Manual of Commissioning Procedures 2012 Edition To Be Used By District Examining Boards/Boards of Oversight Table of Contents



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Manual of Commissioning Procedures
2012 Edition

To Be Used By District Examining Boards/Boards of Oversight

Table of Contents
Introduction to the 2003, 2004, 2009, 2010 & 2012 Edition 3

Digital Submission Guidelines 4


COMMISSIONING

Brethren Church Commissioning Candidate Tracking Form 5

Sequence of Events for Commissioning 7

Step 1: Initial Call 7

Step 2: Commissioning 7

Procedures for Commissioning 8

Step 1: Initial Call 8

Step 2: Commissioning 8

Forms for Commissioning 10

Commission: Call to Ministry 10

Commission: Request for Examination 11

Commission: Confidential Reference Form 12

Commission: Authorization for Commissioning 15

Commission: Pastoral Profile and Resume 16

Commission: Philosophy of Ministry 22

Commission: Positions on Social and Self Care Issues 24

Required Readings for Commissioning 26

Guidelines for Pastoral and Congregational Ethics 26



Introduction to the 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010 &2012 Edition
This edition builds upon the hard work of many individuals. Several years ago the National Ordination Council recognized the need for a set of documents that would clearly define, standardize, and implement the guidelines of the National Association of Brethren Church Elders and the several districts to provide for a national ordination examination process.
The members of the National Ordination Council developed the original “Sequence of Events Leading to Licensure and Ordination,” and the accompanying written exam, oral exam, forms, and readings. NOC members later developed the original tracking Commission: Call to Ministry and the checklist. When commissioning was added, the members of the National Ordination Council collaboratively added the necessary sections. The many members of the Council who over the years developed, edited, and updated these documents have made this edition possible, and their contribution is gratefully acknowledged.
In order to distribute these documents as efficiently as possible, it was decided to have them edited for content, abbreviated whenever possible, and translated into electronic formats that could be easily transmitted and distributed. In many cases the original editions were lost, and it was only through the efforts of pastors throughout the denomination that a complete set of documents in adequate condition to be translated electronically became available.
It is with deep appreciation for the work done by so many, and in the hope that these documents will continue to assist those who seek to serve in ministry for the Kingdom of God in The Brethren Church that this edition is presented.
The 2004 Edition contains mainly cosmetic changes, but already reflects the desire of the various constituencies that depend upon this material; that it remains a current guideline, able to be easily updated to reflect the changing needs of our district while upholding timeless values and standards.
The 2008 Edition makes significant changes to the written exam, with a complete re-write of the reading program requirements, updating the questions and materials to reflect the need for an easier to understand format.
The 2009 Edition has significant changes to the written exam, including changes to many forms which streamline the process.
The 2010 Edition separates Commissioning Procedures from the Licensing & Ordination Procedures, and has updated tracking, sequence, and other forms.
The 2012 Edition completes the separation of Commissioning, Ordination, and Reading Program into three separate documents, with a renumbering of all documents
Dr. G. Emery Hurd, editor


Digital Submission Guidelines


  • All documents will be submitted in either Word compatibility mode (.doc, .xls, .ppt, .pps) or Rich Text Format (.rtf) or adobe (.pdf)

  • All documents will have the following naming rules:

    • Last Name, dash (-), then First Name of Candidate

    • Title of Document

    • Four digit year

    • Dash (-) then two digit month

    • OPTIONAL – Dash (-) then two digit day

    • EX: Smith-Edward Commission: Call to Ministry 2009-05-12.doc

    • Date is NOT NEEDED if document is not a report, although the date format above is still recommended.

  • It is difficult to send by email large documents to some servers. It is therefore advisable to send multiple small files instead of a single large one.

  • All audio will be sent in either MP3, WAV, or WMF formats or on a CD.

  • All Video will be sent in either AVI, MPEG, or WMV formats or on a DVD.

Brethren Church Commissioning Candidate Tracking Form

Revised 05/05/2010
The candidate, the appropriate district board, and the presiding officer of the National Ordination Council should maintain a copy of this form.
The Candidate is ultimately responsible for the proper submission of all forms and materials.

