Ordination Questions?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by TCGreek, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. TCGreek

    TCGreek
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    Does anyone have a link to a set of Ordination questions for one entering pastoral ministry?

    I have a few, but I want to do a comparison.

    Thank you,
    TCG
     
  2. HankD

    HankD
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    First of all it is my opinion that neither the ceremony and/or the questions are necessary. God calls the man.

    However, it is something that is desirable because Church leadership must protect the flock from the wolves in sheep's clothing.

    In my own case it was done privately. I had been the Assistant to the Pastor of the local Church where I was for quite a bit of time.

    The Church membership wanted it, the elders (it was a Baptist Church that had elders as well as deacons) wanted it. I agreed but I didn't want it to be public.

    There were only a couple of questions because they all knew me.
    It was announced to the Church later.

    I don't know if it's an urban (church-style) legend or not but when Spurgeon was asked why he didn't want to be ordained he replied "I don't want anyone's empty hands on my empty head".

    Anyway the essentials IMO are :

    Affirmation of salvation with the candidate's testimony.
    Affirmation of the doctrine of the Trinity with a further discussion of the meaning of "the Word became Flesh".
    Affirmation of salvation by grace through faith apart from works.
    Affirmation of the inspiration and infalliblility of the written Word of God.
    Affirmation of OSAS.
    Affirmation that God has called the candidate to preach the Gospel.
    Affirmation of seeking purity of life.

    There are many other qualifiers and I am sure that some will find this list wholly inadequate. It is merely my own opinion. These are at very least essential.

    In reality there is probably no adequate list.

    Typing in "baptist ordination questions" gives 207,000 links in a GOOGLE search.

    NAS 1 Timothy 5:22 Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and thus share responsibility for the sins of others; keep yourself free from sin.​



    HankD
     
    #2 HankD, Nov 16, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2008
  3. Tom Bryant

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    If you are a denominational church, you might ask questions about topics that the denomination holds as vital.

    We're an SBC church so we ask (once the salvation, biblical inerrancy, person of Christ etc are answered) about cooperative missions, their stand concerning Calvinism, tongues and other "hot topic" questions.
     
  4. preachinjesus

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    I think ordination questions depend upon who the committee is interviewing. Usually, I make sure that there is a robust investigation into the theology behind the person's calling to ministry. We live in a time where one can simply dial up a website for a faux ordination. Ministers need to be theologically sound and well rooted in their faith.

    I suggest two questions:
    1. Name the books of the Bible in order from beginning to end.
    2. What does salvation mean to you?

    These seem to help elludicate where the candidate is coming from.

    I can definitely get you a list of my questions from the counsel for my ordination. Many prayers for the council. :)
     
  5. tinytim

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    Check this out.. .here is our (West Virginia Baptist Convention... which is ABC/USA) manual on ordination.
    http://wvbc.ab.edu/Ordination Web/PDF/Manual.pdf



    I had to write a paper covering the subjects in the manual...
    For instance here is my doctrinal statement on God...
    http://revtinytim.blogspot.com/2008/01/doctrinal-statement-continued-god.html

    To read more go to http://revtinytim.blogspot.com/2008_01_01_archive.html
    They are spread out on this page...

    After I wrote the paper, I met with the council... who went over the paper with me clarifying what I meant in someplaces.... and then I did a re-write... with the clarifications...

    The day of my ordination, I got to read my Doctrinal Statement to the church.. and accepted questions from the council on my paper...

    They could only ask questions pertaining to the subjects that I was required to write about. This kept everyone on the same tract.

    Then the Council voted... and the service continued.

    When my dad was ordained, he didn't have to write a paper... but they set him up front and he had to answer any question the council asked...
    on anything.. from questions like, "Where in the Bible is the story of Zacheus" to "tell us what Justification means" ...
    He suffered through about 2 hours of random questions...

    I feel this is a very ineffective way of measuring someone's ability to minister.

