Is God calling you?
04 August 2017 IN: Bishop
September sees the start of the student year, not just for schools universities but also for those training for ordained and lay ministry. Over the last few months I have had the responsibility of assessing candidates for ordination training. It's a task that offers me a glimpse into the lives of ordinary people from across the Diocese of Manchester, who share the common experience of God having laid hold of them and brought them to a particular place of self offering.
For many that journey has included grappling with a sense that, "This couldn't possibly be me". We look at those leading our congregations, parishes and chaplaincies, women and men who have often helped lead us into a deeper faith and discipleship, and we perceive a gulf between them and us. I suspect that for any one of us contemplating whether we are hearing God's call, there is a heightened awareness of our own very obvious limitations.
Some may sense that our leaders appear to come from very different backgrounds to our own. Does God really call people who never did A levels, let alone went to university? Does God call black, Asian and other minority ethnic Anglicans into ministry? Does He call young women, parents with small children, or people who have already clocked up 50 or 60 years of life?
The answer of course is that God calls all these sorts of people. And it appears that he is calling them in greater numbers. Maybe God is even calling you!