PLEASE SUBMIT FORMS DIGITALLY IF POSSIBLE

District Responsible for Oversight: _________________________________________________


Name of Candidate: _____________________________________________________________

Street: ________________________________________________________________________


City, State, Zip Code: ____________________________________________________________

Phone: _______________________________ Fax: ___________________________


E-Mail: ______________________________________________________________________

Church Where Membership Held: __________________________________________________


Church Currently Serving (or Seminary Year): ________________________________________

Name of Supervising Elder: _______________________________________________________

Street: ________________________________________________________________________
City, State, Zip Code: ____________________________________________________________

Phone: _______________________________ Fax: ___________________________


E-Mail: ______________________________________________________________________
 Commission: Request for Examination by Local Church

Date : ___/___/___



Only to be used by candidates not seeking licensure leading to ordination
 Commission: Authorization by District Board

Date : ___/___/___



Only to be used by candidates not seeking licensure leading to ordination
--continued on next page --

 Commission: Pastoral Profile –



Section Date

Personal info ___/___/_____

Pastoral Ministry ___/___/_____

Christian Experience ___/___/_____

Doctrine ___/___/_____

Vision ___/___/_____

Core Values ___/___/_____

Section Date

Role of Elder ___/___/_____

Pastoral Finances ___/___/_____

Pastoral Statements ___/___/_____

Pastoral Ethics ___/___/_____

Spiritual Gifts ___/___/_____

Style of Leadership ___/___/_____

Philosophy of Ministry___/___/_____



 Professional Resume’ WITH CURRENT PICTURE – Date Received: ___/___/___



Commission: Positions on Social and Self Care Issues ___/___/_____



EVERY CHURCH, CANDIDATE, AND MENTORING PASTOR SHOULD HAVE ALL OF THE FOLLWING MATERIALS (Current Edition)
___ Manual of Commissioning Procedures

___ Manual of Ordination Procedures

___ Manual of Procedure of the Brethren Church

___ Manual of Pastoral and Congregational Procedures of the Brethren Church

___ Brethren Beliefs

___ District Constitution/By-Laws

___ Brethren Pastor's Handbook

___ Other Items Required by Specific District:

___ Item1: ______________________________________________________________

___ Item 2: ______________________________________________________________

___ Item 3: ______________________________________________________________

___ Item 4: ______________________________________________________________

___ Item 5: ______________________________________________________________

SEQUENCE OF EVENTS FOR COMMISSIONING

Revised5/20/2010
This document is used in cooperation with the

Commissioning Candidate Tracking Form”


Candidate, Mentor and the District Examining Board/Board of Oversight should maintain separate copies of this document for each candidate, marking when each item is completed.

PLEASE SUBMIT ALL DOCUMENTS DIGITALLY IF POSSIBLE
STEP 1 - INITIAL CALL (Optional) (Commission: Call to Ministry)

1. At any time, the local church may call a person to consider the Pastoral Ministry or any Special Ministry. The candidate must hold membership in a recognized Brethren Church or under the authority of the United States Ministry Council for a period of not less than one year prior to issuance of call. NOTE: Each candidate & each local congregation is responsible for qualifications delineated by local & District constitutions.



2. The local church notifies the Board of Oversight/Examining Board of action (Use Commission: Call to Ministry)

3. Such a call is not necessarily a prerequisite for commissioning, licensing, or ordination

4. Candidate would then proceed to Step 2 – Commissioning

STEP 2 – COMMISSIONING (Forms H, I, J, K, Issues)

1. The local church votes to request examination for Commissioning for a Special Ministry & notifies the Board of Oversight/Examining Board (Use Commission: Request for Examination).

2. The Board of Oversight/Examining Board sends the candidate three (3) copies of the Confidential Reference Form (Use Commission: Confidential Reference Form), giving the date for returning the forms.

3. The date & place are set by the Board of Oversight/Examining Board for examination. The Candidate is then notified & given a basic outline of areas to be covered during the interview.

4. The candidate completes Commission: Pastoral Profile and Resume including Resume and Commission: Philosophy of Ministry, and Commission: Positions on Social and Self Care Issues.

4. The Board of Oversight/Examining Board notifies the candidate & the local church about the results of the examination (Use Commission: Authorization for Commissioning).

5. The local church conducts public recognition of commissioning for Special Ministry, returning a completed Commission: Authorization for Commissioning to the Board of Oversight/Examining Board.

