What a Vocational Calling to Ministry Means to Me | Forum for Theological Exploration

What a Vocational Calling to Ministry Means to Me

By: Rob Lee
February 07, 2014

“ ‘I hear you are entering the ministry,’ the woman said down the long table, meaning no real harm. ‘Was it your own idea or were you poorly advised?’ And the answer that she could not have heard even if I had given it was that it was not an idea at all, neither my own or anyone else’s. It was a lump in the throat. It was an itching in the feet. It was a stirring in the blood at the sound of rain. It was a sickening in the heart at the sight of misery. It was a clamoring of ghosts. It was a name which, when I wrote it out in a dream, I knew was a name worth dying for even if I was not brave enough to do the dying myself and could not even name the name for sure.” - Frederick Buechner, The Alphabet of Grace

I may not be able to tell you what I had for breakfast this morning but I can say one thing with absolute certainty, I am called to ministry. There is a deep, deep stirring in my soul that leads me to believe there is something more to my existence than I could ever hope to dream of, and the best part about it is, I have no idea what shape it’s going to take in my life.

Before I started serving in a local church I could have told you my life plan. Nowadays I don’t have those same plans (mind you I’m only 21). My dreams are broader, but my call to ministry is nonetheless there. I hope that there is more to my life than how my 401k package ended up or if I served the corner church with the highest average attendance. My hope and prayer is that I can say I stood for the least, welcomed the infirmed, the homeless and the impoverished.

May we all have enough courage to stand in spite of our ignorance to the fullness of our calling and say yes to all God has in store. May we find in our time and place that ultimately it’s not up to us, and that’s the best thing that could ever happen.




Rob Lee is a North Carolina native and undergraduate student at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. Rob is currently pursuing a degree in religious studies with a minor in Appalachian Studies. He grew up in the United Methodist Church, but has sojourned with the Episcopal Church and Cooperative Baptist Fellowship as well. During his high school years, Rob attended the Duke Youth Academy at Duke Divinity School and the Youth Theological Initiative at Candler School of Theology, Emory University. Rob was a delegate to the 2012 General Conference of the United Methodist Church, held in Tampa, Florida. He currently writes for a variety of North Carolina newspapers, and blogs regularly in the Huffington Post and other various outlets. Follow him on Twitter, @roblee4.

Tags...: Inspired Leaders, Shaping the Future


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