Whoosh! and a question on calls

April 23, 2007 by
Filed under: Life, Religion 


That’s the noise that I probably made getting through all that I had to do this weekend.

Saturday, the Youth Sunday rehearsal ran long.  I was at church from 10:30am to 2:30pm.  I was completely impressed with the youth.  The 3 seniors who delivered the sermon hit the message perfectly and needed very little tweaking.  The rest of the crew adapted to their jobs quite easily.  I’ll write more on this later.

Sunday was Youth Sunday.  I was the usher-herder.  I also had to get prepared for the Adult Forum afterwards and eat breakfast.  Everything was a rush.  The service went great, and as I said above I’ll write more later.

After the service I had to run away from the youth and go finish setting up for the adult forum.  I was the 1st speaker of 3 – covering the biblical basis for environmental stewardship.  I think it went well (nobody came up and said that I did a good job, but they seemed to be paying attention).

After that, I ran home and had exactly 30 minutes to eat lunch, shower and change to go to the opera with Carolyn.  We saw Rigoletto in Trenton.  I’ll write a whole blog post on that for you.  The opera was good – the lead soprano was amazing.


Here’s the question on calls.

Last week sometime, in my way over-churched haze, I remember having a dream one night.  I don’t remember what the dream was about, but I do remember one snippet.

I was involved in something at church.  My current pastor passed me a note (it wasn’t during a service or meeting or anything – he just handed me a note as we met standing up somewhere).  The note said something like “Be sure to listen for a Call.”

Now I realize that I’ve recently become re-involved in the church, and that I’m a likely candidate for over-enthusiasm.  If you remember my story, once upon a time I was deciding between Computer Science and Religion as my college major.  Due to some unhappy church-related events Computer Science became my major, and Religion my minor.  I honestly believed going into college that I might be headed for seminary.

The only word I’ve ever heard encouraging this came more recently.  I told my current Youth Director (under whom I work as a Youth Advisor) my personal faith story.  He asked if I’d consider seminary now.  I told him that I’ve only been back a year or even a few months (depending on how you count) and that besides – I’m a bit too used to my current income level.

I don’t know what this dream means, but it is intriguing.  Is this a message?  Is it just the product of doing too much church in too short a time period?

So here’s my question to the professionals out there.  Would you be willing to tell me (here in the comments, in e-mail, or even on your blog) what your Call was like?  When did you know that you were being called to the ministry?


7 Comments on Whoosh! and a question on calls

  1. jim on Mon, 23rd Apr 2007 12:14 pm
  2. The signs for me were a number of things:

    1.) feeling a greater sense of purpose and satisfaction in church work and other ministry things I was involved in than I did in my job.

    2.) folks identifying ‘gifts’ within me and telling me that I ought to consider that God was calling me.

    3.) a pastor that kept hounding me and saying he thought I was called.

    But none of those things were the final confirmation…that didn’t happen until I was convicted by God one week through bible study and prayer to put away my various excuses and to “seek first the kingdom.”

  3. purechristianithink on Mon, 23rd Apr 2007 6:09 pm
  4. For me it was when I was 11 and our pastor lamented that, among other distressing trends in our congregation, it had been “over ten years since any of our young men went to seminary.”

    But seriously–consider: you can be called to lots of things–not just the ministry. Maybe the most important word in the dream note is “Listen.”

  5. Mark on Wed, 25th Apr 2007 10:44 am
  6. Gannet Girl tried to post this comment but failed.
    Oh, one of my favorite topics now as I prepare to head for seminary at a most unlikely time in life.

    My call has been a l-o-n-g process and has involved two years in spiritual direction and a lot of affirmation from other people. The latter is still a huge surprise to me.

    Here is a question I found to be of enormous help in the discernment process: Looking at the life of Jesus, where does he have the most appeal for you? What is he doing; what is he engaged in? In other words, where is he doing things that you see yourself doing?

    For instance, a man most drawn to Jesus when he pulls away from his disciples for times of prayer might be called to the life of a contemplative monk. A man most drawn to Jesus as he feeds the 5,000 might be called to nonprofit work for the poor and hungry. You get it.

    You might want to read and re-read the gospels and think about that one. Or you might just know.

  7. Mark on Thu, 26th Apr 2007 9:04 am
  8. Thanks to all 3 of you for your comments.

    I think at this point I’ll consider the dream to be an aberration caused by “doing church” too much in a short time period.

    Of course, that doesn’t mean that I’m not listening.

  9. jledmiston on Mon, 30th Apr 2007 2:05 pm
  10. Hi Mark – I love this blog of yours.

    Re: the call. I never heard a woman preach until I went to seminary, so I went to seminary telling people that “I wasn’t really going into the ministry but I’d like to do something chaplaincy work or something.”

    I worked briefly as a social worker after college (way under qualified with no MSW) but all my conversations/situations/adventures were all about theology no matter what I was doing in that role. Everything was about God. Previously in college, during a tricky time when I needed some pastoral direction, I spoke with 3 pastors none of whom offered much in the way of comfort/prayer/encouragement/forgiveness. Nada. I remember walking home from the last attempt and saying out loud, “Even I could be a better minister than those clowns.”

    Call is affirmed by the community. You can’t just wake up in the morning and decide you are called. It comes when you catch that first whispering, but it’s affirmed over and over again – by the kids you work with, by the neighbors who make comments about your leadership/kindness/smarts/whatever, by the church brothers and sisters who notice you seem to be really gifted at ________.

    Can’t wait to hear how it goes.

  11. Into the future : Mark Time on Thu, 2nd Sep 2010 5:50 pm
  12. […] the last 2 years I had a sense of God’s immediate presence, which felt a lot like my previous dream and […]

  13. Manifestation of God : Mark Time on Tue, 11th Jan 2011 10:03 pm
  14. […] one case I had a vision during a worship service at a youth conference.  In another case I had a dream with a strong message.  Ultimately these events led me to make the decision that the ministry is […]

Tell me what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!