NOTE: Commissioned persons are supervised by their local church, and at the discretion of the district reviewed by the District Board of Oversight at regular intervals. If later a commissioned individual should seek ordination, they should then proceed to the procedures of licensing & ordination.


Procedures For Commissioning

Revised 5/5/2009
These Procedures are also outlined in the Commissioning Candidate Tracking Form

and Commissioning Sequence of Events.
STEP 1: INITIAL CALL

Overview

1. At any time, the local church may call a person to consider the Pastoral Ministry or a Special Ministry.

2. The local church notifies the Board of Oversight of action. (Use Commission: Call to Ministry.

3. Such a call is not necessarily a prerequisite licensing or ordination.


Procedure

1. When a local church deems that one of its members evidences potential for either the Pastoral Ministry or a Special Ministry, it may "call" such a member. Should a member feel led by the Holy Spirit to offer himself or herself to these specialized life-work vocations, that person may notify the church leaders and request that they consider issuing a "call."


2. Following previous announcement, the church may vote upon extending the prospect a call "to consider the Pastoral Ministry or a Special Ministry as a life­work." This may be done at a regular church business meeting or a specially called meeting of the congregation. The vote should be by secret ballot. Such a decision by a local church may come at any time in the life of the prospect and does not automatically include a request for examination for commissioning or licensing, which is a separate process ( see Step 2 and Step 3, below).
3. When the vote indicates a "call," the presiding officer or secretary should notify the Board of Oversight of the church's action, using a form obtained from the Board (Commission: Call to Ministry).
4. Such a call may not require a prerequisite to licensing or ordination.
Step 2: COMMISSIONING

Overview

1. The local church votes to request examination for Commissioning for a Special Ministry and notifies the Board of Oversight (Use Commission: Request for Examination).

2. The Board of Oversight sends the Candidate three (3) copies of the confidential Reference Form (Use Commission: Confidential Reference Form), giving the date for returning the forms.

3. The date and place are set by the Board of Oversight for examination. The Can­didate is then notified and given a basic outline of areas to be covered during the interview.

4. The Board of Oversight notifies the candidate and the local church about the results of the examination (Use Commission: Authorization for Commissioning).

5. The local church conducts public recognition of commissioning for Special Minis­try, returning a completed Commission: Authorization for Commissioning to the Board of Oversight.

6. The action taken by the District Board of Oversight and the local church must be reported to the National Office by sending a copy of Commission: Authorization for Commissioning.

Procedure

1. Examples of Special Ministry include various fields of Christian work, Christian Education, Music, and Youth which are directed, financed, or recognized by the church.


2. A candidate for a Special Ministry will be "commissioned" [set apart} for that field, rather than ordained. If ordination is desired later, the individual may follow the proper procedures for licensing and eventual ordination.
3. The responsibilities and limitations of a person Commissioned for a Special Minis­try will be determined by the Board of Oversight in consultation with the local church and consistent with the candidate's sense of calling, spiritual maturity, gifts, educational training, and personality in relationship to others.
4. When a local church deems that one of its members evidences interest in, and capacity for, a particular Special Ministry, it may "call" such a member to that work and recommend examination by the Board of Oversight.
5. Following a previous announcement, the church may vote at a regular church business meeting or a specially called meeting of the congregation. The vote needs to be by ballot.
6. When the vote indicates a "call" and request for examination, the church secretary should notify tile Board of Oversight of the action, using Commission: Request for Examination obtained from the Board. The same form requires the candidate to indicate a desire for examination and Commissioning.
7. Upon receipt of Commission: Request for Examination from the church, the Board of Oversight shall arrange a suitable time and place for the candidate to appear for examination. The questions and discussions should be designed so that the Board will be able to ascertain the candidate's fitness for the Special Ministry desired.
8. When the Board of Oversight approves the Commissioning of the candidate, the Board will, if its decision is ready, inform the candidate verbally at once and later in writing. The Board will also notify the church requesting the examination of its decision. If the Board approves commissioning, it shall so authorize the church, using Commission: Authorization for Commissioning, and keep a copy for its own files.
9. Upon receipt of authorization from the Board, the local church shall formally schedule a service of Commissioning for Special Ministry. A copy of the com­pleted Commission: Authorization for Commissioning should then be returned to the Board.
BRETHREN CHURCH BOARDS OF OVERSIGHT/EXAMINING BOARDS

