Vocation – the call of God
Moses was called to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.
Mary was called to be the mother of Jesus.
Simon and Andrew were called to leave their nets and to follow Jesus.
As we read the Bible, we see again and again that people are called by God to certain tasks. In the biblical accounts, the calling is often direct and clear. Some people agree straight away while others such as Jeremiah don’t feel adequate. And then there was Jonah who initially ran away from his calling.
We believe in the ‘ministry of all believers’. We take our cue from Ephesians 4:11-12 where it is clear that the task of the leaders (apostles, prophets, teachers etc.) of the church is to “equip God’s people for works of service.” We understand baptism then as ‘ordination to ministry in God’s world.’ All Christians are called in this sense to represent God wherever they find themselves – at work, through volunteering, at home or at school. We can understand all good work as our vocation. We should be encouraging our leaders to equip us to take our full part in contributing to the common good whether it is by cleaning floors, making money, healing bodies or guarding prisoners to name just a few roles. In this sense all believers are ‘full time Christian workers’.
In the diocese we do have resources to enable you to think more about this general understanding of vocation. Our Journey in Faith course offers the opportunity over a year of study to grow more confident in our faith and discover more about how God might be calling us. During the course a day is given over to sharing all the vocational possibilities that arise from studying on JiF. All of these are explored briefly below (with links to their own web pages on this site).
Recognised Lay Ministry (RLM) exists in this diocese to equip Christians for a variety of world facing or church facing roles. Local churches commission such ministers who are recognised throughout the diocese. RLM training is available in: Helping Adults Learn; Children’s Work; Youth Work; Community Ministry; Pastoral Care; Disciples at Work; Worship and Music; Witness and Evangelism.
Reader or Licensed Lay Ministry can take a number of forms and normally includes regularly leading worship and preaching in church services while all the time making connections between the world and the gathering of God’s people.
The ordained ministry of deacons and priests is another calling that some explore. If you or others around you (and such calls are usually confirmed by more than one person) feel that you are being called to ordained ministry please speak to your Vicar or Chaplain. Your Vicar may refer you to the Vocations Adviser / Diocesan Director of Ordinands (DDO) who links up with the teams of advisers and mentors in the diocese who can help you discern your vocation and support you through this process.
Click here to download a copy of our diocesan publication Exploring a Vocation to ordained ministry