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Can a pastor ordain another pastor

Pastors ordain other pastors, there’s no question about that. To do otherwise is to take matters into your own hands, which isn’t what the Bible teaches. But where in the Bible does a pastor ordain another pastor? This article takes you verse-by-verse through a pastor’s right and responsibility to ordain a pastor. Can a pastor ordain another pastor? .The answer is yes. A pastor is someone who has been ordained to serve God, and ordination is the process of receiving the authority to do so. The Bible says that we are all ministers of Christ (1 Corinthians 4:1). As such, we all have the ability to ordain someone else as a minister of Christ. In fact, in Matthew 28:19-20, it says “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations… teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age.” This verse shows that we are to teach others what Jesus taught us so they can be His disciples and spread His message throughout the world! If you’re wondering why pastors need more training than other people, here’s why: pastors lead people who want to learn about God and grow in their faith in Him. They also help those who want guidance on how to live their lives for God’s glory. To do this effectively takes training from experienced pastors or leaders who have gone through similar journeys themselves in order as well as knowing God’s Word well enough so they can teach others.

Can a pastor ordain another pastor

I would like to answer this question as clearly and concisely as possible, but this is actually a deep subject that needs to be explored carefully. We need to ask ourselves two important questions before we can give a definitive answer. First, what does it mean to be ordained? Second, what does it mean for someone to ordain another person? In the Bible, ordination doesn’t really relate so much to giving someone permission to do ministry as it relates recognizing that God has already called a person and gifted them for ministry. So the second question relates directly to who can ordain a minister. Ultimately, biblical precedent suggests that anyone who is a minister of the gospel in good standing who has been called by God and gifted by God for ministry should be able to ordain other people.

There are two important questions that need to be answered before we can give a definitive, easy-to-understand answer to the question at hand.

The first question that needs to be answered is what does it mean to be ordained? Ordination has been defined as “the formal act of appointing someone to a church office.” It is from this definition that we can glean some important truths about ordination. First, it is an act of appointment or installation into a specific office within the church body. This means two things: (1) there are certain qualifications that must be met by those who are appointed or installed and (2) the people who perform these appointments or installations hold special authority within the local body of believers known as the Church.

Secondly, we must ask who can ordain ministers? The answer here will determine whether or not one person may ordain another person, since this is our main question today—can a pastor ordain another pastor? If someone holds a position in which they have special authority over other members within their local body of believers then they should also hold special authority when performing any sort of ceremony where ordination into ministry is involved because he/she will be installing someone into ministry himself/herself!

What does it mean to be ordained?

Just as you would not want to be on your way to work in the morning and wonder if your car will start, you also do not want to get married or baptized and wonder if the person officiating really does have the authority to do so. You want assurance that things are going to go smoothly—that you are getting married or baptized by a legitimate minister of God.

Ordination is a recognition of one’s calling, gifting, and character from other pastors within their denomination or from an outside body (such as Crowne Ministries). Ordination is a formal public declaration that an individual has been called by God into full time ministry; it also means that they have been given spiritual gifts by the Holy Spirit for this purpose.

What does it mean for someone to ordain another person?

Ordination is not about giving someone permission to do ministry. It’s a recognition of God’s call and gifting in a person, which has been demonstrated through various means (training, experience). When you ordain someone, you are saying that God has already called them for ministry and that they have shown evidence of this call through their life and ministry so far.

When you ordain someone in the PCA or OPC churches, it’s important to note that these are two different kinds of churches: one presbyterian and another congregationalist (which means they don’t have elders/bishops but rather each congregation functions as its own autonomous entity).

biblical qualifications for ordination

Therefore, in the Bible, ordination is not so much about giving a person permission to do ministry as it is about recognizing that God has already called and gifted that person for ministry.

In the Bible, ordination is not so much about giving a person permission to do ministry as it is about recognizing that God has already called and gifted that person for ministry.

The word “ordain” comes from the Latin word ordinare, which means “to arrange beforehand or designate.” In other words, ordination isn’t just something done in response to a request from a candidate; it’s an action taken by those who have authority because they’re ordained themselves and can trace their authority back to Christ through His apostles (see Acts 1:8).

Ordination recognizes both the call of God on someone’s life and also says something about what kind of leader this person will be if he or she continues down this path. If a pastor ordains another pastor, he or she hopes that what they see in that person reflects the character traits needed for effective leadership within his or her congregation.

The second question relates to who can ordain a minister.

The second question relates to who can ordain a minister.