FORMS FOR COMMISSIONING, LICENSING AND ORDINATION


COMMISSION: CALL TO MINISTRY

(Revised 5/1/2012)

Completed by Local Church Issuing Call
Date: ________________________________

TO: The Board of Oversight/Examining Board of the ____________________________District:

_______________________________________________________________ is a member in
good standing and full fellowship of the ______________________________________Brethren
Church located in _____________________________________________________________.
This candidate received a “call” to consider the Pastoral Ministry or a special Ministry by this
congregation in a business meeting on ____/______/_______/ (mm/dd/yyyy).
The result of the secret ballot vote was __________ affirmative and ____________ negative,
with _________________ qualified voters present.
We believe this person has the potential of serving well the Lord and The Brethren Church in the

years ahead. We will continue to encourage, nurture, and pray for this potential servant of the

Lord.
Signed:
Pastor:______________________________________________________________________
Moderator: ___________________________________________________________________
Secretary: _____________________________________________________________________
Deacon(ess): __________________________________________________________________
Deacon(ess): __________________________________________________________________
Instructions: Send one copy to the candidate, another to District Board, and another to The Brethren Church, 524 College Ave., Ashland, OH 44805.

COMMISSION: REQUEST FOR EXAMINATION

(Revised 5/1/2012)

Completed by Local Church Issuing Call and Candidate

COMMISSION: PASTORAL PROFILE AND RESUME SHOULD ALSO BE COMPLETED (UPDATED) AND SUBMITTED WITH THIS FORM
Date: ________________________________
TO: The Board of Oversight/Examining Board of the ____________________________District:
_______________________________________________________________ is a member in
good standing and full fellowship of the ______________________________________Brethren
Church located in _____________________________________________________________.
The church has called this candidate to the Special Ministry of
___________________________________________________________________ and now requests the Board to examine for commissioning to this ministry. This call was issued at a
congregational meeting on ____/______/_______/ (mm/dd/yyyy). The result of the secret ballot
vote was __________ affirmative and ____________ negative, with _________________ qualified voters present.
Signed:

Pastor:______________________________________________________________________


Moderator: ___________________________________________________________________
Secretary: _____________________________________________________________________
Deacon(ess): __________________________________________________________________
Deacon(ess): __________________________________________________________________
Candidate:

I hereby indicate my desire to be examined for Commissioning for the above ministry.


Signature of Candidate:____________________________________________ Date: _________

Instructions: Send one copy to Board, another copy to National Office.

BRETHREN CHURCH BOARDS OF OVERSIGHT/EXAMINING BOARDS

FORMS FOR COMMISSIONING, LICENSING AND ORDINATION
COMMISSION: CONFIDENTIAL REFERENCE FORM

(Revised 4/1/2012)

To Be Completed by References
TO THE CANDIDATE: Forward one of these questionnaires to the following -- your pastor, church moderator, and one other person who knows you well (none of whom is a family member}.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR RESPONDENTS: Please complete all items of this evaluation with reference to the candidate named below, who has applied for either Ministerial licensing or Commissioning for a Special Ministry in the District. Your candid re­sponse will enable the Board of Oversight to give recognition in areas of strength and counsel in areas of weakness. Your prompt response will be appreciated. All evalua­tions are confidential.
Please return before ______________(date) to the following:

The ___________________________ District Board of Oversight/Examining Board


Address Line 1: ________________________________________________________
Address Line 2: ________________________________________________________
City, State, Zip Code: ____________________________________________________
Thanks in advance.

Candidate's full name: _________________________________________________________


Respondent's name and title:_____________________________________________________
Respondent's Address: _________________________________________________________
Respondent's City, State, Zip:_____________________________________________________
Respondent’s Phone: ____________________________________________________________

~ Questionnaire Begins on Next Page ~


  1. How long and how well have you known the candidate?



  1. How do you perceive the candidate’s parental and family relationships?



  1. How do you perceive the candidate’s marital relationship (if married)?




  1. What contribution has the candidate made to the ministry of the local church?


~ Questionnaire Continues on Next Page ~
Instructions: Place an "X" in the column which best describes the candidate. In the case of very' high or very low marks, a supplemental comment, using the back of this form, would be helpful.



