Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Ministry- "Being Called- Inward and Outward"
If you feel called it is difficult to keep it in. We have a strong desire to share it. Some fight their call for YEARS. Only after someone else recognizes something in them do they respond. The outward call is confirmed by the church, the Body of Christ. In the United Methodist Church to confirm an outward call, we have several excellent layers of leadership that help. We find those leaders in the local church, the district, the conference and ultimately, with our Bishops. Both clergy and laity are deeply involved in this process. The process of moving forward with an outward call is clearly outlined by our General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. A call to ministry is inwardly experienced, and outwardly confirmed. For the United Methodist Church, both are needed to move forward toward clergy service. For more answers about inward and outward call, I recommend reading Thomas Oden's book Pastoral Theology.
If you feel called to ministry and have done nothing with it, what are you waiting for? God calls leaders for a reason. God needs faithful and loving people to lead the church. Prayerfully consider taking the next step if you are called. Let others around you know what you are considering in. Don't keep it in. Let love and faith be your guides. Go in peace and go with God.