Church leadership: Ordained or not?

I was told a local church has put into it’s ByLaws that only Ordained ministers qualify as pastoral candidates.  Why would they do that?

There are many ministers out there who are continuing their education and desire to

English: Ballenon Reformed Presbyterian Church...

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pastor.  Many of them would be excited to take a troubled small church and see what God can do.

Many who are Ordained, already have been pastors and led churches which have progressed and no longer desire the smaller church arena.

I know in our denomination, there are four levels of credentialing.  All of these are designed to help the small church, help new ministers who are willing to take small churches to get started.

I for one am one of those who would take a struggling church.  I know there is a difference between a ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ small church.  Either of these would be fine with me.  I feel the Holy Spirit can change the health of a congregation.

In speaking with a well known pastor of our area the last few days.  He has led small churches to healthy and large ones.  He has planted several churches and desires to grow more he made a comment to me that I feel is very true..  His comment was about a particular church “they are spiritual”.

The spiritual health of a church is very concerning.  Many feel if ‘we just go to church on Sunday morning and nights and Wednesday’s we’ve done our part.”  What’s “our part?”

Christ died for you and I and at no time have we ‘done our part’  to further the kingdom of God now repay what we do not owe.

In the church at Colosse, Paul had to write the Colossians to tell them they needed to change.  They had permitted humanistic beliefs, false teachings and immorality to enter their congregation.

Many of our churches of today are the same way.  This is what I mean when I talk about ‘healthy’ churches.  Our churches have no vision.  No mission.

Jealously has also entered the church.  That’s why when the above pastor was getting ready to leave the church, the changed the ByLaws to require an Ordained “Man” only to follow him.


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Ordination is only a man-made vehicle to assure educational requirements.  This does not guarantee spiritual maturity.  In this pastor’s situation, he is a jealous, well versed in Biblical knowledge, but immature in his spiritual walk.  Jealousy has crept in and I really don’t feel he knows it.

Now the church is struggling to find an “ordained” minister who is a man and will come to a small town.  This little dusty, western looking town could really use new blood in the form of a young minister, but most ordained ministers don’t desire to come to a small town.

The former pastor has done a great disservice to the church.  There are spiritually qualified persons who would love to pastor the church, but have not progressed to the ordination level of denominational qualifications.

Leaders, be careful when you suggest limits and additional requirements on the church leadership as you leave.  Don’t place the church in a difficult situation to fill the pulpit with binding ByLaws which cannot be followed.  This only hurts the church!

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2 Responses to Church leadership: Ordained or not?

  1. Rick Wadholm says:

    It does sound like in your fellowship’s context this previous pastor did a grave mis-service for the congregation. However, I would like to throw into the mix that ordination ought to be the aim of every pastor and not because of education, because it offers a testimony of faithfulness (at some level). To be ordained (in my tradition) requires one to be in ministry for a minimum of 2 years and a few extra courses (if one didn’t go through one of our schools or isn’t already ordained in another fellowship). This is quite minimal. I was ordained at 25. The problem that I’ve seen is that too many pastors who aren’t ordained look at it like they should never seek it. That’s just silliness. We should want to be tested and proven in calling and ministry. We should desire to be the best minister we can be. Ordination does not guarantee this by any stretch, but a good minister should have NO reason to not seek ordination as early as possible. Be faithful where the Lord has placed you and let others affirm this through the process of being ordained. 🙂

    • Mark A Jones says:

      Brother Rick I am in total agreement with you. I have been ordained also for many years. I am in the process of changing denominational credentialing and yes, will probably lose the ‘ordination’ and have some courses to take. That’s not a big deal with me. All the education and knowledge only furthers my efforts to adequately, properly and rightly divide the Word of God. Thank you for your comment! God bless.

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