Our congregation is participating in the Life is Calling Initiative at Samford University’s Center for Congregational Resources. Our Life is Calling Committee (Beth Smith, Mark Wilson, Ronda West, Leah Duzy, & Patrick White) has been meeting and reflecting on our calling as a congregation. They will also apply for a grant for our congregation through this initiative, enabling us to explore our calling in important ways.
The Center for Congregational Resources is studying churches’ understanding of calling throughout Alabama. Sixteen churches are participating in this program, and along with these churches, we will fill out a survey about calling. The Life is Calling Committee will send the church an online link to complete this survey.
The survey will give Samford input for their study. They will also provide us with the results from our survey. The survey is anonymous and will only take about fifteen minutes to complete.
Our Life is Calling Committee has been discussing the meaning of calling in terms of our congregation. Often times, we hear “calling” defined in terms of an individual’s vocation, which certainly applies. There are other questions, though, which have bearing on the meaning of our calling.
- What is the calling we receive at baptism?
- What is the calling of the church, as the body of Christ?
- What are we called to collectively?
We might remember the days when someone would say, “You are going to be the next Billy Graham,” but a calling to ministry is not the only definition of calling. We all share a common calling as people of the Way, as followers of Christ.
We are called to the ways of Jesus, so whereas we might ponder the particular shape of our individual calling, we do not have to wonder whether we have a calling. The good news is that we share this calling with each other!
This is what the Apostle Paul meant when he talked about many members, but one body. We are stronger together, benefiting from what we have in common as well as from what makes us different.
Throughout the Life is Calling Initiative, this is something we will ponder and celebrate!