The Center for Pastoral Formation

Ordination Path

 

 

 

 

“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-13).

Through pastoral formation in the Free Methodist Church—USA, we seek to develop the heart, head, and hands of women and men called into ministry through a process involving mentoring relationships, academic courses, and practical hands-on ministry leading toward the following outcomes:

Heart

Head

Hands

Characterized by spiritual maturity and a strong sense of a call to ministry.

Shaped by the spiritual disciplines

Roots identity and calling firmly in Christ

Models a Spirit-led life of holiness.

Demonstrates biblical understanding.

Possesses holistic, biblical knowledge

Has a Wesleyan hermeneutic that accepts the authority of Scripture

Demonstrates ability to root their Wesleyan worldview in the Bible

Demonstrates fruitfulness in ministry.

Has a track record of transformational preaching/teaching/leading

Personally and corporately engages in evangelism

Able to build and maintain healthy and diverse faith communities

Demonstrates a high level of self-awareness.

Understands and articulates their strengths and weaknesses

Builds teams around blind spots

Knows how their leadership/communication style impacts others both positively and negatively

Demonstrates a Wesleyan Theological Integration.

Knows and embraces the history, polity, Articles of Religion, and core values of the Free Methodist Church

Articulates Wesleyand distinctives compellingly

Understands and embraces Wesleyan relational theology

Embraces ministry of justice and compassion

Challenges injustice and discrimination wherever it is found

Engages local and global needs of the broken and poor

Continually focuses ministry on the margin, seeking to emancipate all who exist within enslaving systems

Lives a well-balanced life that can sustain the demands of ministry.

Attends adequately to physical, emotional, and mental needs

Schedules regular time for play and recreation

Lives a simple life, free of unhealthy addiction and compulsion

Has a theological education commensurate with ordained ministry

Has completed an undergraduate degree

Has completed some graduate work in theology

Models and promotes lifelong learning

Operates as a servant-leader

Promotes the development of others

Serves the local and global church, demonstrating cross-cultural competency

Creates healthy ministry environments characterized by safety and non-judgment

Lives a life shaped by love for others.

Prioritizes spouse and children (if applicable)

Builds and maintains close, healthy relationships with people inside and outside of the church

Cultivates relationships of confession and accountability

Has an ecumenical posture toward the Church and the world

Actively seeks to build and maintain bridges among fellow Christian groups

Demonstrates an appreciation for the contribution of other Christian traditions while wholeheartedly embracing our own

Demonstrates a growing appreciation for humanity and value for all people regardless of their belief system

Empowers others to discover and function within their God-given design

Demonstrates wholehearted support for women in ministry

Facilitates and promotes multicultural community and staff

Actively helps others discover their brilliance

Models humility

Remains teachable and accepts corrections when given

Maintains a non-defensive posture toward leaders, followers, and peers

Willingly seeks the perspective of others

Possesses the ability to practically apply learning

Demonstrates an ability to make complex theology understandable to all

Demonstrates an ability to find God’s redemptive activity in daily life

Demonstrates an ability to deepen faith through real-life experiences

Leads with creativity and vision

Seeks best practices of contextual and culturally relevant ministry

Envisions alternatives and successfully leads others toward more creative and effective outcomes

Casts compelling vision and develops strategic plans to accomplish it

This three-fold approach is applied to two separate paths:  that leading toward Conference Deacon or that leading toward ordination as an Elder.  When one senses a call to ministry, s/he will meet with their local church pastor to begin a process of prayerful discernment.  If the individual, the pastor, and the church board are in agreement, the woman or man sensing a call to ministry will begin the journey at the first stage as a Local Ministerial Candidate (LMC).  After a certain pre-determined level of mentoring, coursework, and ministry experience is met, the candidate and mentor will prayerfully determine the next steps:  apply their training to continued lay ministry, enter the path toward Conference Deacon, or begin the path of Conference Ministerial Candidate (CMC) toward possible ordination as Elder in the Free Methodist Church.

To read more about this process, please click here:  Book of Discipline Excerpts for Ministerial Candidates.