As you may have noticed, I've been blogging A LOT lately about youth ministry and my calling to ministry and my first call after I graduate from seminary. When I began this whole process towards ordination, I commited myself to being open to God's call in my life and following where that leads.
There are two types of "call." There's the internal call, which is the feeling or drive inside to pursue a vocation in ministry. Sort of like an inner voice encouraging you to pursue it.
Then there is the external call, which comes from other people outside of ourselves. Those would be the people that say things like, "Have you thought about becoming a pastor?" or "You definitely have gifts for outdoor ministry, have you thought about pursuing that?" It is when people point out your gifts and encourage you to pursue using them.
So, you've all been privileged enough to read about my inner sense of call, and what is going on in that department. Today, however, something happened at church that got me to thinking, especially because this has been on my mind lately. If it had happened any other time, it might not have had much of an effect on me. But, given what I've been thinking and processing lately, it made an impact.
It was after the service, and we were all walking out. I shook the pastor's hand, as I always do, and we exchanged greetings. Usually we just say Hello, and he asks how classes are going, and I say they're going pretty well and keep going so that the line keeps moving. But today, as I was shaking his hand, he said that they had met with the youth to talk about youth activities. Several of the youth had mentioned that they thought I was pretty cool and that they should get me to help out with some of the activities. So, the pastor said, I should be expecting a phone call from the church sometime.
Now, I know it's not a big, blinding flash of light on the road to Damascus sort of event
. And I know there's the distinct possibility that I might be reading more into this than I should be. And perhaps I am, but it also seemed like it was a still, small voice saying, "You have gifts for this ministry. People recognize those gifts. You will continue to be called to use these gifts."