Amarillo District offered up a little work shop today on exploring calling for anyone considering professional ministry. A friend of mine put it together, and there are quite a few resources out there for those trying to figure out how to respond to a call to ministry.
As Christians we all have entered into ministry together. We are called as a people to serve, to be Christ’s ambassadors to a world that is often lonely and broken and in pain. This is the primary idea of a call or a vocation on any person’s life. Paul says we are to live lives worthy of the calling we have in Christ, and that’s a stiff order.
But some in following Christ recognize a deeper need to serve and to work for the kingdom of God, and that’s where a professional calling might take place. This is for the youth and worship leaders, children’s education specialists might find themselves. At some point, the church and the person find their gifts, talents, and passions fit the needs of the mission of the church. This could involve employment or volunteer work beyond the norm.
What gifts you might ask?
Well, what would you want in a pastor? How would you recognize someone who serves the church?
You can answer those yourselves, we know we need someone who can listen, speak, communicate, lead, coordinate, and has a love for Christ.
A head pastor or an Elder (at least in the Methodist Church) requires those same gifts, and an extra recognition not just from the local church but from the church as a larger entity.
This breaks down the ministry into categories: congregational, lay leadership, and ordained ministry. There are many ways in which these get lived out – missionaries, chaplains, professors, pastors, youth group leaders, and just about every other variety of profession out there can be a way of serving God and neighbor.