Yesterday, I met with the credentials committee of the Church of God in Michigan. This second interview was intended to determine whether or not the committee will recommend me for ordination at this November’s state General Assembly meeting in Lansing. I received word last night that they, in fact, are recommending me for ordination, so this will indeed take place on Saturday morning, November 10.
This is a great honor for me, to be brought into the larger fold of pastors and ministers in the Church of God and in the Christian movement in general. This comes as the culmination of a long process that began, for me, while I was in seminary in Indiana. The process involved reading several books, taking a Bible content exam, writing theological statements on fourteen different topics, defending those statements in front of the credentials committee, and meeting with a mentoring pastor. Also, in the next several months I will complete a LAMP (“Life and Ministry Plan”) with the help of my SHAPE (“Sustaining Health and Pastoral Excellence”) group – a group of five local Church of God pastors that meets monthly for support, encouragement, and growth.
These tasks only have meaning, however, because of the ministry that I am privileged to do with you at Mt. Haley Church of God. It is because of this relationship between pastor and church that I do all these things – that I even pursue ordination. The ordination of a pastor is not a rite of passage that simply makes the pastor look or feel good; it is a process that strengthens the pastor’s call, encourages him or her in the work of ministry, and validates the ministry of the local church in which he or she serves. I will be honored to serve Mt. Haley Church of God as an ordained minister starting on Sunday, November 11.
We will host a special ordination service at Mt. Haley sometime after this November’s General Assembly meeting. There is no rush for this; we may wait until our snowbirds return in the spring. Just as we celebrated my installation as pastor at Mt. Haley two years ago, I will be grateful to celebrate with you my ordination as a minister in the Church of God sometime in the near future.
in Christ’s service,