I’ve been working long and hard toward the possibility of becoming an Ordained Pastor, and now I’m at a pretty big step. I’m from the United Methodist tradition, so there’s a long history on what has turned out to be a long and not-without-its-rewards process. AND, did I mention that it’s a LONG process?!
Those who feel called to ministry begin in their local church, talk to a bunch of people, and end up doing some Psych assessments and committee interviews. A good deal of this process is really about one question: are you sure?? It’s also partly about all the different ways it’s possible to serve in ministry and how to figure out what’s right for each individual. Even though I joke about how long it can take, it really is a good thing.
After spending some time at this level, you take another step and begin interviewing before another committee, this one with more clergy and a “District Superintendent.” There’s more work involved with this one and – if they do it the way I’ve experienced it – they make you write papers on your background, theology, experience, opinions, and favorite color. Ok, not the favorite color part, but the rest and even more! This is an annual thing until you take the next step.
And here I am at the next step. I’m applying to (basically) be a “Provisional” Pastor. I’ve come this far in the process, and I’m taking the next step. I’ve completed an application process, I’ll need to go before both of the committees mentioned previously, and then I have to submit a packet of papers to a “super committee” who will read through the papers before deciding whether or not to interview me. How big is the packet? About 60 pages. Oh yeah, and there’s more Psych testing.
So here I am, wiping my brow and getting ready to get some work done. This is big. This is a lot of work. This is intimidating. This is daunting.
And this is totally something I can do. I feel called to this. I feel as though I’ve been given a great opportunity and have been given the gifts and skills to pull it off. In the mean time, think about me for these next few months – and if it fits with your own tradition and experience, I’d love a few prayers!