Characteristics

Very Good

Good

Average

Poor

Very Poor

Personal Appearance











Personal Financial Management











Adaptability in New Situations











Emotional Stability











Personal Initiative











Self Discipline











Self Confidence











Self Understanding











Tact











Conduct and Character











Punctuality











Participation in the Church











Leadership Skills











Dependability











Skill in Verbal Communication











Skill in Written Communication











Creativity and Resourcefulness











Teaching Skill











Tolerance for Others











General Intelligence











Faith and Commitment











Harmony in Relationships











Overall Promise as a Christian Leader












5. Other comments or insights that might be helpful in evaluating this candidate’s effectiveness in Christian Ministry (use other side if desired).

Thanks again for completing this questionnaire.

Please return to address on first page by due date.

BRETHREN CHURCH BOARDS OF OVERSIGHT/EXAMINING BOARDS

FORMS FOR COMMISSIONING, LICENSING AND ORDINATION
COMMISSION:AUTHORIZATION FOR COMMISSIONING

(Revised 5/1/2012)

Completed by Board and Local Church Issuing Call

Date: ________________________________


This is to certify that _______________________________________________________ was examined by the Board of Oversight/Examining Board on the above date and approved for

Commissioning for the Special Ministry of _________________________________________ unless revoked for cause. We are satisfied with the candidate’s faith, life, spiritual attainment,


and personal fitness for ministry and authorize the ____________________________________
Brethren Church located in ____________________________________________________ to proceed with a public service of commissioning.
The candidate is commissioned for ______________(give term in years or “duration of service”)
under the mentoring/supervision of __________________________________________
Signed:

District: ______________________________________________________


Board Chairperson/President: __________________________________________________
Board Member: _____________________________________________________________
Mentor/Supervisor/Board Member: ______________________________________________
Completed By Local Church:

Upon the authorizing for commissioning by the Board of Oversight/Examining Board, our church conducted a service of Commissioning for Special Ministry:


Date of Service : __________________________________
Pastor:______________________________________________________________________
Moderator: ___________________________________________________________________
Secretary: _____________________________________________________________________
Instructions: Send one copy to Board, another to District Secretary to request Ministerial License Card, valid for one year, and another to National Office.

BRETHREN CHURCH BOARDS OF OVERSIGHT/EXAMINING BOARDS

FORMS FOR COMMISSIONING, LICENSING AND ORDINATION
COMMISSION: PASTORAL PROFILE AND RESUME

(Revised 5/1/2012)
NOTE: A COMPLETE RESUME’ WITH PICTURE IS TO BE COMPLETED IN ADDITION TO THIS FORM
Date this profile was completed - -_____
Name _________________________________________ Date of Birth - - ___

Last first middle initial

Address (where to send correspondence)

________________________________________ ___________________________

(Street Address) (city)

_______ _________

(state) (zip code)
Telephone number: ________-_________-_______ (H) _______-________-______ (W)
Email: __________________@______________


  1. Pastoral Status District Congregation

Date of Licensing __________ ______________________________


Date of Ordination __________ ______________________________
Date of Commissioning__________ ______________________________
If non-Brethren, please provide contact information for verification purposes.
Name:
Phone:
Email:


  1. Current church membership _____________________________________________




  1. Current ministry position _____________________________________________




  1. Family Description: Single _____ Married _____ Divorced________ Widowed _____

Spouse’s name _______________________ Date Married ____/______/_______


Child(ren)’s name(s) ___________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________

  1. Have you been married more than once? _______ (If yes, please explain circumstances using additional page)



  1. Current or recent community Involvements



  1. Current district or denominational involvements



EDUCATION


School Name Location Degree Date
High School ___________________ _______________ _______ _____

College ___________________ _______________ _______ _____

Post Graduate ___________________ _______________ _______ _____

Trade School ___________________ _______________ _______ _____




PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Ministry/Job Title/Position Dates

______________________ __________________________________ __________

______________________ __________________________________ __________

______________________ __________________________________ __________

______________________ __________________________________ __________

Number of years of full-time ministry as a licensed or ordained pastor_____ yrs.

Part-time ministry will be prorated as one year of service for every two years of part-time work.



