Each of the Annual Conferences (Good Shepherd is in the Western North Carolina Annual Conference) selects its Board to evaluate, test, interview, and ultimately decide upon candidates for ordination. Back when I was going through this particular valley of the shadow of death, it was a two pronged system: the Board approved me as a deacon in 1989 and an elder in 1992.
Today, the nomenclature is different, but I believe the process is virtually the same.
Which brings me back to the interview sessions themselves: tension-filled gatherings in which difficult questions get asked and serious advice gets given.
Here are some things that, given the theological makeup of not only the UMC but those likely to be selected to serve on the Board Of Ordained Ministry, you just will never quite hear.
So: pre-trib, mid-trib, or post-trib?
Do you put your right hand or your left hand on the small of the candidate’s back as you baptize them by immersion?
What’s your favorite John Haggee book?
When you pray in tongues, is it more likely to happen in private devotions or during worship on a Sunday morning?
We won’t ordain you this year, but if you spend the next 12 months shoring up on your John Piper, you should be good to go.
Tell us how you are modeling your marriage after Mr. Wesley himself.
When are you taking your youth group to Hell’s Flames & Heaven’s Gates?
You’re a new parent? Congratulations! When’s the dedication service?
Your best continuing education is a daily dose of “The Heart Of The Matter.”