I faced an ordination council today. I spent three and a half hours addressing my salvation experience, call to ministry, preparation for ministry, view of ordination, and doctrinal statements. I answered questions from how Jesus fulfills the three roles of prophet, priest, and king to whether or not Jonah really spent three days inside the belly of a fish to whether or not I doubted or questioned the salvation experience I had when I was eight years old.
About an hour into it, I had a pretty strong sense of how it was going to go. After the council deliberated in their executive session, they called me back in for the verdict:
- They sensed clearly my call to ministry
- They sensed clearly that I am gifted for ministry
- They sensed clearly that I exhibit godliness
- They were concerned that I did not defend my doctrinal statements from Scripture
- The council recommended that I not be ordained at this time.
- Joe Churchmember has essentially just been told that I am not currently fit for ministry. How do I minister to him and his family? How to I continue to pick out the order of service and seek to construct the education ministry of the church when a council of like-minded pastors thinks I am doctrinally undeveloped and/or immature for ministry?
It is all fresh – the council only ended about three hours ago, so I am sure I talk out of deep-seated emotions that a more rational and calm state of mind will soothe. But I am concerned for my ability to be an effective minister in this church. We’ll have to see how the church responds in the coming days.