Anyone who is a minister of the gospel in good standing can and should ordain others who have been called and gifted by God for ministry. Ordination is a formal recognition of God’s calling and gifting of a person for ministry, not just another line on one’s business card or resume.

who can ordain a pastor

For example, can a pastor ordain another pastor?

Yes. A pastor can ordain another pastor. There are many passages that show this to be true: “I will ordain you as a prophet to the nations,” said God (Ezekiel 37:28). In other words, He ordained His prophet to be among the nations.

Likewise, Jesus said that He would be with His apostles until the end of time (Matthew 28:20). He did not say “until their deaths” or “until your deaths,” but rather until the end of time—which is saying that they had authority after death and could still minister on earth in His name!

Biblical precedent suggests that anyone who is a minister of the gospel in good standing can and should ordain others who have been called and gifted by God for ministry.

There is a very important distinction to be made between ordination and licensing. Licensing is a recognition that God has already called and gifted that person for ministry. Ordination is not so much about giving a person permission to do ministry as it is about recognizing that God has already called and gifted that person for ministry.

Biblical precedent suggests that anyone who is a minister of the gospel in good standing can and should ordain others who have been called and gifted by God for ministry. Now, you may be looking to get ordained yourself—in that case, we recommend finding an existing church or organization to guide you through the process. And if you’re already a pastor or leader at an existing church, check out our resource on how to start your own ordination process!

What does it mean for a minister to be ordained?

ordained commissioned or licensed minister

Most of our religious world puts great stress on the proper ordination of ministers, but when we turn to the Bible, we find that it says very little on the subject. Under the old covenant, there were very elaborate rituals to be followed in ordaining priests, including special garments, offerings, and being anointed with oil (Exodus 28-29; Leviticus 8-9). Under the New Testament, however, there is no longer a separate priesthood as there was under Judaism. Under the New Testament, all Christians have a great high priest, Jesus Christ, who urges all Christians to perform the priestly functions to come boldly unto the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:14-16). Peter further points out that all Christians are priests before God. Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:5).

The word ordain implies the appointing of, or investing of one with authority. Speaking of Paul and Barnabas, Luke says that when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed (Acts 14:23). When a problem arose in the Jerusalem church, the apostles appointed seven men to serve who were apparently the first deacons (though not explicitly called deacons in the text), whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them (Acts 6:6).

As to a formal ordination ceremony for ministers or preachers, however, the scriptures are silent. There were a number of prophets and teachers in the church at Antioch. “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away” (Acts 13:2-3). This was not an ordination to preach, however, but simply a blessing of their work. They were already preachers. The very next verse is significant: “So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus (Acts 13:4).” Real ordination to the ministry comes only from God, and not from men. 2 Timothy 2:4 mentions the laying on of hands that the evangelist Timothy had received, but this was not an ordination ceremony, but the impartation of miraculous spiritual gifts from the apostles. These miraculous gifts are not available to Christians today, because there are no apostles to impart them.

The words the New Testament uses to describe the preacher, such as evangelist, herald, preacher, and minister, all emphasize the work of the evangelist. Paul charged Timothy and others who would preach the word, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2). Preachers under the new covenant are ordained to preach by the Lord, not by human councils or synods. Elaborate rituals of ordination are out of keeping with the New Testament pattern of the priesthood of all believers.

What is Ordination?

According to the teaching of the New Testament, ordination is the recognition by local church of a member’s call of God to the gospel ministry. The recognition consists of the candidate’s conversion to Christ, his call to the ministry, and his conviction of beliefs. Ordination does not confer any ecclesiastical power, it gives no authority, nor does it confer status to the ordained member of the church.

Ordination involves four aspects:

  1. Recognition of God’s call to a full-time responsibility to serve the Lord as an overseer of souls
  2. Identification. In ordination, the church publicly identifies itself with the man. It is an acknowledgment that the church believes in his conversion, call, convictions, and commends him for public leadership and ministry.
  3. It further represents the church’s judgment that the candidate has the ability to perform the duties of the gospel ministry.
  4. Ordination also meets certain legal requirements in the performance of wedding ceremonies, serving as chaplain, and the like.

Since ordination does involve other churches and the candidate’s future ministry, the ordaining church has responsibility not to lay hands suddenly or lightly on any man. There should be a very careful and prayerful searching inquiry made into the candidate’s experience of grace, the reality of his conversion, his call, his character, the worthiness of his concept of his call and his loyalty to Christ and the church. After all, he will be the representative of the church which ordains him.

