Readiness for Ministry Seminars

Richard R. Gerber

Where do the new ministers of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church come from? Some are nurtured and equipped within the families and congregations of our church. Others come to us as ordained ministers from other churches. Sometimes our first contact with a prospective minister comes on the seminary campus where a man is studying in preparation for the ministry.

The Committee on Home Missions and Church Extension and the Committee on Christian Education of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church sponsor a series of "Readiness for Ministry in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church" seminars each year.

This training and evaluation seminar is an enrichment opportunity for seminary students. A number of presentations are made on Reformed ministry and about the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. The seminar also proves to be helpful to seminary graduates from outside the OPC who are pursuing ministry in the OPC.

The need for new ministers has been constant. The OPC continues to plant new churches. Pastors retire or step away from the ministry for other reasons. These developments provide opportunities for ministry in the OPC. The Committee invests a significant portion of its home mission and church expansion efforts toward people who want to hear of ministry opportunities in our denomination, including opportunities for summer and yearlong internships.

Each seminar participant gives a three-minute introduction of himself before the group. Also, he preaches a ten-minute exhortation before half the group. The exhortation is to be an exposition of a text of Scripture with appropriate application. Participation in several group exercises entitled "Problem Solving in Reformed Ministry" is also part of the seminar.

The program includes a personal feedback interview with one of the observers. The observations of the elders present at the seminar, concerning a man's gifts and church leadership potential, are discussed with him in the feedback interview. All the observers are ministers or ruling elders of the OPC.

2010 Readiness for Ministry in the OPC Seminars are scheduled for:

  • February 12-13 — Westminster Seminary California, Escondido, California
  • February 19-20 — Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • March 5-6 — Matthews Orthodox Presbyterian Church near Charlotte, North Carolina

If you wish to attend a seminar and explore the challenge of Reformed ministry and the opportunities for service and internship in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, contact Dick Gerber at gerber.1@opc.org. Even if you are from outside the areas where seminars are to be held, please contact Mr. Gerber and express your interest. If you know a seminarian who would benefit from attending a seminar, please refer him to Mr. Gerber.

The completion of at least one year of seminary is required for participation. You do not have to be a member of the OPC to be a participant in this day and a half training program. You do need a desire to better evaluate your gifts and strengths in general and your giftedness and readiness for church leadership in particular. There is no fee charged for participation. Meals and overnight lodging are provided.


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