REFERENCES: List the names and addresses of four people who are familiar with your pastoral ministry.

Name Phone (day-time) (evening)

1.____________________________________ ______________ ______________

2.____________________________________ _______________ ______________

3.____________________________________ _______________ ______________

4.____________________________________ _______________ ______________


CONTINUING EDUCATION


When Where What CEUs

__________ ______________________ ______________________ _____

__________ ______________________ ______________________ _____

__________ ______________________ ______________________ _____

__________ ______________________ ______________________ _____

__________ ______________________ ______________________ _____




GENERAL THOUGHTS ABOUT PASTORAL MINISTRY


  1. What in your ministry has brought you the greatest level of satisfaction?


  1. What in your ministry has brought you the most frustration or disappointment?


  1. What do you hope to accomplish in your next ministry?



  1. Preferred Type of Pastoral Ministry – check all that apply:

Full-time ____ Part-time ____ Bi-vocational ____ Yoked (Two-point charge) ____
Comments:


  1. Please provide two sermons on CD – audio is okay; video is preferred.



CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCE and CALL


1. How long have you been a Christian? _______ years
a. Under what circumstances did you become a Christian?

b. When were you baptized? _- - (date)

in what church?____________________________________________

by what method? ___________________________________________


c. How long have you been a member of The Brethren Church? __________ years
d. If married, is your spouse a member of The Brethren Church? Yes ____ or No ____
2. What experiences have you had in Christian work (non-pastoral in nature – Mission’s trips, retreats, conferences, church positions prior to pastoral ministry, etc.)?

3. Why do you believe you have been called by the Lord to Christian ministry?

4. When and under what circumstances did you decide to offer your life for Christian ministry?

5. If married, is your spouse in accord with your calling into Christian ministry? Yes or No


6. What is your present habit in devotional life, Bible study, prayer, and reading?
7. What experiences have you had in personal efforts to lead others to an acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior?
8. What are your beliefs and practices about stewardship?
9. Do you give 10% of your income to the work of the Lord through the local church? What other ministries do you financially support?

DOCTRINE: The Message of Brethren Ministry
Indicate whether you agree completely, C, partially, P, or not at all, N, to the following statements. Please explain your answer to any statements marked P or N on a separate sheet. Or if completing electronically, type answers into this document.
_____1. Our motto: The Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible.
_____2. The Authority and Integrity of the Holy Scriptures. The ministry of the Brethren

Church, desires to bear testimony to the belief that God's supreme revelation has been made through Jesus Christ, a complete and authentic record of which revelation is the New Testament; and, to the belief that the Holy scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as originally given, are the infallible record of the perfect, final and authoritative revelations of God's will, altogether sufficient in themselves as a rule of faith and practice.


3. We understand the Basic Content of Our Doctrinal Preaching and Teaching to be:
_____ (1) The pre-existence, deity, and incarnation by virgin birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
_____ (2) The Fall of Man, his consequent spiritual death and utter sinfulness, and the

necessity of his new birth;


_____ (3) The vicarious atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ through the shedding of His

own blood;


_____ (4) The resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ in the body in which He suffered and

died and His subsequent glorification at the right hand of God;


_____ (5) The justification by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, of which obedience to

the will of God and works of righteousness are the evidence and result; the

resurrection of the dead, the judgment of the world, and the life everlasting of the

just;
_____ (6) The personality and deity of the Holy Spirit who indwells the Christian and is his

Comforter and Guide;
_____ (7) The personal and visible return of our Lord Jesus Christ from heaven as King of

kings and Lord of lords; the glorious goal for which we are taught to watch, wait, and pray;


_____ (8) The Christian should 'be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the

renewing of the mind,' should not engage in carnal strife and should 'swear not at all;'


(9) The Christian should observe, as his duty and privilege, the ordinances of our

Lord Jesus Christ, among which are:

_____ (a.) baptism of believers by Triune (Trine, ed.) Immersion;

_____ (b.) confirmation;

_____ (c.) the Lord's Supper;

_____ (d.) the Communion of the Bread and Cup;

_____ (e.) the washing of the feet; and

_____ (f.) the anointing of the sick with oil.



THE VISION OF THE BRETHREN CHURCH

is a guiding statement of our denomination. As an elder, How do you understand this statement, and what are your responsibilities as an elder to fulfill this vision? In other words, what does transformation look like in your life and ministry?




