When the church says no

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.

So question:

  • 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.


One thought on “When the church says no

  1. I hope that your church welcomed you back with open arms.

    I hope that they showed you love and compassion and grace.

    I know how much it hurts – I have been there and it does ease, it does get better, but it does take time.


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