Ordination Council Questions

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by untangled, Jun 4, 2005.

  1. untangled

    untangled
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    I was reading another thread and thought I would be more specific with another question along the same line. Could any ordained ministers give some examples of the questions you were asked by your council.

    For any of those that have been on a council, what questions did you ask?

    In Christ,

    Brooks
     
  2. El_Guero

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    Brooks,

    Focus upon Salvation, calling, Scripture, and the particular Baptist distinctives of your denomination (or association) ...

    God Bless,

    Wayne
     
  3. untangled

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    Thanks Brother. Do you think they will ask about different positions such as pretib, dispensationalism vs. covenent theology, etc.?????
     
  4. Bro. James Reed

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    Have they given you no clue about the questions they will ask?

    Ours usually give a copy of the questions tothe candidate well before the ordination.

    It shouldn't be a pop quiz with people trying to stump you.

    It should be about serious theological views and your well-studied beliefs about certain aspects of scripture.

    A man is worried enough about the impending responsibilities being placed on his shoulders without also feeling as if he has to cram the whole bible in preparation for his cumulative final exam.

    I hope they will at least give you time to study, if they don't before, the questions with scripture once they are asked.

    Has a date been set?
     
  5. untangled

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    Hey Brother James,

    No date has been set. My pastor will put one together soon. I'm being licensed next week, then he will start working on the ordination council. I used to be licensed in another denomination a while back until coming back to my Baptist roots. I know I probably will not be ordained until I get my first official ministry but my resumes are all over the place. God may have something in store for me soon.

    I know it works differently from church to church but there is probably some common ground. Do you know if I would be allowed to invite a specific minister to be on my council? Just wondering.


    IN Christ,

    Brooks
     
  6. Ulsterman

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    I have organnised a few ordination councils. Usually what I do is choose a council of twelve men. Six I choose, and six the candidate will choose. The council includes one or two deacons from our church.

    The candidate is asked to shgare his testimony of salvation and call to the ministry.

    The line of questioning follows the subject headings in our Articles of Faith. However practical questions relevent to the ministry may also come up which are not covered by the Article, such as marriage, divorce and remarriage or he may be asked about child rearing etc.

    I always caution the council members about splitting hairs and remind them that the candidate cannot be expected to agree with them about everything, but as long as he has a Scripturally based argument we should agree to disagree on the minor issues.

    Personally I would be surprised if the issue of dispensationalism vs. covenant theology did not come up.

    Hope this helps,

    David.
     
  7. untangled

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    Thanks David. I did not know deacons sat on ordination councils. I've never heard that.
     
  8. rlvaughn

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    Untangled, it is a very common thing in my area of the south for deacons to be part of a presbytery or ordination council. Some churches are moving away from the practice of ordaining deacons and therefore also from them being on a presbytery.

    As far as questions, the "standard" ones here are to ask for the candidate to give their experience of grace and call to the ministry, followed by questions on their beliefs on the Godhead, creation, virgin birth, the Bible, inspiration, crucifixion, resurrection, church, baptism, etc. Sometimes folks will get into questions on the millennium or such like. Seems also to be fairly standard for the church to grant requests of the candidate (such as a specific minister/ministers) if they can do so.
     
  9. Jensen

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    Both deacons & pastors were involved in my ordination.

    Anyone seen the line of questions that John MacArthur has in the back of one of his books (I think it is his pastoral "guidebook" he has in a series with preaching & counseling)? He gives some questions that he usues at his Masters Seminary. Wow!
     
  10. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    There were both deacons and pastors on my ordination council. Some I had requested and some the minister who organized the council selected. We did not have 12. I think 8 or 9 at the most.

    Have you prepared a statement of faith? I had a written prepared statement of faith that followed the format of the Baptist Faith and Message for my council. That not only forced me to document what I believed ahead of time but it also gave me a great resource during the questioning. Questions relating to articles of faith were pretty easy to handle because I had considered and prepared for them.

    What was more difficult were practical questions about marriage, divorce, remarriage, child rearing, and finances. Of course all the controversial issues we face in churches today came up (I was only ordained in 2002), women deacons, contemporary music, versions of the Bible, speaking in tongues, homosexuality, and politics.

