One of the chief reasons for Kingswood University’s existence is to prepare men and women for vocational ministry. This infographic from a recent Barna study contains fascinating insights into how that call tends to come (www.barna.com/research/called-to-pastoral-ministry/).
We recognize that calling people to vocational ministry is God’s business, occurring by His sovereign will, in His way, at His time, and through His means. This study just provides a glimpse into how God tends to work.
We learn that
- More than half experience this call between the ages of 14 and 21.
- The vast majority attended church as a child.
- Those attending churches below 200 are more likely to experience God’s call than those attending larger churches.
- People can experience a call to ministry, even though their church isn’t a perfect place.
- Church youth ministry is extremely important in receiving this call.
- God can even reach people who are not involved in a church or para-church youth ministry.
Here are some of the implications of this research:
- Churches should make an intentional effort to expose high school and college aged men and women to the high calling of vocational ministry. Even just providing an alternative to the common narrative—“get a good job to make a lot of money”—will make a big difference.
- A strong children’s ministry prepares the way so God’s call can be more clearly heard then or later.
- Small churches should stop beating themselves up for being small. They do some things better than bigger churches.
- Since they are at a disadvantage in this regard, churches over 200 must work harder to encourage young people toward vocational ministry.
- There are lots of reasons to invest in a strong youth ministry. Here is one more.
- Because God continues to call people to vocational ministry, schools like Kingswood University are essential in God’s economy, providing the knowledge, skills and Christ-like disposition to serve this needy world.