Ordination Council & Questions

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Johnathon E, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. Johnathon E

    Johnathon E
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    Greetings Everyone,

    I was recently chosen as pastor of my church after serving as interim for the past three months. This is my first pastorate after serving as a lay minister for several years and as such I must next go before an ordination council and be ordained.

    I was wondering if anyone could share their experiences of going before an ordination council. What sort of questions were asked?

    I have to admit I am a little nervous. I'm approaching it the same way I used to prepare for a Marine Corps promotion board - lot's of study and lot's of prayer! Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. TomVols

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    I was asked point by point if I agreed with the Baptist Faith and Message by the chair of the Presby. Then, individual members asked varying questions based on doctrine or practical ministry issues. Most of the questions were practical in nature. One was: "A non-immersed person comes forward and asks for church membership. Step by step, what do you do?"

    I have to admit, I was pretty nervous. This was done by men I had admired my whole life. Giants. The Presby chair was considered the Pope of Baptists in this part of the state.

    Hopefully, you'll be quizzed on doctrine and praxis. I think it's a detriment to avoid either, though theology seems shunned more now. I was on one council that asked one question of the minister, and that was one I asked on a doctrinal matter. The rest of the council looked at me like I had a foot growing out of my forehead.

    Who will comprise your council? When is the council meeting? Is it just before the service, or days in advance?
     
  3. Johnathon E

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    We have two deacons at the church so they will be on the council along with area pastors and deacons from the association. The associational DOM will be serving as the moderator. Originally they had hoped to do this before Christmas but due to scheduling difficulties it looks like it will be after New Years. Right now the plan is to have the council meet that Sunday afternoon and the service that evening.

    I hope they do ask about the Baptist Faith and Message and practical matters. I agree that asking where I stand on important issues of faith should be a part of the process. My biggest concern is that I have not attended seminary (though I am working towards it) and I am afraid they may ask me about an obscure doctrinal point or question my knowledge of Greek or Hebrew - which is pretty much non existent.

    Thank you for the quick reply and information!
     
  4. tinytim

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    Our ordination process seems simpler than it appears yours is.
    For background.. I was ordained by an ABC/USA church in the WV Baptist Convention.

    We have a suggested manual for ordination..
    And each Candidate has to write an ordination paper stating his beliefs on the important aspect of theology, his calling, his service, his education, denominational loyalty, and his willingness to accept our code of ethics... The candidate then reads this before the association ordination committee.. the committee makes suggestions.. the candidate edits the paper.. then comes before the ordination council, reads his paper, section by section and submits to questions on each section. Then if he is approved the ordination service will be 2 or more weeks from this date.

    Most of the time.. because of the reading before the ordination committee, and the work done on the paper, there are not many questions that need to be answered.
    If the candidate writes a good paper, all the major questions will be answered before they are asked.
     
  5. Johnathon E

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    Very interesting. It sounds like I will be doing the same thing only verbally instead of in a written paper. I'm not sure which one I would personally prefer... :confused:

    Thanks for the info.
     
  6. tinytim

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    I am looking for a link to our ordination procedures.. I will post it shortly... it may help although your are SBC.. our basics are the same.
     
  7. tinytim

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  8. Jkdbuck76

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    My background: I'm an ordained deacon. I've been on ordination councils for both deacons and pastors. I am also a licensed minister, but not ordained.

    Questions I've heard and have asked:

    1. Do you meet the Biblical qualifications for becoming a Pastor?
    2. Does your wife support your call to the ministry?
    3. Share your personal testimony?
    4. Is the Bible the complete Word of God? Or does it "contain" the Word of God?
    5. What is your view of women pastors?
    6. What is your view of openly h*m*s3xual men in the Pastorate?
    7. What are the two ordinances we baptists observe?
    8. Describe your call to Pastoral ministry?
    9. What are your plans for future theological study?
    10. How are we saved?
    11. Have you lead people to Christ?
    12. Do you take care of your debts?
    13. Do you get drunk?
    14. Are you "of one wife"?
    15. Do you tithe?
    16. Who is in charge of the Church?
    17. Should a church go into debt in order to do construction projects?
    18. What is your thought on speaking in tongues, holy laughter and other charismatic things?
    19. What are the two offices of the church?
    20. EXTRA CREDIT: Fried chicken: man's invention or God's gift to us all?

