Ordination

Last night I was at the ordination council for Owen Juhlke at Durham Baptist Church.  In our denomination (Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec), the way ordination works is that we have an ordination council one week and an ordination service the next week.  An ordination council is when the candidate presents their ordination statement, which includes their testimony, call to ministry, theology and philosophy of ministry.  Afterwards, delegates ask the candidate questions of clarification and then vote on whether to accept the candidate for ordination.  Thankfully, Owen did great and passed with flying colours.

Having gone through this myself nine years ago, I was reflecting on what an awesome task it is for us to try and put together a human process to deal with a divine calling.  The fact is, what matters is what God is calling the person to.  At the same time, individuals and churches can be mistaken as to the difference between a personal desire and the call of God.  That is where we need a process like this.

It could be asked: is ordination even necessary?  There have been some great ministers throughout history who never were formally ordained.  Of course it is not absolutely necessary.  But I do think in local church ministry it is a very good thing, as it provides a means of accountability.  I am glad that I went through the process and that it continues for others.

Congratulations Owen, and may God continue to bless your ministry!

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One thought on “Ordination”

  1. It certainly provides affirmation for the candidate. Vince was sharing a story on the way home explaining why our association does a council examination one week and the actual service the following week. Thre was an incident in our church several decades ago where the candidate was examined in the afternoon amd the service of ordination was in the evening. In this particular instance, it became clear that the delegation did not want to affirm the candidate for various reasons, but they felt obligated because his family had all come and there were many guests who had travelled a great distance. So he was affirmed. It was later moved and passed at an association meeting that ordination councils would be held completely separte from Ordination services so that this could never happen again.

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