Vocations FAQs

I’m sure God is calling me, but I don’t know what to – what can I do?

God calls in many ways – he calls most of us in more way than one. So do more than one thing. Pray. Read something [link to suggested books] – perhaps Being a Disciple by Rowan Williams would be a good place to start. Listen to what others are saying to you. Pay attention to your life as a church member and ask yourself what is needed in that situation, and what you might bring to help. Ask the same questions of your community life and your work life. Talk to your vicar. Take time to allow God to speak to you, and try to listen attentively. Contact a DDO who will put you in touch with a Diocesan Vocations Adviser.


I sense a calling to be ordained and I’m under 30 – what can I do?

Read the page Is God calling me to ordained ministry? in these pages. Visit the God Calling godcallingnewcastle.wixsite.com/network  and Call waiting www.callwaiting.org.uk  sites. Speak with your vicar or chaplain. Attend one of our God Calling events and meet others like you. And, of course, pray.


I want to explore God’s call but I can’t give up my job – what can I do?

Read the pages Is God calling me to ordained ministry? and Is God calling me to Reader ministry?  and pray, reflect, read and talk. If you sense that your call is to ordained ministry, speak with a DDO about Self Supporting Ministry (SSM). If your call is less clear, contact a DDO to be referred to a Vocations Adviser.


I’m a vicar – how can I help my congregation to explore their callings?

The short answer is ‘in everything you do!’ The longer answer is to make sure your congregation has opportunities to deepen its faith by learning – and not just the sermon slot. This could be through groups within your church – such as a dedicated nurture group, or by joining up with Deanery or Churches Together colleagues, or by directing people to Lindisfarne’s courses www.lindisfarnertp.org, a film group – whatever is best for you. The After Sunday website might be useful: www.aftersunday.org.uk You can also invite a DDO to come and speak with your congregation about vocation, either within worship or as a separate event. They will be delighted to be invited. If you have tried things and you don’t feel it’s working, get in touch with a DDO and we will try to help.


I’m sure God is calling me but I’m not a member of my local church – what can I do?

Find a church. The call to public ministry is almost always a call to work within a church structure; and authorised ministry is always within the structure. God’s call to authorised ministry comes from within church communities as well as within the individual. It may be that your local church has a style of worship or a culture that makes you feel you don’t fit in. Experiment. Go to other churches – try other denominations – and find a church where you can belong. All churches are groups of people, and so no church is perfect – work will be needed on both sides.


What’s the difference between a priest, a deacon and a Reader?

Priests and deacons are ordained, Readers are laypeople. In practical terms, this means a priest has a sacramental role that a Reader does not. Often, people become deacons as a step on their way to becoming priests. A deacon’s role is sacramental, but there are some things, such as presiding at Holy Communion, that a deacon does not do. Some are called to the permanent diaconate, which means they do not plan to go on to become priests.  This has traditionally meant that a priest is more likely to have ministry as a job, while a Reader is more likely to have work outside the church, but this is changing as more Readers take on chaplaincy and other roles, and more priests take the self-supporting ministry route. To explore this more deeply, look at some of the books on our booklist – compare, for example, Reader Ministry Explored and The Life and Work of a Priest.


Am I too old to be considered?

Story coming soon...


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