One question that pastors and seminarians face time and time again is people asking us to explain our ‘call’ to ministry.
This has always struck me as a little… confounding.
Some people riff about how God has basically told them from on high that they are supposed to do this ministry thing. And I’ve often wondered...
So, what’s that like? Is it like getting an email or a phone call or a memo from a deity? How... Interesting.
This has never happened to me. In light of these accounts, I’ve felt like I might not be in the right place.
And what about all of the other vocations of people doing important and soulful things? What about nurses, teachers, poets, city managers, stay-at-home dads, street musicians, servers? Why doesn’t the church or anyone ask them about their ‘call’? Does God not care as much about those things? Are some people called but others aren’t?
Martin Luther wrote a ton about vocation and calling. To him, ministry was no higher or lower of a call than that of the blacksmith or the barkeep. Every vocation has a call, but it comes through love, passion, and the human pull to serve others in order to earn a living.
So, to explain my call... It might be a lot like yours. I love this work. Only my work is studying the Scripture, walking with the mystery of God, learning the perspectives about the divine from others, and communicating it all through the filter of my own experience. I love sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ that says that ALL are loved and it has both nothing and everything to do with them.
Multiple times, I’ve tried to NOT do this work and I can’t shake it. I love it. I love immersing myself in it and pursuing it with all of my being. And it is work. This is my call. Much like yours.