Do I have a vocation?
Every person is called by God, and it is this call which we often refer to as a ‘vocation’ (from the Latin vocare, which means ‘to call’).
Be now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
God calls each of us by name and the heart of responding to our vocation is to be the unique person God calls us to be.
Calling, or vocation, is one of the major themes in the Bible. Scripture is full of inspiring stories of very ordinary people who achieved extraordinary things when answering God’s call and putting it into action. Each and every one of us forms a unique part of God’s loving creation and, as such, each of us has a particular calling to fulfil in God’s Kingdom plan.
First and foremost, it is the calling of all Christians to represent Christ in and to the world.
Our response to God’s call involves our reflecting the love of God to others in our own contexts and situations. For most Christians, their calling is lived out by taking an active part in their local church and sharing in the mission, tasks and activities of that church.
But for some, this vocation has a specifically ministerial dimension, and involves:
- being formally licensed or commissioned as a lay minister, or
- being ordained as a priest or deacon.
The following pages provide information on licensed and authorized ministry within the Church of England and specifically within the Diocese of Southwark.
A message from the Bishop of Southwark
'You did not choose me but I chose you',
said Jesus to his disciples in the Gospel of John.
Through Baptism, Christ continues to call each one of us and make us his own. And like the disciples, he appoints us to go and ‘bear fruit that will last’ (John 15.16).
All the baptised are called to share in the ministry of Christ’s Church, and we rejoice in the diversity of the gifts with which God equips his people.
Within the Church, there are various licensed and accredited forms of ministry; we hope that this website will help you to understand more about them, and the process of discernment and selection in this diocese.
It is my sincere hope that you will know God’s wisdom and guidance, and that he may set your hearts on fire as you seek prayerfully to discern his will for you.
Yours in Christ,