New resource published to encourage a shift in the Church’s understanding of vocation


Work to encourage lay Christians to see their roles in daily life as a vital part of the ministry of the Church has been given support in a new report published this month by the Church of England.
Praying in a field Picture: Keith Blundy

Kingdom Calling sets out the theological basis for the roles that lay and ordained followers play in the ministry in the Church of England, and how these contribute to seeking God’s transformation across society.

Programme Director for Setting God’s People Free, Dr Nick Shepherd, said: “We hope Kingdom Calling will open deeper conversations on how the church supports a sense of calling and vocation for all Christians – for those who are key workers in our service industries, those who are leaders in business and those who see community involvement as their social vocation.”

The Faith and Order Commission report gives theological backing to a greater emphasis on the role that Christians have in all spheres of life and calls for a stronger emphasis on such social vocations as part of the collective ministry of the Church.

The report builds on Calling All God’s People, drawn up following the publication of Setting God’s People Free, which received overwhelming support from the General Synod in 2017. This has seen an increased focus on the practical outworking of faith in everyday life as central to diocesan and church activities.

Two people put their hands on a colleague

“We are seeing really encouraging signs that affirming the importance of following God in our everyday lives helps Christians to feel confident about their faith, and see where it is important in their day to day lives,” said Dr Shepherd.

He added: “This has been important for many people during the restrictions and disruptions caused by Covid-19.”

The role of the laity in formal ministry roles is also affirmed by Kingdom Calling

Research is currently being conducted for the Church of England’s Lay Ministry Data Project due to be published in November. It aims to capture the diversity of lay ministry and has gathered over 1,300 role titles. 

Bishop Martyn Snow, lead Bishop for Lay Ministry said: When exploring lay ministry, it is so important that we keep a focus on the kingdom of God. The majority of ministry is done by Christians living out their everyday faith in all the varied contexts of their everyday life, and those who are commissioned by the church are called to enable the witness of the whole people of God. I am pleased that there is a growing body of literature exploring the theology of the ministry of all those who respond to the call of God."

Notes to editors

  • Kingdom Calling is published by Church House Publishing and is available for purchase. Additional resources are being developed for use in vocation and discernment processing and building new ways to support social vocations.
  • Kingdom Calling will be supported by a social media campaign #GodCalledMe telling the stories of people in lay and ordained ministry and in the workplace. More information can be found here.