Growing vocations everywhere

All are called to serve God according to their given gifts, talents and context. Every Christian has a vocation, and it is the task of all those serving in ministry to help identify and nurture the gifts and callings of every member of the Church.
Young people painting on paper stuck to wall Keith Blundy

We’ve collected some of the best resources and good practice examples to support your work as we seek to grow vocations everywhere.

Sign up to our vocations newsletter to keep up to date with the latest events and best practice.

You can order leaflets from the Church Print Hub, and share ideas through the Church Support Hub.

Take a look too at our resources for explorers.

 

Good practice and theology

One of the most exciting developments in the Church today is the growing conviction that every Christian has a vocation. We are called to be a growing church, and we need to be proactive to fulfil this challenge.

All talk of vocation must begin with God. You can download a discussion on the theology of vocation by the ordained vocations working group below.

Our good practice guide contributes to the discussion around developing a culture of vocation. It offers some of the best examples of good practice, from the obvious to the unexpected, which our research has found to be working.

We hope this proves a valuable resource for you in your efforts to grow vocations everywhere.

 

Vocations checklist

You may not be able to implement everything from the good practice guide straight away, so start by looking at the ministry strategy in your diocese. What are your bottlenecks and challenges?

The ordained vocations working group has produced a handy checklist, available to download below, to help you keep track of the projects you are implementing.

 

Unconscious bias training

In recognising gifts, we need to be aware of our own unconscious bias.

Bias comes from the need for the brain to cope with the vast array of information we are bombarded with at any moment. It leads though to us making snap judgements on people without thinking.

We’re encouraging everyone working in vocations to take up the training on offer, as we look to press pause on our unconscious bias.

For more information, contact our Minority Ethnic Vocations Adviser, Rosemarie Davidson-Gotobed.

 

The Ministry Experience Scheme (CEMES) - What dioceses can expect 

The Ministry Experience Scheme (CEMES) offers a year placement in churches around the country for young adults (aged 18-30) to test God’s call, whatever that may be. The scheme offers practical experience, theological learning, and an abundance of opportunities for personal reflection and growth.

"Whatever you were exploring, there was an opportunity to see lots of different types of ministry at play. It’s influence on my discernment was huge.”  

Vanessa Hadley (Ministry Experience Scheme alumnus 2016/17)

“Over the year, I discovered parts of myself I never knew I had, and my faith developed in ways I never thought it would. Without this scheme I would never have discovered my call into clinical psychology.”  

Tom White (Ministry Experience Scheme alumnus 2016/17)

 

Supported by Allchurches Trust, the Ministry Experience Scheme offers placements in churches around the country for young adults to test God’s call. Potential applicants are able to get in touch with the relevant coordinator in their diocese directly as part of our resources for explorers.

We would encourage all dioceses to get involved. To find out more, read our best practice guide for new and existing schemes.

 

Providing mentors

We’re training a network of volunteer mentors to support BAME Christians, whose role it will be to walk alongside a potential candidate, as a thinking and knowledgeable friend, as they journey towards ordination.

Mentors are separate to the formal selection process. They are not able to interfere with the decisions of bishops, diocesan directors of ordinands, selection secretaries, bishops' advisory panel advisers, theological education institution staff, or anyone else formally part of the selection and formation process. What they can do though is provide reassurance and encouragement through practical guidance and emotional support.

Our research has found that having a mentor is especially useful in encouraging, supporting, and enhancing inclusivity for underrepresented groups.

Why not encourage those with formal or informal mentoring experience to contact us about being an ordained vocations mentor?

This project is still in development but anyone interested in having a mentor can register their interest.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

Jeremiah 29:11-13