How can congregations help people consider Christian vocation? Consider scheduling a “Calling Sunday” in your congregation. Check out these resources.
How can congregations help candidates for ordained ministry?
A few simple suggestions:
• Check out our “Is God calling me?” brochure and print or forward it to those in your congregation who work with youth and young adults.
• Order several copies of the book written for candidates, The Christian as Minister. They only cost $3.00-$6.00 each, and are available at www.cokesbury.com.
• Find out if there are currently any candidates in your congregation. (Check with your
pastor, church office, P/SPR committee, or district office.)
• Create opportunities to raise the option of Christian vocation in your congregation. Retell your calling stories in sermons and in small groups, and share the option of ordained ministry with your youth and young adults. Calling Sunday resources are available here.
• Encourage and expect youth and young adults in your congregation to participate visibly in worship and to be actively involved in all levels of congregational life.
• Spend time listening to youth and young adults in your congregation. When you sense a heightened interest or spiritual awakening in a gifted young person, prayerfully consider whether God may be calling that person into ordained ministry. If you feel led to do so, let that young person know that you have been praying for him or her, and that you believe God may be calling him or her to consider ordained ministry, and share the "Is God Calling Me?" resource."
• If you have candidates for ministry in your congregation, take the time to get to know
them personally. Take them out to lunch, listen to their struggles, and let them know that you support them and are available to them.
• Place and keep all college and seminary candidates on your church’s prayer list.
• Invite current candidates to preach, participate visibly in worship, and share their calling
stories and seminary experiences with your youth and young adults.
• Create a task force or invite a concerned staff member or layperson to keep in touch with your congregation’s candidates. Encouraging e-mails, phone calls, and care packages sent to candidates in colleges and seminaries can help them tangibly experience your love and support.
• Consider creating a scholarship fund or taking a special offering to help your candidates with educational expenses. The Fund for Theological Education offers matching grants to candidates whose congregations support them.
To learn more, go to: www.thefund.org/programs/
For more resources to help your congregation call people to consider ordained ministry, go to: