Understanding Ordination in the Evangelical Methodist Church
Every member of the church, both laity and clergy, receives and accepts the call of God to embody and carry forth Christ’s ministry in the world. Ordination originates in God’s will and purpose for the church as it did for the Levitical priesthood under the Old Covenant. There are persons within the local church whose gifts, graces and leadership qualities are observable to the church, who respond to God’s call and offer themselves in leadership as ordained ministers.
Ordination for ministry is a gift from God to the church. In ordination, the church affirms and continues the apostolic ministry in that it authorizes and authenticates that ministry through persons empowered by the Holy Spirit. Those who are ordained are committed to being ambassadors for Christ for the transmission of the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Their ordination is fulfilled in the ministry of the Word, Sacrament, and Order.
The Conference, following the recommendation of the Board of Ministerial Relations and the candidate(s) response to the historic questions asked of every Methodist minister, votes to admit the candidate(s) to the Conference membership as an Elder. Following the granting of Elder’s Orders, the General Church ordains the Elder into the clergy of the Evangelical Methodist Church.
Ordained persons are authorized to preach and teach the Word of God, administer the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, to be the shepherd of the flock with pastoral oversight, to equip the laity for ministry, and administer the Discipline of the church. Acceptance of the call of ordained ministry, together with the authentication of such call by the Church, grants to the person ordained authority to serve the Church in the name of Christ.
The ordination to the office of Elder requires the person to model servant leadership to the church under their charge and to be an example of holiness in attitude, words, and conduct.
The ordination vows follow the pattern of:
- Emptying of Self
- Anointing of the Holy Spirit for Ministry
- Authority for Shepherding the Flock
- Benediction of Blessing