Friday, February 6, 2015

Do You Speak About Calling and Do You Help "Ministerial Students"?

I made a commitment to the ministry many years ago while serving as a Summer Youth Minister at my home church. I had taken the youth to camp and made a commitment with which I had been struggling for a while. In later years I often did the morning Bible Study at that very camp. One thing I would always talk about during the week was calling to ministry.

I am of the opinion that we don't talk about it much to students these days. "Ministerial Student" has even become an old fashioned term. With our emphasis on everybody sharing and going, I believe we are not doing what we ought to in talking about "vocational ministry". Some are called by God to make ministry their vocation. The second part of that is, are you helping students who have made a commitment to "vocational ministry" to work that out, understand it and take the next steps?

Have you identified students in your College Ministry (both male and female) who have felt a call or are trying to decide if God has called them to "the ministry"? My mother called it "The Gospel Ministry". Second, are you doing anything to help them? Young women especially feel left out in this process and increasingly want to know what options are available to them.

So, what could you do? Here are some options:

-Give them a copy of Jeff Iorg's book, Is God Calling You?. It is practical, short, and excellent!
-Have a session for them where you just answer questions about ministry, seminary, etc.
-Invite a local pastor to meet with some students to talk about ministry and their questions.
-Have a panel at your large group Lunch Program, Worship Event or Retreat where there are people representing all kinds of different callings (Children, Administrative, Women, Youth, Recreation, Worship, Teaching, etc.). Many are not aware of the variety of Vocational Ministry positions available.

I grew up thinking there were just preachers, song leaders and missionaries. That is part of why I think it took me a while to crystalize and commit to my calling. None of those three seemed to fit me. I wrote in August about a national gathering of college students where those who felt called to the ministry were invite to a lunch. Out of about 1700 students, about 100 came. There they were divided into groups according to their perceived specific calling. Out of these 100 students, with a large group in every category, there was only one worship leader. What? With all the emphasis on music in worship these days, where is the disconnect? Maybe, they aren't hearing anyone talk about calling.

What's the simplest thing you can do to help those who either have made a commitment or are wrestling with it? Invite them for a coke and affirm their commitment or their struggle with the decision. Answer questions and see how you might plug them into some ministry opportunities that might benefit them.

Have you spoken on "Calling" this school year?

No comments:

Post a Comment