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Licensing and Ordination

How to become an ordained pastor or a licensed minister.

 

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Licensing

Licensing is a function of the local church and is for a specific ministry setting and calling. The person desiring licensing should submit the following to their Church Board (or the congregation if the church so desires):

  • 1 page statement highlighting their conversion and call to ministry
  • 4-8 page self-written doctrinal statement of major doctrines (check with your  Converge District Ordination Handbook for key areas to cover)

The approval for licensing must be part of the Church Board’s official minutes. A copy of the minutes should be maintained by the Church and a copy retained by the person being licensed. There are two types of licensing:

  • For the ministry while affiliated with the licensing church. The person’s license is no longer valid after leaving the licensing church.
  • For the Gospel ministry from the date of licensing forward.

For the Gospel ministry from the date of licensing forward” is selected, the church would have the right to revoke the license in the event it should become necessary due to such issues as heretical teaching or moral failure. If that step is taken, a letter stating the license has been revoked must be sent to the licensee. Christian bookstores have these two types of certificates of license available. **Within two years of being licensed or ordained, the pastor may file for exemption from Social Security if his beliefs are consistent with the exemption statement. A tax advisor should be consulted and this should be entered into only with great seriousness.

Ordination

The ordination process begins and ends with a leader called by God to the Gospel ministry. It also involves the recognition of this call by the local church where the leader is serving. But the Converge family of churches and church leaders are also involved in advising the church and in serving the ordination candidate. Thus, the ordination process is detailed below for Converge churches and leaders:

From the Perspective of the Candidate and Church:

  1. The formal church vote informs the Converge regional leadership of its desire to ordain a candidate.
  2. The Converge regional staff sends the handbook on ordination to the candidate and the ordaining church.
  3. The Candidate completes the reservation form and mails it to the Converge regional office.
  4. The Converge region mails a written confirmation of reservation to the candidate.
  5. At least one month before the interview, the candidate mails six copies of his doctrinal statement to the Converge regional staff. E-mail is acceptable.
  6. The Converge region mails a copy of the doctrinal statement to the current members of Ordination Guidance Committee in the appropriate area.
  7. The Ordination Guidance Committee interviews the candidate and writes a letter of advice to the ordaining church with a copy to the candidate.
  8. If the advice is to postpone convening an ordination council, the candidate may reserve another interview during the next scheduled meeting of the Ordination Guidance Committee.
  9. Upon receipt of letter of advice to convene a council, the ordaining church schedules the council and invites delegates from sister churches.
  10. The Council meets and recommends that the church proceed or not proceed with ordination.

From the Perspective of the Ordination Guidance Committee:

  1. A church requests help with ordination.
  2. The Converge region leadership responds with the attached handbook.
  3. The candidate reserves an interview time.
  4. The Converge region confirms the interview time.
  5. The candidate prepares and sends doctrinal statement.
  6. The Converge region distributes doctrinal statement.
  7. The Ordination Guidance Committee reviews, interviews and advises.
  8. The church acts to ordain proposed candidate.

Additional information

For more information on licensing or ordination, please contact your Converge district.

Whether striving forward or struggling, every church needs a partner to come in and look ‘under the hood’ of their ministry. Converge helped us be better in every area to effectively bring the good news to all people.

Bill Berg, New Hope Community Church, Cambridge & Isanti, Minnesota