What is “Recording”?

Recording Process Overview

The peculiarly Quaker way of thinking about ministers comes into focus when one compares the Friends practice of  “recording” with the more common practice of  “ordination.” In many Christian denominations, one must first be ordained in order to become a minister. To be ordained, the potential minister must first meet a certain set of requirements or prerequisites. Usually, for example, there is a certain level of education one must attain.

As Friends, we reject the idea that some outward trait or experience could qualify someone to be a minister. Instead, we believe that anyone may be called to public ministry. Rather than setting human engineered prerequisites, Quakers have chosen simply to observe those who work as ministers. When it becomes clear that a person is indeed doing public ministry, then we make an official record of what God seems to be doing. That person is “recorded” as a minister among Friends.

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