How to Ordain Someone

by Barbara Stanley

Ordination is a process in which men of God affirm the calling of others into a life of ministry to God's people. When others participate in ordaining someone to serve as a minister or a deacon in church services, they are declaring themselves witnesses to the life of the person being ordained. Ordination serves as validation that God has chosen the person to serve in the church in some manner. Men and women have become ordained ministers without ever going to a seminary or receiving a license.

Baptist ministers follow ordination instructions from the New Testament.

Issue an order that provides the candidate for ordination with power and authority. Only God-called men have the right to bestow power and authority to another person. According to Exchanged Life's Church Vision: Pastors are Ordained by God, the call and ordination comes from God, based on Romans 13:1 and John 15:16. An ordination committee nominates a candidate for clerk at the ceremony. The moderator introduces the candidate for ordination and asks for two or three members to bear witness to the character of the candidate

The host pastor leads the ordination ceremony with prayer and scripture reading.

Ask the pastor of the ordaining church to lead everyone present in prayer. The pastor customarily reads scripture from 1Timothy 3:1-7, which describes a worthy candidate for ordination. Also listed in scripture are the things that disqualify a person from being ordained: a single man, a divorced man and a man whose household is not under his control. It is customary for the pastor to ask, "Does anyone know of any reason why this person should not be ordained?"

In some churches, everyone wears white for the ordination.

Ask questions of the candidate for ordination about his reason for wanting to be ordained, his church activities, his faith and anything that must be made known before voting. The candidate will have an opportunity to speak after the questioning to clarify any issue. He will then leave the room as the pastor and committee discuss their votes and come to a consensus. There may be a "yes" vote, a "no" vote or a "hold" vote. A "hold" vote would be given if further information is needed before the candidate can be ordained.

Ask the candidate to return. A member of the committee or council will announce the vote. There must be a 90 percent vote for "yes" or no more than one "no" vote. Set a date for the ordination. The certificate is signed the day of the vote. The ceremony is an opportunity for the family of the newly ordained to witness and participate. The ordination committee or council and the pastor will read scripture and lay hands on the ordained.

Tip

  • "The Encyclopedia of Southern Baptists" says that a minister's ordination can be revoked because of gross sin or gross doctrine. The revocation should only be initiated by the church in which he is a member. No other body has disciplinary authority over him.

Warning

  • Check with your local county clerk's office to get the requirements before performing a wedding ceremony. Each state and local government has specific requirements.

About the Author

Barbara Stanley has been writing since 2003. Her stories have appeared in many national publications such as "Country Woman," "Wildbird," "Grit," "Capper's" and over a dozen more. She has a story on past loves published in the book, "If only I Could Tell You." Stanley has studied at the Pearl River Community College and the University of Southern Mississippi.

Photo Credits

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