Sunday, June 6, 2010

The questions we ask future pastors

Candidates for the ministry go before rigorous Vicinage Councils at which their theological positions are put under a microscope. I've attended two recently and was surprised at how few questions were asked about pastoral ministry. I'm assuming that, with a seminary education and a position paper I've already read, the candidate is doctrinally sound. Any concerns would be raised with their paper (which we don't need to dissect). What I want to know is whether this person is capable of working with people and ready to serve in a church. Most Vicinage Councils seek to determine if the candidate is a theologian. Doctrine matters, believe me, but the reason most pastors quit the ministry is due to a lack of people skills. Plus if the person is wanting to serve as a military chaplain, I have a host of other questions to ask to determine his/her readiness for this unique institutional calling. It is time to re-look the process of examining/appraising those who wish to serve.

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