positions. Metropolitan Community Church operates a “call system” – that is, the individual clergyperson spends time in discernment and prayer about whether God is calling them to stay in a position or calling them to move. Congregations
spend time in discernment and prayer about whom they need to call as their pastor. This model is used by other churches too. However many denominations use
a system where the bishop or other senior leader, in consultation with the individual and congregation, makes these decisions. Sometimes I think people imagine I can just turn up at any church (regardless of denomination) in any location and just become the pastor!
Call is also not about career progression or personal advancement. A colleague of mine says her family despair at her “downwardly mobile” lifestyle. Whilst they think she should be looking for bigger and better, she listens to the voice of God, asking her to serve in all sorts of different ways, which don’t give job stability or a company pension scheme.
In MCC around the world, we believe in “the priesthood of all believers” – that is, every single person has a call on their lives. God is inviting each and every one of us to be active in ministry. Some people answer this call through their job or through voluntary work. Many answer it through participation in their faith community. No call is better or more important than another. When we used to worship in the church hall, I used to joke that it didn’t matter how great my sermon was, no-one would be listening if the set up team hadn’t put the chairs out!
One of the real joys in my ministry is to sit and listen as individuals in our faith community discern their call. It is wonderful to see them grow into a role, and they become more confident and experienced, to expand that call in different ways. Our call often extends from the things that we find we are most passionate about, and then we use our gifts and skills to live out our passion and answer
When was the last time you really sat and listened to see if you are really following the call that God has placed on your heart?
Imagine what blessings might await you if do.