While different churches and denominations vary on the process of ordination, the process is very important. Ordination is meant to have a church set apart a minister of the gospel.
Ordination doesn’t make a pastor but it does affirm a calling.
The job of an ordination council is to determine: has God truly called this aspiring pastor to the ministry?
While serving on numerous ordination councils, I have heard all types of questions. Different pastors will ask varying theological, practical, devotional, and personal questions to ascertain one’s calling.
I recently developed a questionnaire to be given to the candidate before the council.
- Some of the items are categories to consider.
- Some of the items are pieces of content to prepare.
- Some of the items are expectations of which the candidate needs to study.
This isn’t a perfect list, but maybe it will help you prepare to serve on an ordination council or to prepare for your ordination council.
Questions for Ordination
- What is your testimony?
- How would you explain the gospel to someone?
- How long have you felt the call to ministry? Tell how you came to this leading.
- Prayerfully consider the claims of 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-5. While no potential or practicing pastor epitomizes these perfectly, are you exemplifying these traits of a pastor? Which are your strongest? Which are your weakest?
- Prepare to answer major thematic questions from the Bible. Are you confident in primary doctrinal issues?
- How accepting is your spouse regarding your call to ministry?
- Who has affirmed your call into the ministry?
- Is there anyone who would be shocked to hear you are going into the ministry?
- Prepare a simple outline for how you would preach through a book of the Bible. Choose either Ruth, Habakkuk, 1 Corinthians, 2 Timothy, or James. Divide the book into individual sermons. You do not need to provide an outline for the sermons. You do need to provide a breakdown of which verses you would use for each week, sample title and description for each week. This is to show you are able to teach (1 Tim. 3:2).
- Consider if the council refuses ordination at this time. What would you do?