Jesus was the best storyteller. Ever. Big claim? You bet. But let’s be honest, Jesus had a way of telling a story that cut to people’s deepest needs and dreams and heartaches. That’s why his stories have become for Christians touchstones to know and be in relationship with the living Word of God, Christ himself.
For this reason, storytelling has become an amazing tool for Christians to share their faith and their understanding of God and God’s place in their lives. This is particularly true of vocation. If you have even a hint of a suspicion that God might be calling you into ministry, hearing someone else’s story of call and purpose can inspire you to explore that further – and then, with God’s Holy Spirit to guide you – who knows where you might end up!
One of the best things about my role as Director of Ordinands and Vocations is that I get to hear many stories of call and vocation – they are all so different. But they do have one thing in common – these are people who genuinely want to partner with God in the mission of the Church. They have a big vision for what God is able to do in people’s lives and in the world, and they want to be in the front row, working on that mission!
The ACSQ Vocations Task Group has made it their mission to encourage everyone in our community to talk about vocation, purpose and ministry – especially between 15 July and 15 August, when Vocations Month is celebrated. This year’s theme is ‘What’s your vocation story?’
To help us share the amazing and inspirational stories of vocation, call and ministry, I have created a Vocations podcast, On Call. The podcast is a work in progress, and I am grateful for people’s generosity in contributing. I have received emails from people I have interviewed saying, “Don’t forget to include this” or “Make sure someone is saying that”. Anglican clergy really do love their ministry and want to encourage others to consider it.
The first two storytellers featured in the On Call podcast are The Rev’d Jamee-Lee Callard and The Rev’d Richard Browning. While their ministries are worlds apart in practice, at the heart of each is the desire to draw people into community and to enable them to grow in understanding of their place in God’s world. This desire is not limited to clergy, of course. The podcast will include stories of lay people who are living out their vocation, whether it is in faith formation like Fiona Hammond from St Francis College or an examining chaplain like Janet Dyke. There will also be stories of people who have come to faith via a circuitous path or one with potholes and roadblocks.
I really hope that a simple podcast like this will allow people searching for their vocation to tap into the experiences of others. Storytelling can inspire and instruct, and give people a real insight into how they might serve God in their own life.
You can listen to the podcast through the ACSQ Vocations website, where you will also find a discussion guide for each episode.
The aim of the podcast is simple. We need to be talking about vocations, listening to each other’s stories and encouraging one another. I hope the podcast and the other resources available for Vocations Month help people do that.
Editor’s note: The Rev’d Canon Sarah Plowman, Diocesan Director Ordinands and Vocations, will be leading a pilgrimage walk for those wishing to discern a call to ordained ministry on Wednesday 11 August from 9 am to 4 pm. For more information or to register, visit the walkLIFE Vocations Pilgrimage registration page. If you have questions about the pilgrimage, please contact The Rev’d Canon Sarah Plowman via Sarah.Plowman@anglicanchurchsq.org.au. Church and ministries can visit the Vocations page of the ACSQ website for Vocations Month resources.Jump to next article