Today I have a half hour meeting with the Bishop in preparation for my ordination. Surprisingly, I'm not really that nervous. My senior pastor thinks he will drill me with theological questions, but I'm pretty sure that is not the intent of this meeting! Just in case, my senior pastor supplied me with potential answers to any question the Bishop might ask: a) John Wesley, b) The Book of Disciple, or c) Because you're the Bishop.
As I alluded to before, the thing that has been on my mind most lately is the issue of authority. After the Bishop lays hands on my at my ordination he will present me with a Bible and say, "Krista, take authority as an elder in the Church to preach the word of God, and to administer the Holy Sacraments."
How is this authority different than the authority I've taken as a licenced local pastor and a commissioned elder? What difference will my ordination, and the authority that comes with it, make in my ministry? I'm sure it will make a difference, it will just be interesting to see how this difference manifests itself in my life and vocation.
I think I struggle with authority to some extent because I am an associate pastor. While my yes means yes and my no means no (most of the time), the ultimate authority in my church resides with the senior pastor. Despite the fact that he gives me a lot of latitude in my areas of ministry and allows me space to lead, he is "The Pastor," so sometimes I wonder where that leaves me.
Yet the bishop will lay hands on me and present me with a Bible and I will be ordained and it will be the culmination of many years of hard work and an affirmation of the call I have felt on my heart since I was very young and it will be amazing. And, with God's grace, I will take my authority. And I will see where it leads.