There is a scriptural basis for ordination. The Lord Jesus chose a select group of men whom He “ordained” or “appointed” to be his special representatives (John 15:16; Mark 3:14). There was evidently an ordination service of some sort held at the church at Antioch for Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13:2, 3). Paul and Barnabas also ordained elders in the churches (Acts 14:23). Paul commanded Titus to ordain elders or pastors (Titus 1:5). Thus there is a scriptural basis for ordination. As a rule, ordination should not take place until a man has been called to a definite place of service and has had time to prove himself.

It should be concluded that:

  1. The Lord calls his servants and appoints them to the work He has qualified them for.
  2. Other Preachers upon examination and with the consent of the church will recognize the call of the Lord.
  3. From what the Scripture says, the person was examined as to his fitness to be ordained.
  4. The requirements for a pastor and deacons are set forth in I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9.

These qualifications should be used in examining a candidate for the gospel ministry. Sometimes these qualifications are ignored or bypassed. God will not call one who cannot qualify. He does not act contrary to his Word.

The custom of examining and “setting apart” those whom God called by the “laying on of hands” seems to have been established In the first century (Acts 13:3; I Timothy 4:14; 5:22; II Timothy 1:6; also Acts 6:6, which likely refers to deacons).

Who Should Be Ordained?

The Scripture is plain that it should be a man (I Timothy 3:1 says, “if a man…”), never a woman. Only a man could meet the standards set forth in the list of qualifications in I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9.

The Bible nowhere sets forth the qualifications for a woman pastor or preacher. It is wrong to try to twist the Scriptures to allow a woman to be ordained to the gospel ministry. The ministry of preaching the gospel is a man’s job, and God qualifies those whom He calls to this very important task. It is a very serious mistake for a church even to consider one who cannot qualify for ordination. There are certain scriptural standards which can be used to determine whether one is qualified for ordination.

A Call from God

The New Testament teaches that God’s ministers are called (Hebrews 5:4). The person to be ordained must have a burning conviction that God has called and he must preach. The apostle Paul had such a conviction. He said: “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” (I Corinthians 9:16).

Paul did not teach that the act of the church at Antioch in ordaining him constituted him an apostle (Galatians 1:1). Ordination does not make the preacher. Unless he is called of God, ordination means nothing. Ordination is simply saying that men believe God has called the man to the ministry. Ordination is an outward act of approval rather than an indispensable channel of grace for the work of the ministry.

The call of God must not be minimized. Sometimes the call has been minimized as of not much importance or of no necessity, and as a result men not called of God have gone into the ministry. Men who preach contrary to the Bible obviously have not been called of God. It is interesting to note that most false teachers do not claim a God-called ministry. They furnish the proof in the message they preach.

The lack of conviction of a call from God is no doubt the reason many men leave the ministry. The man called of God will not find it easy to leave the ministry and start selling insurance or automobiles. Note Jeremiah, for an example: “Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forebearing, and I could not stay (Jeremiah 20:9).”

Are there ways besides the man’s own say-so to determine whether he has a call to preach? Yes, there are, and we will set forth some guidelines which can be used to determine whether the man should be ordained.


The examination process for ordination should involve the ordination council’s request for the candidate to express his own convictions in the matter of the importance for his being ordained. An ordination council can pretty well tell by the manner in which he states his convictions whether he recognizes the importance of being ordained. A standard question asked by the council is: “If you are not ordained, what will you do?”

The candidate should respond: “I will preach; God has called me to preach and I must preach!” It should be recognized that it is not a council that puts the “preach” into a man; it is God who does that. Paul could state his convictions in no uncertain terms and he did (I Corinthians 9:16; I Timothy 1:12); so can any man called of God. Good advice is: “If you can be happy doing anything else then God has not called you to preach.” Strong emphasis should be placed upon a man’s call and his doctrinal position.

The Man’s Ability

Most Fundamentalists believe that the man should have been in the work long enough for his ability to be tested before he is ordained. There are exceptions, to be sure, but they should be few.

If a man does not have the ability to preach, certainly God has not called him. Ephesians 4:11 teaches that those God has called are “teaching pastors.” One of the named qualifications in I Timothy 3:2 is that he be “apt to teach.” This means that he has the ability to teach; God gives him that ability if he does not possess it naturally.

Certainly it is recognized that education has a place in preparing the man for his ministry; a call to preach is a call to prepare. Some individuals question the importance of education by citing D. L. Moody’s example. However, those who use him as an example of an uneducated preacher either do not know or are willfully ignorant of the fact that Moody was a serious student of the Word. He rose early in the morning and spent hours studying the Word every day.

Why do you suppose Paul chose Timothy as a helper in the gospel ministry? There is no doubt that the Lord led him. I believe it was also because Timothy had a good reputation (Acts 16:1-3). He had the ability to do the -work; he had proven himself. A man doing the work of the ministry, preaching and teaching, winning converts, establishing Christians, building up the church is a good candidate for ordination.

The fact that Timothy had been ordained must be what Paul meant by “the laying on of hands by the presbytery” (I Timothy 4:14). What gift was imparted to him? We are not told; however, it was some spiritual gift, and this should be true of every ordination and likely is if it be of God. From what the Scriptures tell us, Timothy already had natural gifts of preaching and teaching, as well as the call from God and this was evident from the good word the brethren gave him.

The Church’s Call for the Ordination of Its Pastor

The church experiencing the benefits of the ministry is of the conviction that he is God’s man and meets the standards of I Timothy 3:2-7. A man should not ask to be ordained, but rather his church should request it to be done. Who can better know a man’s ability and his qualifications than the church he serves as pastor? The church itself being convinced that the man is called of God and having seen his ability to do the work of the ministry, should then call for an ordination council.

Now who determines whom to ordain? The Scofield Reference Bible has a helpful note here. In his notes on Titus 1:5, Dr. Scofield has the following words: “It is not at all a question of the presence in the assembly of persons having the qualifications of elders, made overseers by the Holy Spirit (Acts 20:28); that such persons were in the churches of Crete is assumed; the question is altogether one of the appointment of such persons.

These assemblies were not destitute of elders; but were ‘wanting,’ in that they were not duly appointed … At first they were ordained (Greek ‘Cheirotoneo’…, ‘to designate with the hand’) by an Apostle (Acts 14:23) … ; but in Titus and I Timothy the qualifications of an elder become part of the Scriptures for the guidance of the churches in such appointment (I Timothy 3:1-7).”

Can a local church ordain a man without consulting anyone else? The answer is yes, it can, and be entirely scriptural. It is being done by the Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia, and by other independent Baptist churches throughout the country. It is not the function of a college, seminary or Bible Institute but of a local church. It is not the function of an ordination council; they are only advisory, advising the church of the candidate’s acceptability. The church may overrule the recommendation of the council. It is the sole right and authority of a local church to ordain one of its members to the public ministry. No church has any authority over a non-member.

How does the Ordination Take Place?

In light of our statement that man should be a pastor or associate before being ordained, the following would be in order. The church where the man is pastor should start the proceedings, not the man himself. This church should write his home church where he is still a member. It would be well for a man not to move his membership to the church he is pastoring until after his ordination. The letter will request that the home church ordain their pastor. Sometimes the pastor of the home church, being convinced of the member’s call to the ministry and having observed his ability to do the work, will initiate the proceedings:

  • The pastor will place the matter before the church during a business meeting.
  • The church will vote on whether to proceed with the process of ordination.
  • The pastor will then call pastors to assist as a council.
  • The pastor will contact a number of pastors of local churches to assist in the service.

The pastors will meet and form a council, electing a moderator and clerk. A list of the pastors and the churches they represent is made up. The men are then ready to conduct the actual examination of the candidate. One man usually leads out in the questioning; however, any man on the council may ask any question he wishes to ask. Sometimes the examination is conducted in private with just the council members and the candidate present. At other times the examination is public, before the church. The advantage of a public examination is that it can be a wonderful teaching in the matters of doctrine and church policy.

The examination is usually conducted on three points:

  1. the candidate’s personal salvation experience
  2. his call to the ministry
  3. his doctrinal beliefs

The questions should and usually do relate definitely to his views of fundamental doctrines and his qualifications as a preacher of the word of God.

After the examination the council will go into private session and decide whether or not to recommend the candidate to the church for ordination. Sometimes the recommendation is not to ordain. The church then decides whether or not to accept the recommendation of the council. It is the church that ordains, not a council, a group of preachers, or a denomination.

The actual ordination service consists of the following items:

  • A charge to the church
  • A charge to the preacher
  • An ordination sermon

The Presentation of a Bible

The Bible can be provided by the man’s home church or by the church of which he is a pastor. Last on the program agenda is the laying on of hands. This is simply an endorsement or acknowledgment of the man’s call; no spiritual gift is thus imparted to the individual.

After the ordination service is concluded, the candidate and his wife, together with any Sunday School teachers or other Christian workers who have had part in his developing Christian experience, stand at the front of the church. Then have the congregation come by and shake hands with them and express their prayerful support for the man and his ministry.

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