Article submitted by Rev. Matthew Brookes
District Committee on Ordained Ministry Coordinator
Sometimes I sit at my desk at the church, and my mind wanders. Instead of thinking about the next sermon series I need to plan, I’ll start thinking about what “the ideal” is. You know… the ideal church, the ideal small group, the ideal discipleship program. Occasionally, it’s the ideal season for the Cleveland Indians.
As the coordinator of the Shawnee Valley District Committee on Ministry (DCOM), every so often I think about what the ideal conditions would be for the DCOM. As the group that gets to help people answer the call to pastoral ministry, we have a rewarding task. Ideally, we would get to hear the stories of how God is calling people in our District over and over again, because we are faithfully answering that call.There’s nothing that compares to hearing how God called someone to pastoral ministry. The individual stories may vary, but they generally follow a similar path. Those who are called to be pastors share that it was in a worship service or Sunday school class or Bible study or small group that they sensed the stirring of the Holy Spirit moving them to explore the paths to pastoral ministry. As a result of that calling, some went to Lay Servant training and learned how to lead the church in a variety of ways. Others entered into the Conference candidacy process, and followed the path to ordination or licensing that way. No matter how they come to us, it’s their stories that stir our hearts and serve to encourage us that God continues to call people to ministry.
So how does this affect you?
Are you a lay person who has felt the Holy Spirit stirring you to answer the call to pastoral ministry? Your first step is to talk with your pastor and share what you’re feeling.
Are you a pastor? Make a concerted effort to look for those in your congregation who appear to have the gifts for ministry. Encourage them personally to pursue the path to ministry.
Some of you are Supply pastors already. Thank you for your faithful service! Keep on growing in your ministry by seeking to become a Licensed Local Pastor. Contact the DCOM to see what that entails.
When my mind wanders to the ideal conditions for DCOM, it’s a District where we are faithful to both answer and encourage the call of God on men and women’s lives to pastoral ministry.