    You want some specific questions?
    Here are two questions that were part of every council I have ever known about:
    Overall my council was a great experience. Some of the men had known me over 30 years while others met me that night. Several, I have remained close to and when I have questions in ministry I have been able to turn to them for help and advice since then.
     
  11. John Ellwood Taylor

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    Yes, very thorough! Nothing wrong with needing to have a very deep knowledge of the Scriptures, the ability to articulate them, and apply them practically.
    We expect the doctors who treat us to pass boards, so what's wrong with 'physicians of the soul' being at least equally proven.
    If this standard was kept high with integrity I feel we would have less problems (less pastors to be sure).

    I would recommend to ALL in leadership, not just for the appendix with their ordination process and council questions, but to gain a n accurate perspective on the pastoral ministry. It's called "Rediscovering Pastoral Ministry"
    Have my copy of "Rediscovering Expository Preaching" signed by John himself.
     
  12. baptistteacher

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    I had never heard of deacons being on the ordination council. Interesting. I guess it depends on the tradition of the group.

    I had 6 ordained ministers, a 7th was invited but unable to make it due to illness. Not all were active pastors, but all were important/influential to my own ministry.
     
  13. baptistteacher

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    My pastor gave me a list of questions, 2 pages in length. All the basics, including some of the issues that plague society and churches today.

    One question was, "If this council were to decide to not ordain you, what would your response be?" Quite a question, eh?
     
  14. Ulsterman

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    This is a traditional question which searches the committment of the candidate to his call. It has been asked at every ordination council I have been part of and usually signifies questioning is coming to a close.
     
  15. Dr. Bob

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    Key "hot=button" issues will be asked. Guaranteed.

    About Eschatology - rapture, pre/mid/post/, mill

    About Inspiration - KJVonly, innerancy

    About Ecclesiology - church, distinctives, separation/ecumenicism

    Also, the last dozen councils have started (after testimony, call, history) with the questions about "How do you see yourself matching each of these characteristics of an elder?"

    1 above reproach
    2 one woman man
    3 temperate
    4 prudent
    5 respectable
    6 hospitable
    7 able to teach,
    8 not addicted to wine
    9 not pugnacious
    10 gentle
    11 uncontentious
    12 not loving money
    13 manage household well
    14 children under control
    15 dignified
    16 not a new convert
    17 good reputation outside the church

    That should scare you really big-time!
     
  16. baptistteacher

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    from Ulsterman:

    Actually, this was one of if not the very first one in my case.

    I enjoyed my ordination service. I had enough training and experience and background that I knew what I believed, and knew the Scripture well enough to refer to it as neccesary.
     
  17. Pastor Larry

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    This is a traditional question which searches the committment of the candidate to his call. It has been asked at every ordination council I have been part of and usually signifies questioning is coming to a close. </font>[/QUOTE]This question, to me, is not a statement about commitment to a call, but rather about one's view of the authority of the church. Many people want to hear "I would preach anyway." That is the wrong answer. If a council made up of godly men who have walked with God decide you are not ready to be ordained, you better not go ahead. You need to sit down with those men, one on one, and find out why. God has called the church to produce leaders for the body. When the body decides you are not ready, you don't have the prerogative to disregard that statement.

    Of course, that assumes you have godly men on your council. If you don't, why are they there? If you do, why wouldn't you listen to them? Is one really so arrogant to think he knows better than these godly men do? If you are going to disregard their advice, why did you invite them?

    It is also misleading in terms of polity. A council can't ordain anyone. Only the church can. In baptist polity, the church body calls the council, and the council serves at the request of the body and makes a recommendation. The church body may decide to follow or not follow that recommendation.
     
  18. Ulsterman

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    Agreed on both points brother Larry. In my opinion a council should be called for the purpose of ordaining a man to office, not to preach. Anyone may freely preach, and most people who appear before an ordination council are already preaching in some capacity, but to hold church office requires the satisfaction of other Biblical criteria.

    On the second point, I think it is important the council knows they are acting on behalf of the church in examining the candidate, and that whilst their advise, be it positive or negative, will be considered with all gravity, ultimately the decision to ordain lies with the church which called the council together.

    That said, just as a candidate would be foolish to ignore the recommendations of a godly council, so too the church.
     

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