Vocation is for everyone
last updated on: 9th Jun 2011
One misunderstanding associated with vocation, calling and ministry is the idea that it is only for some Christians, such as clergy. However it is clear from scripture that all Christians have a ministry to exercise – for example in Ephesians 4 we read that all followers of Jesus Christ are called to be ministers of God’s grace, mercy, love and truth, and thus to grow in knowledge and maturity (Ephesians 4.11-13).
When we are baptized, when we put our faith in Jesus Christ, we are called to be ministers or servants of God. All God's people are called to the ministry to serve God. That is what the word ‘ministry’ means - not just in church, on Sundays, or in home groups during the week but, in actual fact, called to serve God every day of the week, in factories and offices, and schools and universities, and at home, and out in the community. So what is the role of the clergy?. Well, among other things it is to equip the people to serve God, day by day, to equip the whole people of God in their ministry.
So we can see how vocation and ministry are not restricted to clergy or some pious group within the Church – each of us has a call to hear and respond to and a ministry to exercise.
Some churches speak of every member ministry as a short-hand for this sense of each person being called to take a particular responsibility in God’s church and respond to God’s call to them individually with their unique mix of gifts, challenges and characteristics. For a brief introduction see for example http://www.wordandspirit.co.uk/theology/every_member_ministry.pdf
For more on every member ministry try;
http://www.allbelievers.org and a variety of church websites – for example the Episcopal Diocese of East Tennessee(!) at http://www.etdiocese.net/sharedministry/sharedministry.php
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.