Explore Your Call

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not upon your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your path.” —Proverbs 3:5-6

Each person senses God's call to ministry in a different way. Sometimes during prayer or communion, you may feel a strong urging to consider full-time ministry as a clergyperson. During a mission trip or at a church retreat, you might sense that God seems to be inviting you to consider ministry as a vocation. Sometimes, however, you may sense that calling while you're in the middle of one of your everyday activities—attending class, at work, or spending time with friends. Perhaps someone said something to you that got you thinking.

However the invitation comes, you decide how you will respond. Is God calling you to use your gifts and talents as a clergyperson?

You also need honest feedback. Talk with your family, friends, pastor, or another deacon, local pastor, or elder you know. Tell them what you are thinking about and ask their advice. How do they see your sharing your skills, gifts, and talents to make a difference in the world?

If you’re discerning how God is directing your path and calling you to serve the church, here are some resources to help:

Stories of God’s call:

Questions to consider as you read these stories:

  • How does God’s call come to the persons involved?
  • How does each person respond?
  • To what extent is each person confident, hesitant, willing, or uncertain?
  • To what task is each called?
  • In what ways does God or Christ offer reassurance to the persons called?
  • In what manner is the call you are experiencing different or similar to the persons called?

United Methodist Church resource:

Recommended reading:

The Christian as Minister

This resource is a compilation of information about the call to ministry and the avenue The United Methodist Church offers to embody that call. If you plan to move forward with the candidacy process, we invite you to read this book and discuss it with your pastor.

Beyond the Burning Bush: Hearing and Answering God’s Call

This is a collection of personal stories about the call to ordained ministry. Elders, deacons, seminarians, chaplains, campus ministers, and college students relate how they stepped out in faith.

This Odd & Wondrous Calling

Two people still pastoring reflect honestly here on both the joys and the challenges of their vocation. Anecdotal and extremely readable, the book covers a diversity of subjects revealing the incredible variety of a pastor’s day. The chapters move from comedy to pathos, story to theology, scripture to contemporary culture. This Odd & Wondrous Calling is both serious and fun and is ideal for those who are considering the ministry.


This is a messy, beautiful, and prayer-laden narrative about an unconventional life of faith that uses poignant honesty to portray a woman who is both deeply faithful and deeply flawed. Entertaining and resonant, this is the book for people who hunger for a bit of hope and for those seeking transcendence and mystery even if they have qualms about institutionalized religion.

*These books can be purchased through Cokesbury or Amazon.

Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church

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