What struck me about our case studies is how God called each person in very different ways. Although not looking for a new calling, whilst at a prayer evening Janet heard God call her loud and clear to become a school chaplain. The complete opposite of this was Claire who says she just drifted through life and when big decisions in life had to be made she just trusted her gut instinct. It wasn't until much later in her life that she realized it was in fact God calling her. We had someone saying God opened doors another said God closed doors One even said God put a local newspaper in his mothers house where he saw a job working in the diocesan office.
So what about us what is God doing with us. Whatever our walk with God has been like so far he's brought us all together on this course. what is his plans for each one of us. I know that in the 5 or 6 weeks we've been on this course my focus has changed i was sure i wanted to be a lay reader that's not the case anymore if i want to reach out to people who don't know Jesus it's not going to happen from inside my church its going to outside as i live out my day to day life. Where do i go from here i don't know yet im just hoping God has it all planned out for me I'll just wait for God and trust in him.
Hi Chris, what came across really powerfully when we all met for our Saturday session recently was when you talked about the work you are doing at the other church, helping people deal with challenging issues and how you found yourself being drawn to it and was something you love doing. Sounds like a calling to me.
Chris, don't rule out "lay reader" - it doesn't just mean doing stuff in church. If you ever find yourself discussing lay reader (or "Licenced Lay Ministry") with a vocations adviser, you have the opportunity to explore what your specific area of service might focus on. Which could be evangelism in any of many forms. The lay reader training gives you a solid foundation, while being accredited through a nationally-recognised "body of knowledge" means that if you go to another church, they have a good idea of the level of your ministry even if not the specific areas. BUT there are various points where you need to ensure that your expectations are made very clear: (1) when you ask your PCC to sponsor you for lay reader training, (2) when you have a formal interview to be accepted on to the programme of training and (3) each time you set out your working agreement with the vicar of your church. I was told that Derby Diocese would be very flexible about what lay readers actually do, but it needs more people who are keen to emphasize the less standard ways of being a lay reader to join in!!
Of course, if you are a lay reader attached to a specific church, they will probably want to use you in leading and preaching roles, especially during an interregnum. On my church's rota, the person putting it together knows that she can call on the various readers to fill any role and if necessary at short notice.