Ministry & Vocation
“…the marks of the call of God are not superficially imprinted upon us but they grow from within, from the grace which I see at work in each of you; and for which I daily give thanks…”The Right Reverend June Osborne Bishop of Llandaff
We all have a vocation as Christians to proclaim the gospel and make God’s love known to all.
However, we each also have different abilities, gifts and talents that enable us fulfill different ministries in the church. Everyone has a distinct vocation – a calling.
The following video gives a helpful summary of Christian vocation:
Aspects of Vocation
The picture that we have in Scripture is that all Christians play an integral role in God’s plans in this world and as we pay particular attention in our prayers we can get a better sense of being affirmed and blessed in our everyday life. It is a natural part of being a disciple of Jesus to explore this calling to be fruitful in God’s Kingdom where we are. All sorts of aspects of our life can be understood as being ways through which God uses us to bless others: the community in which we live, our household and relationships, our work and leisure, projects that we support and ideals that are important to us. The marvellous fact is that God uses us ‘as we are’ and it is possible to unlock untapped spiritual potential within us when we recognise and seek God’s direction over our everyday calling.
Many people extend the sense of vocation into the mission and life of church, exercising full and active ministries such as churchwardens, church treasurers, those who read and lead prayers, flower arrangers, those who welcome and offer hospitality, working in children and youth group, bereavement support, foodbank volunteers, administration and many more. Being involved in these ways can often come from a sense of inner conviction and that this is a role for me in church, whilst for others they find themselves in the role because the job needs doing and they are the best fit. Whatever led us into these roles, reflecting on them as our vocation can transform us and the capacity for good that they can bring about.
Certain roles in church require greater levels of discernment and training before a person can begin to exercise them. These are licensed by the diocesan bishop and are usually referred to as ‘licensed ministries’ such as ordained ministries, reader ministry, lay pastoral visitors and lay pioneer ministry into areas to build up church in new ways. When someone recognises a sense that God is calling them to consider a vocation like these then the diocese will want to dedicate support for that person to discover where this might be leading.
Explore your vocation
It is always a joy to know that people are recognising a sense of a calling. This might express itself as feelings inside, prompting from prayer and worship, encouraging words from other people, a culmination of a process that has been going on in the background for sometime, or a desire to try something new…
A good place to start might be your local congregation and local priest or church leadership team who should know you well enough to suggest ways forward.
You can also contact the vocations team who are people in the diocese from different backgrounds, here to support anyone wanting to find out more about God drawing them into something new in their spiritual life.
The diocesan vocations advocate will be able to offer support if you would like to think about the general sense of vocation that relates to what God is calling you into connected to your work, your community role, being in your local church congregation, new steps ahead in life… The diocese runs a short programme of sessions that help people to listen to God and explore their calling. They act as a safe place to think about how God is shaping our life, to become more attentive in our prayers and to foster a spiritual attitude of openness to God’s direction.
- The Diocesan Vocations Advocate is the Reverend Peter Lewis.
If you feel called to a particular ministry or if you are unsure what your vocation might be within the church, then it may be worth having some conversations with your parish clergy and exploring your sense of vocation further. This is the beginning of an exciting journey of discernment.
If a sense of call becomes clear and the vocation should be explored further, the next port of call would be to a diocesan vocations advisor. Parish clergy and chaplains should refer discernment candidates to the following vocations advisors:
Take the next step
Start your journey of discernment today! Contact us if you'd like to know more...
Vocations course: Listening to God - Exploring our calling
Sign up to our brand new vocations series called Listening to God - Exploring our calling.
In this five part series we will reflect on our spiritual life. We will explore being called into something new - or recognising something we are already involved - and understand how and why God has positioned us there. It might be new responsibilities in church worship, being in or leading a community project, new career & life changes, thoughts of training for a new future ministry or simply thinking about how God is shaping us in a time of coronavirus.
You can join each session on Zoom or some churches might want to run their own in-house sessions.
Register your interest
Email Rev'd Peter Lewis and we will keep you informed of release dates and options.
Ministry during Covid-19
Vocations Sunday is our annual opportunity to celebrate the ministry of all God's people and we are encouraged to consider how God may be calling us afresh into new things. During the course of this unprecedented year, many people have unexpectedly found themselves exercising pastoral, liturgical and digital ministries across the diocese, which they may not have considered doing before! The challenges of the past twelve months have given rise to some exciting ministry activity in our parishes, especially among the laity.
This year it is our intention to put a spot light on these developments in the diocese during the Covid-19 pandemic and to celebrate the many wonderful examples of ministry that have emerged and flourished. Check out our blog posts on ministry during Covid-19.
Take a look at our blog to be inspired and encouraged by other's experience of responding to God's call.
The vocations team have prepared videos on the diocesan YouTube channel that can help inform you about exploring vocation. ‘Hearing the Call’ is a series of reflections that addresses questions, excitement and challenges that people often encounter in relation to exploring a calling.
Llandaff diocese recognises different licensed ministries and can support training in these areas through St Padarn’s Institute based in Cardiff (residential and home-based learning).
Ordained Ministry – Deacons and Priests
Deacon – Within the ministry entrusted by Christ to his Church, deacons are called to assist the bishop and priests and through loving service, to make Christ known by word and example.
Priest – Priests are called to work with the bishop to sanctify, to teach and to exercise oversight within the community of faith.
The Diocesan Director of Ordinands is the Reverend David Morris.
Pastoral Ministers are called to focus and enable pastoral practice within the local church and should be rooted in its collaborative working practice.
Readers are called by God to be examples of those who are bearers and interpreters of the Word. This will include leading public worship, preaching and teaching the Word. Their call is to read and interpret the story of God and God’s mission to the world through Bible and history and also to read and interpret the world and the community within which they are being called into ministry. With suitable discernment and training, Readers may also exercise a pastoral ministry.
The Diocesan Warden of Readers is Colin Finney.
Pioneer Ministry (Lay)
Pioneer Ministers are called to engage with the community and develop relevant forms of church within this culture, establishing these primarily for the benefit of people who are not yet members of any church. The communities they engage might be geographical but could also be demographic or interest-based. Pioneers work collegially with clergy and other lay ministers and may work alongside these colleagues within Ministry Area teams.
Evangelists are called to reach out to those with little or no faith and offer them the love of God in word and action and try to draw them into the fellowship of the church. They share many characteristics with Pioneers but differ in that pioneers primarily seek to create communities and churches, evangelists primarily seek to draw people to Christ using the resources of pre-existing communities and churches.
Children’s, Youth and Family Ministry Enablers (CYFME)
These ministers have strategic responsibility for Children’s, Youth and Families’ work in a particular context. They may work with a particular emphasis on teenagers, families or children of specific ages.