If you believe God may be calling you into some form of ministry, this is the place to start! You don’t need to have the answers to all the questions – and you might not even know all the questions. But if you have felt God’s nudging and want to explore and discern what that means, please consider the candidacy process.
You will be assigned to a Candidacy Mentor to help guide you through this process. If you have questions, you can turn to your District Superintendent or your District Committee on Ordained Ministry. Requirements have changed over the years, so be sure to check with someone who is current.
Below are the links to some helpful documents as you move through this discernment process. Remember, this is to help you discern where God is calling you to serve – it’s not a commitment.
All of the GBHEM forms for candidacy and conference relations can be found here.
• Bio Form 102
• Medical Form 103
• Physician’s Cover letter (Must accompany Form 103)
• Declaration of Candidacy Form 104
• Clergy Profile Form (This form must be sent to Kris Sample, firstname.lastname@example.org, Administrative Assistant to the Episcopal Office and to your District Superintendent.)
God calls every one of his followers to some sort of ministry – from the children in the pews to the seasoned saints in nursing homes. The discernment process is a listening process – learning to listen to God’s call and plan for your life and finding affirmation of that call through the church. Sometimes, what God calls us to do is neither what we thought we ought to do nor necessarily what we want to do. Remember what happened when Jonah tried to run from God’s call?
There are many ways of serving God – as lay persons in local churches and communities, there are many opportunities to minister in the name of Jesus Christ. There are Lay Speakers,
Certified Lay Servants, and Certified Lay Ministers. There are those who specialize in specific areas and are certified in Music Ministry, Youth Ministry and others.
In pastoral ministry, there are Local Pastors, Associate Members, Elders and Deacons. There are Armed Forces Chaplains and those who are chaplains of hospitals, nursing homes or prisons.
There are many options and the challenge is to discern the ministry to which God is calling and equipping you! It can be a confusing process at times and it can seem like a long process…be patient with yourself and with God! A person was asked “How do you eat an elephant?” The reply came “One bite at a time”. Follow the process and discover the adventure God has in store for you.
Ordination – The ministry of Deacons and Elders
From ¶328. The Ministry of a Deacon – From among the baptized, deacons are called by God to a lifetime of servant leadership, authorized by the Church, and ordained by a bishop. Deacons fulfill servant ministry in the world and lead the Church in relating the gathered life of Christians to their ministries in the world, interrelating worship in the gathered community with service to God in the world. Deacons give leadership in the Church’s life: in teaching and proclaiming the Word, in contributing to worship and in assisting the elders in administering the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper; in forming and nurturing disciples; in conducting marriages and burying the dead; in embodying the church’s mission to the world; and in leading congregations in interpreting the needs, concerns, and hopes of the world.
From ¶332. Ministry of an Elder – Elders are ordained to a lifetime ministry of Word, Order, Sacrament and Service. By the authority given in their ordination, they are authorized to preach and teach the Word of God, to provide pastoral care and counsel, to administer the sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion, and to order the life of the church for service in mission and ministry. The servant leadership of the elder, in both parish and extension ministries, is expressed by leading the people of God in worship and prayer, by leading persons to faith in Jesus Christ, by exercising pastoral supervision, and by ordering the Church in mission in the world.