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)
- 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 The person’s license is no longer valid after leaving the licensing church.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.
If 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 If that step is taken, a letter stating the license has been revoked must be sent to the licensee.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 an 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. It is not something that Converge PacWest generally recommends.
The ordaining church initiates contact with the Converge PacWest District Executive Minister (DEM) and lets him know they have a candidate who is eligible for ordination. The DEM contacts the person and describes the process and asks for an ordination document.
An ordination document should be prepared by the candidate and include the following:
- Conversion experience
- Call to ministry
- Theological and biblical convictions in the major areas of faith
- Philosophy of ministry
Step One: Preordination Council
This council is always chaired by the DEM and administered by elected PacWest Ordination Council Members. At this meeting, an in-depth review of the ordination document will occur with the prospective candidate. This is usually the most intensive part of the process.
As a result of this Council, there will be one of three recommendations to the ordaining church. Either the person will be recommended without any reservation, recommended with specific recommendations, or not recommended to go ahead with ordination.
Step Two: Ordination Council
Ordination Council The church will announce to their congregation that the candidate will be eligible for ordination and that a council has been called on a certain date to convene the conference. Invitations will be sent out to local pastors, both in Converge PacWest and others. Delegates from the sending churches will be requested.
If the DEM is able to come to this meeting, he will come but it is not contingent on his participation. Depending on the recommendation of this meeting, an actual ordination service will be conducted, typically the next day (Sunday) afternoon or evening. An ordination certificate from the district will be sent for this meeting as requested.
Step Three: Ordination Service
This is normally planned by the candidate and the ordaining church.
Converge PacWest's church planting strategy strikes the perfect balance of bold faith with wise planning. The evidence of both runs through every component of that strategy, from the assessment process, coaching and funding.
John Markum, Lead pastor, Life Valley Community Church, San Jose, CA