324.9.o: You have agreed as a candidate for the sake of the mission of Jesus Christ in the world and the most effective witness to the gospel, and in consideration of their influence as ministers, to make a complete dedication of yourself to the highest ideals of the Christian life, and to this end agree to exercise responsible self-control by personal habits conducive to bodily health, mental and emotional maturity, integrity in all personal relationships, fidelity in marriage and celibacy in singleness, social responsibility, and growth in grace and the knowledge and love of God. What is your understanding of this agreement?
I understand two things about this agreement: first, I am agreeing to hold the responsibility of the office of my ordination to the highest standards and second, I am acknowledging the privilege that comes with that office. As an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, people will look to me to learn about Jesus and the church. I am agreeing to hold that responsibility with respect and reverence. I will sit with people in their last moments and walk with their families through the grief of losing a loved one; I will pray over newborn babies and help their parents adjust to the new life an addition to the family brings; and I will journey with people over a life time. As an elder in The United Methodist church, I will carry these responsibilities always. I understand that this agreement means I do not get to leave a long day of work and behave as if I do not continue to hold the office of ordained elder in the church. I am agreeing to be an Elder in The United Methodist Church at all times, whether I am “on duty” or not.
Second, I believe this agreement is an acknowledgment of the power and privilege I will hold as a minister in The United Methodist Church. The words I use and the actions I take will influence the communities around me in a way that holds more power and privilege than many other people. I understand this agreement to mean that I am shaping the lives of the people around me, not just through my words but also my actions. By repenting from harmful habits and ways of being and instead growing in grace and knowledge of the love of God, I am creating a space for others to experience the Kingdom of God.
You will find and introduction to my BOM theological paperwork here: Doctrinal Exam