    I like the way our denomination does it.. .
    More things are revealed and the council really gets to know the candidate!
     
    #5 tinytim, Nov 16, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 16, 2008
  6. annsni

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    When my husband was preparing to be ordained, we had 9 pastors - 5 who needed to be ordained and 4 that already were. What our senior pastor chose to do was to meet every three weeks and go through the different topics of doctrine. These were from the outline in the book Great Doctrines of the Bible by Evans. Each time they met, they needed to be prepared to teach the particular doctrine and a name would be pulled from a hat. The names were the ordination candidates AND the ordained pastors. So while not everyone had to present their material, they had to be ready to do so. It took them a year and a half to go through it all (because there were some additional topics that were needed to be included as questions and comments were brought up). By the end, they were pretty much completely prepared AND had been in front of other pastors (because we'd have some guest pastors come during these meetings - pastors who we've partnered with and such). The ordained pastors and the other pastors were then the ones to confirm the candidates and ended up there for the ordination and the laying on of hands. It was really neat.

    All of the pastors are now doing the same thing working through the issue of interpreting the Bible. It's more study and can be intense but it's a great way for everyone to learn - to study and be ready to teach on the topic. Oh - and whenever they've been picked to teach the topic, they have to field questions from the other pastors who have also studied the topic.
     
  7. jonathan.borland

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    Can a church ordain someone without other ordained pastors present? I've never heard of this but I was just wondering. After examination, maybe the ordained deacons would lay their hands on him and pray for him and affirm the Lord's calling on his life?
     
  8. TCGreek

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    Thanks guys. I just needed another list for comparative reasons. :thumbs:
     
  9. sag38

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    I'm curious. Why would being able to name the 66 books of the Bible be a good question? Seems a bit over the top to me. I'm not sure I could have done it when ordained and even now without a stumble or two especially when it comes to the minor prophets. I guess the candidate would need to spell all the books properly too. Boy, then I would be in trouble.
     
  10. tinytim

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    \


    Yes... I have seen churches do it.. after the council recommends against it!

    It is a very touchy situation when this happens...
     
  11. annsni

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    Really? I learned the books of the Bible in 4th grade and my older 2 memorized them when they were around that age too. We used an audio tape called "Bible Break" which was the books of the Bible put to music. It was cute and now as teens, they still remember the books by heart. I don't see why it would be over the top for a pastor especially.
     
  12. mcdirector

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    I learned them in a song - one for the old and one for the new. I don't recommend that personlly because it is nearly impossible for me to say even now them without breaking out in one or the other tune. When you see me bobbing my head in church - you know I'm locating a book mentally . . .

    I don't think it's too much either to expect those that teach the Bible to know the books - generally speaking. (sag - I do think it's ok to stumble at the minor prophets ;) ). I expect chemistry teachers to know the periodic table. My first thought when I saw it was it seems rather simplistic for an ordination question since all it tells us is that the person can memorize.
     
  13. Jim1999

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    In the Fellowship where I was ordained, the local church has the responsibility to ordain a pastor. The church invites other pastors to attend a meeting and ask questions of the candidate. Nothing is pre-prepared. The questioning is random and at the whim of those in attendance.

    The meeting starts with the lead deacon introducing the candidate. The candidate them gives a brief testimony and statement of theological standing. I can't understand anyone wanting to be a pastor and not knowing the books of the Bible. What on earth did they study in Bible College or seminary?

    The meeting then makes their recommendation to the deacons who then proceed to either ordain or reject the candidate. There is a laying on of hands and blessings on the pastor. The secretary of the Fellowship then signs a document announcing the ordination to the candidate and to the government.

    Ordination has more to do with a local church requirement and a government requirement. It certainly isn't biblical.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  14. PeterM

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    Certainly valuable, but not necessarily an essential. My ordination council was good but being as young as I was, I had some fear walking into the experience. With my wife sitting next to me, if you asked me her name I may have stumbled.

