Thursday, December 10, 2009

See a Minister?

One of the critical questions, if not the critical question, Ministerial Fellowshipping Committee (MFC) members ask themselves in the examining process is whether they "see a minister" in a candidate for ministry. Serving as a liaison to candidates has changed my understanding of this inquiry. I'll blog about in the future.

In the meantime, I'm curious what this phrase means to you.


  1. My first thought about this elusive "ministerial presence" is that a strong candidate demonstrates the ability to reflect critically on questions in light of our UU traditions and values. Our congregations expect us to be able to provide leadership in responding thoughtfully from a UU persepctive to difficult questions and situations.

  2. When I started in the ministry, there weren't many women, so it was difficult for the MFC to see a minister in someone who didn't have a traditionally masculine style and to see a woman in someone who did --- which put a lot of female candidates in a bind. Several of our outstanding woman ministers originally had difficulty with the MFC. So I find the phrase subjective enough that it bothers me.

  3. If ministry is interactive and relational, rather than external and evangelical, there can be no "detached reader" for ministerial presence.

    The minister that works in one congregational setting will be dismissed from another.