When I was working in the admissions office at Memphis Theological Seminary (MTS), I got to talk with prospective students about their interest in seminary. Regardless of age, race, gender, or background, their stories all had at least one common element. They felt God was calling them to seminary.
Some didn’t know exactly what God had in store for them, and others found that their own plans and God’s plans for their lives were quite different. But they were all striving to answer God’s call. Most graduated MTS as pastors, directors of Christian Education, chaplains and lay leaders.
God calls us in many ways to do many things: to worship and serve God, to preach, to pastor, to write, to sing, to play music, to administrate, to serve as an elder or deacon, to minister in far away lands, to serve God right next door. God calls us in many ways to do many things.
- When have you felt God calling you to do something? How did you feel God call you? How did you respond to God?
- What might God be calling you to do today? As an individual? As a class?
- Do you think God calls all of us to our vocations or is that just for ministers? Explain your answer.
- What might be some results, positive and negative, of answering God’s call in your life?
- Ask your pastor to share with your class his or her call to the ministry. Listen to him or her mention those who affirmed that call (spouse, pastor, friend). Commit to affirm the call of those ministerial candidates under the care of your presbytery.
- Pray regularly for people to answer God’s call to ordained ministry. God may be calling you! Pray regularly for those who have answered this call.
- Find a way to teach the youth and children in your church to prayerfully seek God’s will in their careers and educational planning and choices.
- Commit to being a better steward of your spiritual life. Strive to be more open to God calling you to everyday acts of love, mercy, and compassion. If you don’t spend time by yourself listening to God, make some time and do it regularly.