Create a culture of call
Every local church is urged to create a culture of call that lifts up vocational ministry in such a way that our children, youth, and adults are able to hear and respond to God’s call.
Here are several ways to create a culture of call within your congregation:
- Host an ELI Project intern: The Exploring Leadership Internship (ELI) Project is a Minnesota Conference internship program for college students exploring a call to vocational ministry. Through it, up to 10 college students are selected each summer to participate in a hands-on learning experience. After gathering for a week of orientation, which includes trips to seminaries and an opportunity to learn about the United Methodist Church, each intern spends eight weeks at a host church or organization. The host congregation invites the intern to gain experience in a wide variety of ministerial contexts—and involves the intern in intentional reading, spiritual formation, and reflective discussions to help him or her hear and discern God’s call. Host churches must have a proven track record of vitality and the ability to identify and nurture healthy leaders. They must make a commitment to creating and deepening a culture of call in the life of the congregation even after the internship ends. ELI Project website
- Celebrate a “Calling Sunday” At least once a year, build a worship service around the call to vocational ministry. Focus your attention on Christian vocation and how, by virtue of our baptism, God calls each person into service. Pastors can share their own call story within the worship service and/or invite others serving in full-time Christian vocations to do the same. Invite those who might be discerning a call to talk with the pastor about how God is speaking to them. Invite people to consider whether God might be calling them to live out their baptism through vocational ministry.
- Focus on calling in children’s ministry Spend at least one session in your children’s ministry (Sunday School or another program) focusing on the theme of calling, including full-time ministry as one possible calling.
- Focus on calling in youth ministry Spend at least one session in your youth ministry (Sunday School or another program) focusing on the theme of calling, including full-time ministry as one possible calling.