Things you won’t read in the clergy candidacy recruitment brochure

After blogging about David Watson’s thoughts on the ordination process, I found two more interesting things to read relating to ordination and being a clergy member in the UMC.

Willie Deuel writes about his own painful experience in the ordination process and has some strong words about the need for reform.

The United Methodist Reporter interviews a pastor who left the UMC when faced with an unwanted move. The comments section is particularly eye opening.

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3 thoughts on “Things you won’t read in the clergy candidacy recruitment brochure

  1. Sometimes as I talk to aspiring clergy, I find I must forcibly restrain my tongue to keep from discouraging them. I don’t always succeed, as some of my previous posts on your blog illustrate.

    Being a pastor is full of pain and sorrow and responsibility. It is not for the weak or faint-of-heart. But there are indeed glimpses of glory in our days, and there is no joy greater than seeing someone come alive in Christ.

  2. Last Fall I went through my ordination interviews in the W. Michigan Conference and have been recommended for ordination this June. It was 10 years ago that I sat down with my first mentor (who subsequently left the UMC). He began our first conversation by apologizing to me for what I was about to go through and in retrospect, he was right to do so.

    That being said, the blog I read called for the UMC to not just make tweaks, but to completely overhaul the ordination system. So, at the risk of highjacking John’s blog since I don’t have one of my own, I have to ask what a new system of ordination would look like. If we stripped everything away and started from scratch, what would our priorities be?

    Another way of asking the question is, what do we have to do to provide a pastor with basic formation? What priorities do we want that pastor to have and how will we equip that pastor to live those priorities out in the life of the church?

  3. While I wholeheartedly agree with ordination reform (“clean the fridge”), there’s one caveat: the ordination track is not a bobsled run transporting the candidate slickly, irreversibly to hot chocolate and medals at the end. The caveat is the economics of Conference job placement.

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