    I would think that the essentials include what have been mentioned by a few others:

    1. Being able to articulate your personal testimony and call to ministry in a cogent manner.

    2. Being able to speak to some clear doctrinal positions that are consistent within the church/denomination in question.

    3. Speak to the role and responsibilities of the spouse (if the candidate is married or engaged). It would be good if she was in the room and given the opportunity to share.

    4. Be able to articulate a general philosophy of ministry. It is important for us to remember that not every ordained minister is a "preacher" necessarily. Questions should be tailored to the specific calling or position in ministry.
     
  15. Jim1999

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    I am thinking we need to rethink who the officers of a church are and the reason we ordain ministers or pastors. In the old days, ordination had two reasons: local church leadership and governmental requirements....period. Nothing beyond the local church really matters, and in Spurgeon's mind, ordination didn't matter at all.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  16. TCGreek

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    Jim, Spurgeon is a hero of mine. But I believe he got that one wrong.

    Ordination is a staple of both Testaments.
     
  17. Jim1999

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    My dear friend, you would be hard-pressed to show me by scripture the manmade rite of ordination.

    The offices of pastors and deacons do indeed exist clearly, but the closest we come to a rite of ordination is the selection of another deacon and that was by lot...Goodness, roll the die and select a deacon!

    I am not doubting the call of God to ministry and the church affirming that call by majority vote, but that is about as clear as it gets.

    The rite of ordination gives us the title of reverend, which many of us despise, but still it is there.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  18. LeBuick

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    Interesting perspective, do you feel a brother should demonstrate that calling? Be tested to show he is studied and sound in doctrine? One who is set to defend the Gospel?

    Also, I thought anyone who preaches had the title Rev. I didn't know it was limited to the ordained.
     
  19. Jim1999

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    Interesting perspective, do you feel a brother should demonstrate that calling? Be tested to show he is studied and sound in doctrine? One who is set to defend the Gospel?
    -----------------------------------------

    Indeed all these things and possibly more. Believe me, when I was ordained in 1948, the testing was very strict, and it was all done from the floor without any prior briefing. In my day modernism was getting a foothold in some baptist quarters and the questioning was quite rigid.

    In Canada, the title Reverend comes with ordination and it is required for government activities such as weddings, funerals and birth registrations.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  20. preachinjesus

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    If one claims to be a strict biblicist and even someone who affirms inerrancy one should be expected, especially if called and trained for the ministry to have this kind of basic knowledge readily accessible.

    Here is one of my major problems with the state of the modern day clergyman. We have a great wealth of people who can attest to a divine calling and even give terrific messages but are utterly devoid of a reasonable measure of biblicism. It is tragic.

    Pastors are called, in Scripture, to be pastor-theologians. We are to occupy our pulpits with the grace of God and wisdom which He has given us. To be a pastor is a great calling and one which should expect excellence at all points.

    Right now we have droves of young men leaving our gleaming seminaries with degrees but no true knowledge of essential ministry things. If we were to have a simple exit exam of basic biblical truths and theological facts the bulk would fail misserably. One of the tragic weaknesses of evangelicalism is the scandal of the mind and intellect that is continually neglected from our pulpits.

    Too often many of the ordination councils I have sat on have been exercises in intellectual and spiritual timidity. We need more robust counsels that challenge our young men who are called to ministry. You believe in the eternal security? Great! Let's find out why according to Scripture.

    There must be a pressing concern for men who are called by God to maintain their local assemblies with that same excellence and fervor which premeated the church in its earliest days. Evangelicalism has, by and large, lost those traits. We have men who are able to give wonderful sermons and lessons on feel good truths, but can't operate to save their lives in a market for the mind and souls of those under their sheperherding.

    Not saying we need to go completely academic and be ensconched in our ivory towers. That isn't ministry. But we should expect some level of biblicism and biblical literacy. Our people are illiterate enough, we don't need more blind leading the blind. :)
     

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