THE CORE VALUES OF THE BRETHREN CHURCH

express the foundational expressions of our identity. Please express what each value means to you:


RELATIONAL


MISSIONAL


SUSTAINABLE


REPRODUCING


GLOBAL

UNDERSTANDING THE ROLE OF THE ELDER

in the Brethren Church is vital for the future of the church, both locally and nationally. What do you believe is the role of the elder within the national church?


PASTORAL FINANCES

1. Do you have financial obligations and debts which may hinder your ministry? Yes or No


2. Do you make regular contributions to a retirement account? Yes or No
3. Do you have adequate life insurance to help cover your family’s financial Yes/No/Not sure

needs in the case of your death?


4. Do you have adequate medical insurance through your or your wife’s

current employer? Yes or No


PASTORAL AND CONGREGATIONAL ETHICS STATEMENTS


1. I have read the current pastoral ethics statement and affirm its content. SEE REQUIRED READINGS ___ (initial if true)
2. I have read the current congregational ethics statements (1987 version) and affirm its content. SEE REQUIRED READINGS _____ (initial if true)


PASTORAL ETHICS


1, Have you ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor,

other than traffic offenses? Yes or No

If yes, please explain:
2. Has a formal complaint of ethical misconduct, ever been

filed against you? Yes or No

If yes, please explain and how the case was resolved:
Your Spiritual Gifts:

Please list key areas of giftedness Please list areas in which you do not feel

gifted

______________________________________ ______________________________


______________________________________ ______________________________
______________________________________ ______________________________

My Style of Leadership is:

1. What leadership inventories or personality assessment tools have you completed – Disc, Myers-Briggs? Please describe the basic results:

2. How have those instruments helped you understand your leadership, pastoral, counseling styles:

COMMISSION: PHILOSOPHY OF MINISTRY

– If you have previously written a philosophy of ministry and it is appropriate to use as part of this application, please attach. Please consider whether the following areas have been addressed at least in part in that philosophy of ministry. Please limit this paper to 3 – 5 pages.

1. Describe your experience with and/or plan for developing vision and goals for ministry.


2. Describe your expectations of and desired relationship with each of the following, The Board, The Deacon Ministry, The Staff, Committee chairpersons. In other words, your understanding of local church polity.
3. Describe how you foster commitment and accountability.
4. Describe your experiences in, or plans for, discipling or mentoring.
5. Describe your prayer life – successes and challenges.
6. Describe your experience with, and/or plan for, developing prayer in the life of a congregation.
7. Describe your experience with, and/or plan for, developing outreach ministries.
8. Describe your experience with and/or plan for developing educational opportunities in the local church including ministry to children, youth, families, and adults.
9. Worship

a. My understanding of the purpose of worship is…


b. My preferred worship style is…( for instance - contemporary, blended, traditional,

liturgical, formal or informal)

c. My preferred preaching style is (evangelistic, manuscript, topical, exegetical)…
d. Lay participation in worship services should include…

10. What ways would you use to get acquainted with the congregation?


11. Do you prefer working with any particular age group in the church? Do you have, or have you had, difficulty working with any particular age group in the church?
12. Describe the process you use for sermon preparation.
13. Your definition of the church, both local and denomination.
14. Your understanding of the Mission (Purpose) of the church, both local and denomination.
15. What are your core values (Biblical non-negotiable principals, such as worship, discipleship, etc.)
16: What are the roles of the pastor/leader and the laity?
17. What is the responsibility of the pastor’s spouse in service to the congregation?
COMMISSION: POSITIONS ON SOCIAL AND SELF CARE ISSUES
What are your personal attitudes, convictions, problems, and practices in relation to the following? Please include your reflections, appropriate scripture, and acknowledgement/agreement with stated Brethren positions where appropriate
Abortion

Alcohol


Anger/Hostility

Bio-Ethics (IVF, Stem Cells, etc.)

