Are You Called to Ministry?
By virtue of being incorporated into the church by our baptism, all Christians are ministers. God has uniquely designed and packaged each of us to participate in the body of Christ contributing to the mission of making Disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. What we say is that God has “called us” to ministry.
That ministry to which God has called us is sometimes faithfully fulfilled as a layperson in our homes, communities, workplace, school and around the world. The United Methodist Church is ideally positioned to help you engage in meaningful mission and ministry as a lay person. Perhaps the Certified Lay Ministry (CLM) route is appropriate for you. [More]
Sometimes the call God has placed on our lives is fulfilled through a credentialed ministry as an ordained or licensed local pastor. The United Methodist Church provides a variety of ways to fulfill this call too.
How do I discern God's call?
So, God is calling you for sure, but is it to a credentialed ministry or the ministry of the laity? How do I know?
In the United Methodist Church, we have a variety of tools to help discern God's call.
The best place to start would be to have a conversation with your pastor, a campus minister, or a deacon about what you are feeling. Then, purchase a copy of The Christian as Minister [insert image of book cover]. It is available for purchase at any Cokesbury Book Store or at www.cokesbury.com. Many church pastors have a copy to give to persons considering God's call. You might check with him/her.
Have a followup conversation with that pastor, campus minister or deacon about what you experienced in your reading.
Another really great tool is to visit www.isgodcallingyou.org, which is an interactive, decision-flow website of our denomination. In addition to this site, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry has a great section on the ministry of the ordained. [More]
If you arrive at the end of this conversation and your heart is feeling drawn toward credentialed ministry, you will want to contact the District Superintendent of the district in which you participate in ministry. The Superintendent will be able to direct you in the steps of candidacy leading to credentialing.
If at any time you become confused about the process, contact the Director of the Office of Ministry, Rev. Wade Giffin by wgiffin [at] wocumc.org (email) or phone 800.437.0028 ext. 316.
If you arrive at the end of this conversation and your heart is feeling drawn toward the ministry of the laity, continue to talk with the clergy with whom you began this conversation. Ask him/her for guidance and help with discernment. For ministry and mission opportunities through the Annual Conference, this website provides some ways to engage in ministry. You may also contact the Director of Connectional Ministries, Sue Nilson Kibbey by snkibbey [at] wocumc.org (email) or phone 800.437.0028. Be sure to check the section for the Certified Lay Ministry as well. [More]
These links will provide some additional and specific information for your journey: