Nov 212007
 

Someone of my recent acquaintance had asked if they might include me in their prayer ministry – a small group of friends who passed prayer requests to others in the group.

Of course I didn’t mind and one evening after church the person spoke to me about a ‘message’ they had felt come to them during the service. They had seen me travelling a road and I was coming to a fork in the road where I would need to make a decision. One fork had a massive arrow pointing out the correct direction and the person felt that the message was that a time of decision was coming (or had happened recently) and that the ‘answer’ was glaringly obvious (but the choice would still be there). A scripture verse (that had been part of the lesson) that they felt was ‘for me’ was Hebrews 11:8 “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.”

This does indeed resonate with me in many ways. I sense a strong call to ministry but have often questioned whether this is into parish ministry. The church don’t really make this distinction. The only question from them is whether it is ‘Word and Sacrament’ or some other form of ministry. I have no doubt in my mind that it is to ‘Word and Sacrament’ but still remain unclear whether this’ll end up as parish ministry or not. Maybe that element of ‘doubt’ is a hint that I’ll end up being called to somewhere or something that I hadn’t considered.

Whatever it is, and whether I do end up knowing or not, I pray that, like Abraham, I can follow this calling in faith and not seek to impose my own desires.

  4 Responses to “A ‘word’ from God”

  1. Word and Sacrament usually means parish ministry. Not sure what other type of ministry allows for a sacramental style.
    I did know someone who offered God two choices either of which would be fine by her. What God did was offer a third way that allowed for all her talents to be used and still gave her not just fulfilment, but enjoyment too.
    Being open to possibilities is a good thing, because we can never quite be sure where God will take us. (like Abraham)

  2. Usually, yes, but not exclusively. There’s chaplaincy or mission as alternatives. Neither of which I sense any draw towards, to be fair.
    I think the point is, as you say, being open to other possibilities, quite probably ones that hadn’t crossed our mind.

  3. I think sometimes we can have a fairly narrow view of what ‘parish ministry’ might mean. There are lots of parishes with very different needs and opportunities. It might be that kind of choice you will be faced with.

  4. That’s very true. I hadn’t really given a lot of thought to the many different types of parish situations.
    I guess my answer to any question would really have to be that I am open to wherever I feel called and, more pertinently, acknowledge that it will be a calling and not a personal decision as such.

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