Good thoughts on language
[A]n essential part of the ordination exam ought to be a passage from some recognized theological work set for translation into vulgar English--just like doing Latin prose. Failure on this exam should mean failure on the whole exam. It is absolutely disgraceful that we expect missionaries to the Bantus to learn Bantu but never ask whether our missionaries to the Americans or English can speak American
Ordination floor exam advice
A friend of mine is standing for his ordination exams later this week. If you don't know what that means, here's a summary: after finishing a long written exam (or several) on theology, church history, church government, and Bible content, and an oral exam by a committee on the same, he will now stand before a whole presbytery (which is all of the ordained pastors in that region, plus representative
Bits and tidbits
April 22, 2008 11:50 AM | Transition, Ordination and Presbytery, Interviewing, Seminary Life, Ministry, Effective, Pastoral Transition, Candidacy
A few articles, posts, and other such have come to my attention recently that those in transition (or considering it) may find interesting. How a Presbyterian Minister Should Resign. Good thoughts here on the way that a resignation is approached-- not in a strictly businesslike manner, but with care and consideration for one's responsibilities as a Pastor and Presbyter. PCA Ministerial Glut. Back
Approaching the final year, part 3: Know the hurdles
What stands between you and your first pastorate or ministry? If you think it is only graduation and candidacy, you may be in for a big surprise.If you're affiliated with a denomination or other ecclesiastical affiliation-- or if you intend to serve in ministry in one-- there are probably additional requirements beyond the simple academic exercises. Most denominations have some sort of formalized process
ordination and you
I was examined by the Credentials Committee of Covenant Presbytery today, and they approved me for recommendation for ordination. This is huge, and it really feels great to get this step behind me. My friend Michael compares the completion of ordination to the struggle that consumes the movie Poseidon Adventure-- not a bad analogy.Almost anyone emerging from seminary and entering ministry will be "ordained"
Blogging GA, day five: final thoughts
I came today from the PCA's General Assembly, riding home with the staff from Covenant Seminary who had gone to GA to work the exhibition booth. We had a safe trip home, stopping in Sikeston, MO at Lambert's Cafe for some "throwed rolls." The guys I rode with were great traveling companions, and I feel like I came away with new friends.I was talking with one of my former classmates about the expense
Blogging GA, day three: making more connections
I continued today to find that General Assembly is a profitable venue for making connections toward candidacy. Without digging into too many details, here's a quick synopsis of Wednesday's productivity:My friends and former classmates continued to offer me help and tips in finding leads to new opportunities-- through them I met no less than five new people today, all of whom had opportunities to share
Blogging GA, day two: a day of "grip and grin"
After resting in relief of my near-miss and God's protection, I rose this morning and returned (by bus) to the Cook Convention Center. General Assembly (GA) doesn't officially begin until this evening, but there is a lot going on today, and I'll certainly be able to make connections and see people.And see people I did. I had e-mailed or called a number of people I knew and asked them to find some time
Blogging General Assembly, day one: A mighty Protector is He
I made arrangements to attend the Presbyterian Church in America's (PCA's) General Assembly this week. For you non-PCA folk, General Assembly is the annual meeting of the denomination for the business of the church as a denomination. And in the PCA, every church in the denomination may send delegates-- both Ruling Elders and Teaching Elders (Pastors)-- so there are a lot of PCA people here; over 1200
Ordination humor points
January 31, 2007 09:54 AM | Ordination and Presbytery
Ordination is part of the transition process. Period.(Or transfer of ordination, if you are already ordained.)This is something that many guys miss, and don't account for in their process. But as I've blogged about before, if you fail to attend to the steps leading to it you can curtail your progress in candidacy.As I've been thinking about issues over the last two days, a few anecdotes of how
Understanding Presbytery Internships
January 19, 2007 09:00 AM | Ordination and Presbytery
A friend and former classmate will be graduating in May. He confessed to me today that he would not be prepared to transition into ministry at that time, however, because he hadn't completed his Presbytery Internship.In the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), anyone who would be ordained for ministry must complete an Internship. In most cases, it is difficult to get a call to a pastoral position
There has been a lot of interest recently in what pastors get paid-- specifically, what are some averages of salaries for pastors in the PCA.(I know this is a bit esoteric, but consider that the PCA is a growing evangelical denomination-- basically what conservative denominations WANT to be-- and so it therefore a "typical" example.)The Administrative Committee of the PCA does a good job of tracking
Transition no. 8 (last): Floor exams for ordination
The floor examination has a clear purpose: to test your readiness for ministry.Notice: I didn't say, “test your knowledge” or “test your theological acuity.” This is a test of how ready you are for the day-to-day, hour-by-hour work of ministry.A little background-- when a Candidate for Gospel Ministry pursues ordination in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), he will be
“The system” and some solutions
The gist of the problem: grassroots organization in the PCA leads to no substantive leadership in the transition process for candidate-churches or candidate-pastors.In the corporate world, a similar problem is solved by folks colloquially referred to as “headhunters”: someone who serves as an agent of sorts for potential employees, even offering advice on the job market and salary package
“The system” and its problems
A recent conversation forced me to reflect on why the current “system” of placement in my denomination works the way it does; specifically, why it often seems like pastors are just shuffling around from one position to another. Is most pastoral transition in the PCA the result of a “grass is always greener” mentality, as my friend suggested?I don't know if I can answer that;
Networking in the PCA
“It's like 'old home week' for you,” my friend Craig commented to me. We had only been at the Presbyterian Church in America's (PCA's) General Assembly for a few minutes, but I had already greeted a dozen people. What gives?What gives is the very reason I went to General Assembly: what happens in the church is all about relationships, and Craig saw this starkly in only a few moments.
Preparing for a new pastor, part three
The next step in preparing for a new pastor is to understand the pastor's work. That is, if we know with confidence that he is called to be a pastor, what does that mean that he is called to do, practically speaking?Pastors, the Scripture tells us, are “Elders” and “Overseers” of the church. As such, they have duties distinct from other roles of leadership. For example, in
The benefits of denominationalism...
...Or, at least, one benefit: the process is a lot cleaner. I was corresponding with the Real Live Preacher briefly about this, and he confessed that, being in a more independent church context, he had always found that, "there are as many ways to do this as there are churches, it seems. No rules, and a lot of mistakes." I appreciate his honesty about it, and it causes me to recognize the great
A little more on issues...
November 26, 2004 01:51 PM | Ordination and Presbytery, Interviewing, Seminary Life, Church Research
Working through this recent question about "hot topic" theological issues has made me aware of the level of discernment required for candidacy, and I must say I am surprised at this. Since my denomination-- the Presbyterian Church in America-- holds to a fairly high confessional standard, I never would have guessed that theological discernment would be a major concern in the candidacy process. I
On discernment, caution, and "issues"
November 21, 2004 11:49 PM | Ordination and Presbytery, Interviewing, Seminary Life, Church Research
We received some information from a church the other day that was striking. To begin with, Marcie and I were both quite surprised at the fundamentally high quality of the material; this was, by far, the most articulate and helpful information I have ever seen from a candidate-church. They provided a good introduction to the church, some basic demographics, and details about what the committee views