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?
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.