One time at a women’s retreat, I was asked to tell my call story. I told this woman the whole, convoluted story—about serving as a missionary in Japan, about being restless in my work and volunteering for leadership roles in my church, about discovering old journals where I had written about my desire to study theology, about my memory of sitting in church as a teenager and hearing the pastor give the sermon and saying, “If I was a man, that is what I would want to do.” I told her that it had taken me a long time, but I finally realized that God was calling me to be a pastor. She was not impressed.
"Jesus calls us to make disciples, not just converts," says Todd Friesen of Lombard Mennonite Church in Illinois. "I believe that discipleship begins in communal worship."
Seekers often want Christianity to be a set of ideas one knows to be true, or at least to provide a feeling of certainty.
One of our tradition's best ideas is that God calls us to become all we were created to be. One of its worst is that only clergy are called.
The language of vocation confirms that at no time in our lives are we exempt from responsibility for others. We never stop being called to share in the creative and redemptive activity of God through lives of discipleship.