oops. Missed a day. Back to the questions...
6) For the sake of the mission of Jesus Christ in the world and the most effective witness to the Christian gospel, and in consideration of your influence as an ordained minister, are you willing to make a complete dedication of yourself to the highest ideals of the Christian life; and to this end will you agree to exercise responsible self-control by personal habits conducive to physical health, intentional intellectual development, fidelity in marriage and celibacy in singleness, social responsibility, and growth in grace and the knowledge and love of God?
Yes, I am willing. I believe this description of “the highest ideals of Christian life” is a model for ordained ministers, and a way of life to be modeled in turn for others, for communities being served. I see this agreement as a call to commitment and accountability, not unlike the standards John Wesley tried to uphold for himself and for those in his societies.
The words of this commitment signify time, effort, and care over one’s self as a leader, as a disciple. These words describe the kind of service into which we are all called to take part. The question closes with the phrase “growth in grace and the knowledge and love of God.” Growing in grace and in the knowledge of and love of God is the lifelong journey which is the desire of my heart, as it was for John Wesley, and as we seek to make it for the people we serve.
The ideals listed above urge us to live into effective leadership. Beyond that, the call to social responsibility, to emotional maturity, to growth in grace – these call us to ideals that contribute to our own wholeness, to help us become more Christ like, to help us enjoy more fully our relationship with God.