Discerning God’s Call to Ministry ~ Teens
Who am I?*
Why am I here?*
What am I doing about it?*
* Some ways to think about ministry and answering the questions of life… inspired by the Presiding Bishop’s article for Episcopal Life entitled “Three Questions for Mission.”
Did you know that God is interested in the answer to these questions? In fact, you might say that God created you to live out the answers!
Figuring out the answers to who we are, why we’re here and what we’re going to do is called “discernment.”
There are some basic answers to these questions – found in our Catechism…
Who am I?
I am “part of God’s creation, made in the image of God… free to make choices: to love, to create, to reason, and to live in harmony with creation and with God.” (found on page 845 of The Book of Common Prayer)
Why am I here?
As a baptized Christian, I’m here to “represent Christ and his church.” I bear witness to Christ wherever I am and I carry on his work of reconciliation in the world… I am to follow Christ, to gather with others for corporate worship and to work, pray, and give for the spread of the kingdom of God. (BCP, p. 855-856)
What am I doing about it?
This is where discernment comes in – and where our answers get personal. God doesn’t need us to do everything, but God does want us to do something.
What is the thing God wants me to do?
It may be different things at different times during your life. As a teen, there may be some limitations, some things you may not yet be able to do – drive a car or vote, for example, but there are things you can do, things you love to do. And you can probably do these things for God, in Christ’s name!
You might be able to do the things you love in church – make music, create art projects, help teach Sunday School, watch children, serve as an acolyte or reader or chalice bearer.
You might not be able to do the things you love in church – but you can do everything in God?s name and for God’s kingdom. Raise money for an outreach project, help at a soup kitchen or food pantry, support Midnight Run, or give a smile of encouragement, you might work with Habitat for Humanity, an environmental or social justice organization, just to name a few.
Every baptized Christian has a passion or two to share with the world. And every baptized Christian is expected, by God, to use those passions in Christ’s name. We are all ministers in God’s kingdom.
That’s right! Our Catechism puts it this way: Q. Who are the ministers of the Church? A. The ministers of the Church are lay persons, bishops, priests, and deacons. (BCP, p.855)
You are a minister in the kingdom of God! What will your ministry be?
Figuring out your passions will help you figure out what to do about serving God. God made you the gifted person you are – how can you use your passions and gifts for God? Whatever you decide – that is your ministry.
Our ministries change over time. As teens, you cannot yet become a priest or deacon or bishop. You may find, though, that you enjoy doing the things that priests and deacons do – serving at the altar, talking to people about God, working in outreach programs. God may be planting seeds in your soul today that will grow into ordained ministry in the future.
Whatever your passion, whatever your gifts, always remember that you are a beloved child of God. Your presence will change the world.
Talk to your Sunday school teachers, your youth ministers and your parish priest about how your gifts and passions can be used for God’s kingdom – they’re sure to have some helpful ideas!
For more information about discernment and ministry in the Episcopal Church, check out hese web sites:
- www.episcopalchurch.org (esp. the sections on “Explore your ministry’ and ‘Ministries with Young People.”)