This is part of a series of posts on my understanding of faith, ministry and the church. I would enjoy feedback and your response to my answers to these questions.
Question – What is the meaning of ordination in the context of the general ministry of the Church?
Response – My response begins:
My understanding of the meaning of ordination in the context of the general ministry of the Church has been formed by the Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church. “Within the church community, there are persons whose gifts, evidence of God’s grace, and promise of future usefulness are affirmed by the community, and who respond to God’s call by offering themselves in leadership as ordained ministers.” “Ordination to [apostolic] ministry is a gift from God to the church. In ordination, the church affirms and continues the apostolic ministry through persons empowered by the Holy Spirit.”
The practice of ordination, or setting aside for a particular ministry, is not something that is unique to The United Methodist Church. “The early church, through the laying on of hands, set apart persons with responsibility to preach, to teach, to administer the sacraments, to nurture, to heal, to gather the community in worship, and to send them forth in witness. … These functions, though set apart, were never separate from the ministry of the whole people of God.” (Quotes from The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, paragraphs 301.2, 303 and 3o2).
- How would you respond to this question?
- Where do you agree with my response?
- Where do you disagree with my response?