In a district clergy meeting recently during the worship time, people were asked to tell their calling stories. As people stood and shared how God called them into ministry it was pretty powerful. We heard stories of people running, others simply accepting it the first time, others who tracked their calls back to a night in a bar, or to a specific sermon. As we hear the ways God has called us into ministry it is amazing to realize the power, compassion, and love God has for us.
After this service it has stuck with me how powerful a calling story is. I don’t know many ministers who cannot relate to Jeremiah’s call story or any other they have heard. The reason I am in ministry is because a pastor sat me down and told me his calling story and then looked at me and said, I think God is calling you. Within these stories are powerful tools to awaken other people to the idea that God may be calling them too.
The Forgiveness Project is a great website which shares powerful stories of forgiveness. Their mission is to “To open up a dialogue about forgiveness and promote understanding through awareness, education and inspiration.” What I like about this site is two fold. 1. The stories are powerful. 2. They are readable and accessible. All you have to do is click on a pictures and you get a under 1000 word summary of this person’s journey. They are brief but moving. Any person wanting to explore the real life examples of forgiveness could easily look through these stories and get a picture of what that is.
What if there was a similar website that told stories of God calling people into the ministry. 600-1000 word essays explaining why and how they felt God calling them. The site could be searchable in order for people to find calling stories that might relate to what they are feeling in their own lives, like second-carrer, high schoolers, local pastorate calls, extension ministry calls, calls to be an Ordained Deacon or Elder and the list could go on and on. There could even be a couple of well edited short videos of certain stories.
What would an impact of a website like this look like? This could be a place where pastors could send their parishioners who are exploring a calling. This could be a place pastors go to understand what could be happening within their parishioners. It could be a tool to revive a new generation, the Spotted Owls among us, who think they are alone in the world because every minister they meet is over 45.
What do you think. This idea has been rolling around in my head for about a month and I thought this would be the best place to throw it out there. Would this be meaningful or just another fleeting idea? Could this really be a modern tool that could be used or would it just be lost in cyberspace? How could this be started/funded/kept up? Would love to know some other opinions. Thanks!