Cults

Depression



Environmental Stewardship

Exercise


Gambling, Lotteries

Gender Roles

Greed

Homosexuality/Gay Marriage



Honesty

Marital Fidelity, Divorce

Non-Conformity

Non-Resistance

Non-Swearing

Occult/Cults

Ordination of Persons of Divorce

Ordination of Women

Personal Discipline

Physical, Sexual, Mental, and Emotional Abuse

Politics / Church & State

Pornography

Poverty

Race / Ethnic Relations / Immigration



Rape/Incest/Sexual Promiscuity

Recreation


Substance Abuse

Tobacco


REQUIRED READINGS FOR COMMISSIONING

GUIDELINES FOR PASTORAL AND CONGREGATIONAL ETHICS

Adopted by General Conference August 7, 1987

(From Manual of Pastoral and Congregational Procedures)
PREAMBLE: In order to establish and promote better working relations between the Brethren, note the following guidelines for pastoral and congregational ethics.
Pastoral Ethics

1. The pastor should live in a manner that testifies to the message proclaimed and exalts the Lord Jesus Christ.

2. The pastor should promote all the programs and goals of The Brethren Church.
3. The pastor should maintain proper dignity in all relationships within the church and in the community.
4. The pastor should grow in Christlikeness and should be involved in continuing educational opportunities to increase effectiveness in ministry.
5. The pastor should abide by the terms of the agreement with the church.
6. The pastor should never measure service by financial considerations.
7. The pastor should care for the parsonage as though it were personal property.
8. The pastor should not allow outside interests to deprive the church of efficient service.
9. The pastor should recognize the value of long-term pastorates and should build the kind of relationships that make this desirable.
10. The pastor should not consider a call from another church whose pastor has not resigned.
11. The pastor should not bargain between churches or negotiate with more than one church at a time.
12. The pastor should give serious attention to keeping physically and emotionally fit.
13. The pastor should minister to the entire congregation.
14. The pastor should be frank, courteous, and cooperative with other pastors.
15. The pastor should manage personal financial affairs with dignity and honor.
16. The pastor should not interfere in the affairs of another congregation.
17. The pastor should guard all confidential information very carefully.
18. The pastor should recognize the sanctity of the pulpit.
19. The pastor should, when leaving a pastorate, encourage total support of the new pastor by the entire congregation.
20. A pastor should not return to a former congregation to visit members or perform services, either weddings or funerals, without first contacting the current pastor.
21. A pastor should have a wholesome relationship with the district board of oversight.
Church Ethics

1. The church should demonstrate in the lives of its members that Jesus Christ is Lord of all life.


2. The church should promote all the programs and goals of The Brethren Church.
3. The office of elder is a holy calling and should be respected and esteemed.
4. The church should desire and help the pastor to grow in ability to serve Christ and His church,

and should encourage and make possible continuing educational opportunities for the pastor.


5. The church should develop a clearly stated contractual agreement with the pastor and abide

by it.
6. The church should recognize that the pastor is entitled to an adequate salary and should take

the initiative in providing it.
7. The church should provide an adequate and well-kept parsonage for the pastoral family, or an adequate housing allowance.
8. The employment agreement should apply only to the pastor, not to the pastor’s family. The pastor’s family should assume the role that is expected of any other family in the congregation.
9. The church should recognize the value of long pastorates and should encourage the kind of relationship which makes this possible.
10. The church should extend a pastoral call only after contacting the Director of Pastoral Ministries and making a careful investigation of the candidate.
11. The church should negotiate with only one pastor at a time.
12. The church should develop a budget which promptly meets all its obligations, including those to the pastor.
13. The church should expect the pastor to minister to the entire congregation.
14. The church should realize that hostile or unfriendly criticism of the pastor is unchristian, and should take steps to eliminate such criticism.
15. The church should only lend money to the pastor by written agreement.
16. The church should provide sufficient maintenance help so that those tasks do not become the responsibility of the pastor.
17. The church should avoid criticism of a former pastor and the comparing of former pastors with the current pastor.
18. The church should encourage its members to involve the new pastor in all functions (e.g.,

funerals, weddings, etc.) related to the pastoral office as soon as that role in the congregation

is assumed.
19. The church should understand the pastor’s need for periods of recreation, vacation, and

rest.
20. The church, through its officially designated representatives, should have a wholesome

relationship with the district board of oversight and the Director of Pastoral Ministries.

The church should feel free to contact them if needed.






Manual of Commissioning Procedures, Page of





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