So, during February the CofE is having a real focus on vocation in the church which is fab! This is what they say:
Today and throughout February the Church of England is making a new call to all its members to consider their Vocation. We all have a Vocation to discover and pursue, whether in the Church and in the World and we each have a story of our own Vocation, and our journey so far. We’ll be sharing individual stories of Vocation throughout the month from all parts of the Church.
So if you haven’t come across it yet do keep an eye on their blog which is featuring stories of people finding their calling or vocation in the church and on Twitter check out the Hashtag : #CofECalling
As you may know if you read this blog regularly, I am a big fan of encouraging vocation in the CofE and last year finished my guide to the ‘discernment process in the CofE’ which you can read for free here (or download as a PDF).
So in light of this focus I have had a look back at some of things I wrote when discerning my own vocation, which has been rather comical. All that pain, frustration, denial, and burying my head in the sand! So funny to think now that I am on the verge of getting ordained, how did that even happen?!
I’ve written about my calling in various places across the blog but this one here was the first thing I publicly wrote in admitting I might actually be called to ministry. If you are just starting to think about it all, do give it a read…
This one, on fighting the call to ordination was written in 2010 and this on ‘10 Reasons Not to be a Vicar‘ makes me laugh. In fact I wrote a response to it 2 years later in 2012 here as well.
I think the key thing is, if you are feeling called to something, don’t ignore it. If it is really God calling you, it won’t just go away so you might as well give in and look at it (saves time and heartache in the long run!). Doesn’t have to be a big song and dance, you might want to start by just asking a few key friends to pray about it or with you. If you still feel something then start to think about approaching your Vicar or DDO.
Whatever you do, it is not an easy process, as you can read about in the discernment guide but it is totally worthwhile and rewarding. I still feel terrified about getting ordained and totally unworthy but I also know it is exactly what I should be doing.
A SupporterFebruary 3, 2016 at 7:45 pm
I’ve enjoyed reading the blogs. Why is the selection process so laboured and long? Are there any civilian processes which take so long to decide (discern) a desire (calling) for such a job?
JulesFebruary 3, 2016 at 10:54 pm
Yes, good question to which I don’t have a definitive answer but it wasn’t always so long and I guess what I would say is how many people do you know who are Vicars that maybe shouldn’t be?
It’s not like any other job, people take the authority of the position in a way they don’t with any other job. It’s more important to get the right people than other jobs. Once you are ordained that can’t be taken away, it’s more than just being an employee of the church, but of God, like an anointing that can’t be taken away. Think Saul and David maybe?
Even just in the short time I’ve been working for the church I have faced things that are way too big for me to handle, without God that is. It brings up stuff from your past that you might not even have considered have affected you. The process is long but I think it’s really worthwhile, even though changes could be made yes, and a bit more pastoral support wouldn’t go amiss that’s for sure!
Prayers and blessings for your journey…
A SupporterFebruary 12, 2016 at 5:25 pm
Thank you, that’s appreciated
Alice CFebruary 12, 2016 at 9:30 pm
It is such a relief to find your blog. The discernment ‘journey’ (as we are encouraged to refer to it) often feels more like one of those crazy paths on a mountain that are only suitable for goats. Specifically, young goats without family/job/life experience. I am so grateful to read your courageous posts and know that someone out there has had a similar experience
JulesJanuary 20, 2017 at 8:52 am
So glad to know it has been useful and sorry for such a late reponse, I have suddenly found a load of comments that I didn’t know were here!
Where are you up to now? Hope it’s going ok.