I haven't actually been ordained yet. I did, however, pass my ordination council and was approved for ordination. The process was long and the council was one of the most stressful experiences in my life. By God's grace, though, I got approved and I now have even more confirmation about God's call on my life. To celebrate God's goodness, I decided to republish a post I wrote about ordination and its importance to me.
A little while back my friend, Kevin, told me about an app that allows you to ordain yourself. In the app, which is named OrdainThyself, you take a picture of yourself and apply different ordinations to that picture. Below is what I would look like as an Orthodox Christian Priest.
I’ve always appreciated Orthodoxy and its connection to the apostles. I also love Orthodoxy’s icons but, based upon that picture, I don’t think I’ve got the beard to cut it.
I checked out the app’s website and this is what they had to say about themselves:
OrdainThyself started with a theologian and a dream. The Reverend Doctor Tony Jones (A.B., M.Div., Ph.D.) has developed a growing suspicion that religious people take themselves too seriously. And he’s come to this conclusion as a religious person himself.
Further, as an ordained minister, he thinks that ordination isn’t that important, or that serious. Maybe it was in the past, but it isn’t any longer. In this age of openness and crowdsourcing, he was looking for a way to make ordination available to ALL! (Or, at least to everyone who has an iPhone.)
I’m actually in the process of getting ordained in our denomination. I’ve had to go through a lot more than just taking a picture of myself and applying a skin to it. I don’t think I take myself too seriously but I do take my ordination seriously.
For me ordination still has value. If it didn’t I wouldn’t be jumping through numerous hoops, submitting myself to psychological evaluations and studying for a biblical knowledge test. I believe God can work through anyone and probably does more through people who aren’t ordained than who are. Even with that belief, though, it’s still important to me to get ordained.
In my mind ordination shows that other men and women think I am equipped and called to ministry. God equipped and called me to ministry long before I began the ordination process. Ordination, though, confirms that calling by more than just the feeling in my heart.
I’m also really looking forward to the apostolic tradition of other ordained leaders laying their hands on me. My grandpa is one of the most influential people in my life. He is an ordained minister and I hope that he will be there to lay hands on me when I am ordained.
I don’t think ordination is a prerequisite to God’s equipping and calling. I do, however, think it can be a confirmation of God’s equipping and calling. It may not be the most important thing in Christianity but that doesn’t mean it isn’t without value.
And, even if I can’t get ordained, I can always be a Klingon cleric.
What value do you think ordination has in the church today?