Discerning your vocation: God's calling

First published 24th April 2015
Sunday 26 April 2015 is Vocations Sunday. Revd Nicola Stanley reflects on how we might discern acall to ministry, and importantly how we can might help others recognise their own gifts.

For most people, the realisation that God might be calling them to serve him in a particular ministry is both terrifying and exciting! And even more daunting than the personal acknowledgement of this momentous realisation is the requirement to articulate it to others: family, friends, parish priest and diocesan director of ordinands (DDO).

Over a ten-year ministry as DDO in the Kensington Episcopal Area, I saw many people who felt called to ordination and although each persons story was unique, they frequently found themselves sitting in my office as a result of someone often, but not exclusively, their parish priest asking whether they had ever considered ordination.

This suggestion had often come as a bolt from the blue and some considerable time usually elapsed, during which others affirmed their calling, before they acted on it.

So if you know someone who you feel would be suited to ordination, or indeed any other authorised ministry, dont hang back have a quiet word with them! It could be that nothing at all will happen but it just might be that you sow a seed which comes to fruition in God's time.

Pray for them but remember, this is God's work and the invitation to serve God is always just that an invitation which may be accepted or refused.

Revd Nicola Stanley is Canon Precentor of Bristol Cathedral.


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