The act of ordination symbolizes a combination of God’s call for a person to be in ministry, the congregation’s affirmation, the recipient’s dedication to ministry, and the blessing of the wider church. Ordination follows a process of discernment in the congregation and in the wider church or conference. It is a one-time event, kept alive by continuing service in and for the church. Ordination is normally transferable from one congregation or conference assignment to another. Licensing for pastoral assignments is for a preliminary period of time. Commissioning is normally for a specific assignment.

Most large modern Mennonite churches ordain pastors to full time ministry. Some of the smaller congregations call their ministers for the proportion that they believe they can afford–half time, three quarter time, etc.

The more conservative groups choose ministers from within the congregation and ordain them to the ministry. These are not paid positions. Rather the congregation probably gives the minister a “love offering” at various times.