is scripturally qualified to be an Elder/Pastor/Bishop of the church.

    Dr. Bob, I would disagree a little bit about the wife. If he is married then part of HIS qualification is that she be in subjection to him. If she is or becomes a problem then that makes HIM not qualified. I don't think it should be required or even preferred that she be more than any other wife/woman in the church. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying she should stay in the background. I am saying that whether she becomes a strong, active, high profile member of the church or stays in the background concentrating on providing her husband with the support he needs as home is HER option and should not reflect on HIS qualifications.
     
  5. Jailminister

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    Salvation is free and only requires acceptance with repentance. Ordination is what comes after you have been proved to be qualified and qualified biblically.
     
  6. Dr. Bob

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    Thanks for making sure what was meant. I didn't mean to imply that SHE is being "co-ordained". Seen a lot of pastor's wifes that felt they were the associate pastor and tried to run the church that way. I call it the "Hillary" syndrome as she kept talking about what WE did as President, etc. :rolleyes:

    My wife opted to never "run" anything in the church, to limit service to only 3 areas (so as not to be involved in everything) and to be my wife and mother of my kids FIRST.

    What I ask for in ordations is clear testimony of salvation and willingness to be a pastor's wife. Have seen some good men whose wives literally destroyed their ministry.
     
  7. Artimaeus

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    [​IMG] Her willing heart is well worth checking up on.
     
  8. Rev. Joshua

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    Just because we can ordain whom we wish does not mean that we should. I think that an ordaining church should require:

    - an M.Div. which included biblical languages and satisfactory academic performance
    - one unit of CPE
    - a psychological evaluation
    - a criminal history check
    - a theological paper
    - a paper on the role of clergy
    - an account of their faith journey
    - several letters of recommendation
    - a demonstrated history of involvement in the church

    Regarding interviewing husbands and wives, I don't think that's appropriate. It is good to ask the candidate if they have discussed the pressures of ministry with their spouse (and to make sure that they've thought about it themselves); but I don't think the spouse needs to be interviewed. Doing so gives tacit approval to the idea that a pastor's spouse must be active in his/her church. In addition, in my experience, churches are rapidly moving away from placing those kinds of expectations on the pastor's spouse.

    Joshua
     
  9. dianetavegia

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    Untangled, You said:
    The BIBLE says,
    Novice: a new convert, neophyte (one who has recently become a Christian) New Testament Greek
    neophutos - novice


    Joshua All those degrees and papers won't mean diddly squat if a man isn't called by God. First and foremost... a calling, an annointing by God Almighty!

    Amen?
    Diane [​IMG]
     
  10. untangled

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    Amen Diane.

    I do believe a minister should try to get an education though.

    Why letters of reference? The church should be able to make a suitable decision because they should know the candidate?

    I can understand the criminal history check to a certain extent. I wouldn't want a child molester in the pulpit or anything. However, an individual with a criminal record should not be taken out of candidacy. What about the man with theft charges on his record, or assault whom has accepted Christ and spent years following the call of God?

    In His Service,

    Brooks
     
  11. wizofoz

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    Sadly, some churches won't let people's past go. They're always saying "He used to be..." instead of "He is now..."
     
  12. Rev. Joshua

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    In my experience, the papers are very useful in allowing the ordination council to have a background for discussing the candidate's sense of call.

    I agree that a criminal history shouldn't automatically preclude someone from ministry; but the council should be aware of the candidate's background and be able to question it.

    The letters of reference can come from within the congregation. They're useful simply as a written record of the person's behavior and background. In addition, bodies outside the local church which affirm/register/endorse a candidate's ordination often require these (for chaplains, for instance).

    Joshua
     
  13. Dr. Bob

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    I also recommend a "Credit Check". I know that seems invasive, but leading a church is more important than buying a used car and they run one on me there!

    I have seen hidden horror stories uncovered of men running from past debts, alimony (when they claimed to never be divorced), bankruptcy, unwise spending habits. Not that all these would DISQUALIFY a man - just that a church should know the track record.

    Still best to train a man in the local congregation (after his formal training) and then ordain him. You WILL know him then!

    Motto of Holiday Inn: "The best surprise is NO surprise" :eek:
     
  14. Artimaeus

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    Why so much studying on a book you consider nothing more than a "rule of thumb" anyway?

    Do they have to pass it or do they have to fail it to be in your church?

    I realize that you warmly embrace the gender neutralizing of the scriptures but, I prefer to warmly embrace the truth.
     
  15. Pastor Larry

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    I don't think such approval should be tacit. It should be explicit. There is no biblical warrant for husbands and wives to worship in different places. Biblically they should worship together as a family and the biblical expectation is for all believers to be active in church. The pastor's is to be as active as every other lady. She is to serve a vital role in the ministry. A pastor whose wife does not attend and is not faithfully active in church with her husband is disqualified from ministry.
     
  16. Rev. Joshua

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    Larry,

    My preference is certainly to have my wife and son worship in the church where I am the pastor. Nevertheless, for many couples (particularly clergy couples) that may not be an option.

    Even if a pastor's spouse is a member of their church, his or her obligations are no different from that of any other member. Consequently, no special evaluation of the spouse is required.

    Joshua
     
  17. Dr. Bob

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    Rev. Joshua, you never cease to amaze me on your willingness to be the poster child for the most liberal position . . on just about everything!

    I am struck with the idea that you give - a hypothetical pastor somewhere whose wife attends a different church.

    I cannot envision that. Do you know of that actually happening? I'm thinking Titus 1 and the pastor leading his own home . . and his wife says, "Phooey on youey. I'm gonna go to the Assemblies Church!"

    What would that say about the pastor?

    Just thinking out loud. Have to admit my small seminary classes (never more than a couple dozen students) ALL were very conservative and issues such as these could NEVER be discussed. :rolleyes:
     
  18. Rev. Joshua

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    Bob, I don't see this as far liberal at all. It's not at all unusual for two people to meet in seminary or CPE and fall in love.

    I can think of two couples off the top of my head. In one couple, the husband is a Presbyterian pastor and the wife is a UCC minister (former pastor, now denominational executive). In the other, the husband is a baptist minister and the wife is a Methodist minister.

    In both cases, since the couples serve in different denominations, it's unlikely that they'll ever be members of the same church.

    I can think of other examples if you'd like.

    Joshua
     
  19. rlvaughn

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    For a long time I have contended that a church should never call a council TO SEE if a man is qualified to be ordained, but only after THEY KNOW he is qualified to be ordained.

    Joshua, I am curious as to why the ministers in your last post are big P, big UCC, big M, and little b?? :confused:
     
  20. Rev. Joshua

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    Since "baptist" in-and-of-itself is not a denominational identity, its adjectival use denotes an approach to church polity (see Leon McBeth for example).

    Joshua
     

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