    These are just a few. I hope this helps. You, brother, are in my prayers.
    I hope that God is really calling you into this.
     
  9. Johnathon E

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  10. Johnathon E

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    LOL on that last question :laugh: that one will definitely be asked!

    Thank you very much for the questions and the prayer. they are both helpful and appreciated.

    Johnathon E.
     
  11. TomVols

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    I like how TinyTim's went. Some SBC churches do this with standing ordination councils in the associations. Whatever method, I prefer the council to meet well in advance of the ordination itself. What happens if during the q & a, it surfaces that the candidate approves of homosexual marriage, denies the divinity of Christ, etc.? Do you go upstairs and cancel the service where all the family are waiting?

    Some IFB churches I know start the service, have the council go meet, then come back up and finish the service. At one church, the man they were ordaining admitted to living with a woman not his wife and he stated he would not stop. The church went ahead with the ordination. ("We can't send all these people home!" They cried).

    I think the best way is to do the examination ahead of time. I like a combination of submitting some questions in writing but having to do Q & A verbally, interview style, so to speak. We have to think things through in pastoral ministry, but some reactions and decisions must come immediately.
     
  12. Johnathon E

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    Excellent point and I agree. As I told the church during the pastor search, I want them to take their time to make sure they are following God's will just as I took the time to make sure I was following His will.

    I assume that since I have also been an active member of the church for the past six years that they have a good feeling on where I stand on the core issues and expect no "big" surprises. However, I know not every ordination situation is like this.

    My plan right now is to write out a statement of beliefs using a format similar to the one tinytim provided and include answers to practical questions as well. The council will probably never see it, but it will help me clarify my thoughts on the issues so that I do not fumble in my answers.

    Thank you again everyone!

    Johnathon
     
  13. tinytim

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    Johnathon...

    If you write something, I would submit it to the council even if they don't ask for it.

    Plus you could do what I did.. When I framed my ordination certificate, I put a copy of my position paper behind it in the frame.. that way my kids, grandkids, etc.. .will know my positions if they ever read it...

    When I wrote it, I took pride in what I did.. and made sure it was the best written piece I had ever written because I wanted it to be part of my legacy.
     
  14. SolaSaint

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    That's a neat idea tinytim.

    To our young candidate, I would add this; you know if God's call is on you, so I would not fret too much, since God is calling you and especially as you say you've been in this church for a long time now. Just have your core doctrinal beliefs down into a precise answer and trust in God. You're already doing the best thing you can do by praying about it. :praying:
     
  15. tinytim

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    Sorry double post
     
    #15 tinytim, Dec 4, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2009
  16. puros_bran

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    During the Ordination Council I was asked about my prayer life, and my study of the Scripture. There was very little else asked after I basically delivered a sermon on the matter... :tongue3: I didn't mean to, I was just so nervous I wanted to make sure they understood exactly where I stand and what I mean.

    My advice is to just stay in prayer and the Word, be 100% honest with every question, and don't worry.

    Tinys paper deal would be a good thing even if you aren't required to write one. It will clarify and focus your thoughts, as a bonus you may be allowed to carry it with you to the meeting.
     
  17. TomVols

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    Interesting that you mention the preaching of a sermon. I've actually seen the candidate have to do this a few times. Anyone else seen or experienced this?
     
  18. Johnathon E

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    Interesting idea... I will give it some thought. I may ask the two deacons from my church to what their opinion is. My hesitation on giving them what I write is that it may appear I am trying to change the system and make me look arrogant, even though that would not be my intention. (Then again, sometimes I over think things! :BangHead:)

    I love your idea about putting a copy behind the ordination certificate. That is awesome!

    Thanks again!

    Johnathon
     
  19. John Toppass

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    I would think that the candidate had already preached sermons. I would question the need to do this before a council.
     
  20. Johnathon E

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    Do you mean during the ordination council? Shouldn't the minister being considered have done a few sermons before the church prior to ordination?
     

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