Christians are people who have been called by Jesus to be disciples, learners and apprentices in his service. Many times in the Gospels Jesus calls: “Follow me!” In that sense, all Christians are called to serve him. The first calling of the Church today is to help people to hear his call and to respond to him in faithful service 24/7.
In the New Testament, the word we translate as ‘minister’ (and other related words) refer to people who have a special, accountable commission. So, in the case of Jesus himself, he had a special commission from his Father to give his life for the world: “For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10.45) We know that when Saint Paul used the word in his letters, he was referring to people who had been given special tasks to perform, and God is still calling people to public ministry today.
The role of the Church is to help people to listen for God’s call, to help them think and pray about the nature of the call, to train, to commission and to support in ministry.
The range of public ministries available today is considerable and our Vocations Advisory Group (led by the Dean, Director of Vocation and Training) is eager to help anyone who senses that God may be calling in this way.
Among lay ministries are those of Reader, Evangelist, Pastor, Youth Worker, etc.
Ordained ministry to the diaconate and the priesthood (not necessarily together) are ‘orders’ centred around the Word and Sacraments that demand life-long commitment not simply to functions but also to an inner being.
If you believe God may be calling you to ministry and you would value the opportunity to discuss and pray about it, please contact the Dean on behalf of the Vocations Advisory Group.