This post is part of a series telling about my experience with the Board of Ordained Ministry. Other posts in this series are listed in a yellow box below this post.
Ministerial Effectiveness: This group evaluates your life story and call to ministry, as well as your understanding of what it means to be a minister, and what gifts you bring to the ministry. This was the first group that I met with, and I was nervous. My mouth went dry, and I stammered my replies. They asked me about my call to ministry and my involvement with the church. I was well prepared to answer those questions.
Then they asked me what the difference was between deacon and elder. My reply was absent minded… I referred to them as deacon and ordained minister, rather than ordained deacon and ordained elder. Someone asked me about that, and I realized that I had to correct myself. I wanted to demonstrate that I had the proper understanding, so I stepped through differences straight from the Discipline. Both elders and deacons are ordained. Deacons are ordained to Word and Service. Elders are ordained to Word, Service, Sacrament, and Order. That is fundamental knowledge that everyone should know before going to the boards.
I left the interview feeling like I did well enough, but I wished that I had been able to calm down and be more relaxed with them.
Tip: Know what the Discipline says about the responsibilities of being an elder and a deacon. Be comfortable with your call, and be able to describe what your ministry has looked like, and what you envision it looking like in the future.