Todd Dawkins: The Road to Ordination
This Sunday, we are celebrating the ordination and installation of Todd Dawkins as the Pastor of Next Generation Ministries. Todd has been serving in this role in a director capacity since July of 2014. As our Director of Next Generation Ministries, Todd oversees all of our nursery, children, youth, and college ministries here at Redeemer, and works closely with our partner ministries, Herron and Tech Young Life. Todd and his wife Stacy first came to Redeemer in 2011, and became members in July of 2013 after the birth of their two children, Evah and Levi. While this ordination is an important event in Todd’s life, it is also an important event in the life of our church. Here is an inside look of what it is like to pursue ordination as Todd’s service approaches.
Upon graduating from IU in 1998, Todd served an internship at a church in Denton, TX, and then began working as Young Life staff for five years here in Indianapolis. In 2004, Todd and Stacy moved to Dallas to attend Dallas Theological Seminary where he earned his Masters of Theology degree in 2007. Because of family and friends, Todd and Stacy chose to return to Indianapolis and rejoined their church, College Park Church, as the interim director of senior high youth. At that time Todd did not feel called to full-time youth ministry in the church; therefore, he began teaching the freshman Bible class at Heritage Christian School here in Indianapolis. Fortunately, he met Eric Richey, a fellow Bible teacher (Eric and his wife Alicia were members of Redeemer until last year when they moved to Cincinnati to pursue full-time vocational ministry). Eric prodded the Dawkins’ to give Redeemer a try. When they finally did, Todd says that Redeemer’s liturgical worship style resonated with his heart, and he was immediately drawn to Redeemer’s focus on preaching the Gospel both to Christians and non-believers.
During one of Jason’s sermons in spring of 2014, Todd felt a conviction to pursue ordination. He didn’t know Jason well at the time, so when he called Shirley to ask for a meeting, he was surprised to find Jason in his kitchen later that week, talking about the steps he would need to take. As a result, Todd approached the session to tell them about his conviction and asked that they direct him. Not quite trusting his own feelings, Todd wanted to be sure that he was not pursuing his own interests, but that he was truly following a call that God had placed on him.
Todd went “under care,” a process where the session observed his life, and sought to discern whether or not Todd had been called to become a pastor. Being under care does not always result in a call; however, throughout this time Todd has received affirmation and encouragement from Jamie and the session members.
The first step toward ordination is first to become licensed to preach in the PCA. Todd worked hard to become licensed, passing exams in Bible knowledge, theology, and the Book of Church Order, along with preaching a sermon that was reviewed and critiqued by the pastors of our Central Indiana Presbytery. Despite these tests being somewhat arduous and stressful, Todd enjoyed his studies, particularly working to memorize the Westminster Shorter Catechism, which he learned by listening to a lot of Bruce Benedict!.
Upon receiving a call (a formal call results in the session determining that a man is fit to become a pastor) from Redeemer’s session early this summer to be the Pastor of Next Generation Ministries, Todd began to study for his final two exams in church history and the sacraments, and, thankfully he passed!
We hope you will join us in celebrating Todd’s ordination and installation as the Pastor of Next Generation Ministries here at Redeemer. The service will take place this Sunday, October 16th from 6:30-7:45 pm in the Redeemer sanctuary with a reception to follow. Yes, there will be childcare during the service. Hope to see you there!