All tagged vocation

A Christian Vocation: Chaplaincy in the Armed Forces

For centuries the basic unit of Church life has been the parish, and parochial ministry is still today the principal focus for the work of the clergy and committed lay people. But it has been widely recognized in recent times that there are areas of life that demand a more specialized form of outreach, and this in turn has led to the development of a wide range of so-called “sector ministries” of which Chaplaincy in the Armed Forces is one, albeit of greater antiquity than most. […]

Four myths about vocation, and three steps to find yours

Does everyone have a vocation? I believe so. Too often the Church’s discussion of vocation focuses on ordination and the religious life, to the exclusion of other possibilities. Several unhelpful myths about vocation have developed as a result of this emphasis. In fact, these myths distort the way we think about vocations to ordained ministry as much as any others. […]

Discerning a Vocation: Five Books

Vocation is a tricky word. Firstly, we tend to think that when discernment and vocation are placed together, the only thing being discerned is a call to ordained ministry. Second, such a view not only suggests that discernment which leads to different path is “failure” in some sense, but it also sets the vocation to ordained ministry above all other places and professions to which we might be called. Thirdly, such a narrow focus is accompanied by an equally narrow understanding of the gifts we have been given by God and the work of the Holy Spirit.

Discerning a Calling to Ordained Ministry

If you were looking for a reason to be put off ordained ministry, you could do worse than pick up your nearest Book of Common Prayer. In the Ordinal, very probably written in the summer of 1550, Thomas Cranmer elucidated the role of priests as those who are to seek for Christ's sheep that are dispersed abroad, and for his children who are in the midst of this naughty world, that they may be saved through Christ for ever. […]

What is a Christian vocation (and how to discern it)?

The irony of a priest writing on lay or secular vocations is not lost on me. Even more ironic is the fact that I shall be doing so primarily through the lens of ordained ministry, which—for many, though hopefully not for all—will disqualify this offering altogether. In any case, my purpose is to consider how our theology of vocations to ordained ministry can inform our—lamentably much less developed—theology of vocations to other forms of work.  […]