It may seem a little disconcerting but ministry in God’s Church begins at our baptism. For those baptised as infants that may seem a somewhat daunting expectation but the fact remains that with baptism comes responsibility, an integral part of which is to be ready to serve.
As we grow in faith so, for many, does an awareness of the possibilities to serve. This may be realised through contributing to acts of worship, administration, helping younger members, supporting the pastoral work of the church; we know there is always work to be done and as we play our part it is good to feel a part of the bigger picture and to find fulfilment in that.
But for some a sense of a more specific ‘calling’ can emerge, and that prompts questions and enquiries. Is this ‘of God’; how does it fit in with the rest of my life; do others sense something of this call within me?
If you believe that God may be calling you to a licensed/authorised ministry – maybe even to ordination – start by having a word with your parish priest. He or she may then advise you to get in touch with a Vocations Chaplain – there are several around the Diocese, all of whom are involved in parish ministry on a daily basis.
Another source of helpful information at this early stage of exploration is the ‘Call Waiting’ website produced by the Church of England. Do remember that at whatever point of your journey you may be, all Christians are called to serve God with their gifts. We are all, ultimately, in full-time service for God, but as such should remain open to His leading, directing and calling of us.