Research tells us that currently for every three ministers who retire only one is being trained to fill those positions. And given the fact that most ministers are over 45… well, you do the math.
Whether it is a call to serve a local church, or to go to the other side of the world to share the Good News with another people group, the data indicates that fewer and fewer individuals are choosing vocational ministry.
While my son Daniel was in Bali last semester, I found myself wondering, is God calling my son to serve in a place like Bali? I had to listen to my own fears and joys as I thought about that possibility. My son’s future is still being shaped, but I would like for us to make this matter a focus of prayer and conversation this year. Who might God be calling out of our congregation to be a church staff minister, a missionary, a vocational minister of some sort?
Certainly we believe the truth that ALL followers of Christ are called to share the Good News in every place they find themselves. Yet it is also true that God calls some individuals to vocational ministry positions.
How can we, as a congregation, encourage and enable our members to hear that word and obey? That is a question I want us to engage this year. The first and foundational activity we can do is pray. Pray for your own hearing. The Biblical Story we are reading reminds us that God has no limits as to who God will use to proclaim Truth! Second, pray for our congregation that all ears and hearts will be attentive to the voice of the Spirit. Together, we can encourage, support and send out of this family ministers of the Gospel, from the local church to the other side of the world!