Who Owes Me Three Dollars?

October 9, 2005

So, take note everyone: I just won $600 putting me…

Filed under: Uncategorized — ineedsheetmusic @ 11:47 pm

take note everyone: I just won $600 putting me ahead by $200 for the season.

I will now come out of the closet and give you a quick update on seminary. My class is “Ministry of the Word”. This class is in the ‘Practical Theology’ dept. So, the gist of this class is the meeting of the rubber to the road. Here, then, is the problem. It is pointed to the actual working of a person as a preacher/pastor. A big aspect of this (very big, actually) is the calling. I have no calling. Without the inward calling, you don’t belong in the role of pastor/preacher. So I am out until I get such a calling.

What brings this reality into sharp focus is this form I have to fill out for review by the head of field education at the seminary. He is the one in charge of monitoring your work as an intern at some church.

This is the form:

Expected year of graduation:______

Your denominational affiliation:_______

Name of your home church:___________ (Most guys are here from out of town)

Yes/No are you under care of a Presbytery or formal supervision of an ecclesiastical body?

Yes/No do you plan to be ordained in your present denom?

If ‘no’ please explain.

Yes/No Do you have a copy of your denom’s requirements for licensure/ordination?

Name of the local church you are presently attending:________

What are you expectations of the field education program?_________

Currently, what is your ministry objective: Pastor, missionary, teacher, other:_______

Name three persons who have been most influential in your Christian development and the quality each one possesses:_____________

Please describe one experience in your life that brought deep satisfaction and why:________

Church in which you expect to do your field education:___________

Name of the pastor or other person who will be supervising your work:_________

Denominational affiliation of the church or pastor:____________

This form then is reviewed in an interview with the head guy. Not having a calling combined with the contents of what I write on this form is going yield an interesting interview.



  1. Does that mean you aren’t going to fill out the form, or are you going to fill it out and then expect that the interview will result in the interviewer telling you your not qualified for the course. This sounds a little like the young farm boy who enrolled in the seminary and flunked his first test. The dean asked him why he was there and he said God sent him a message “PC”. He interpreted that to mean Preach Christ. The dean said maybe it meant to plant corn.

    Comment by Anonymous — October 10, 2005 @ 2:42 am

  2. I’m a little confused; what’s the difference between “inward calling” and “I have a passion for the word, and I want to train myself to better be able to share the word with others”?

    On the flip side, you probably want to avoid saying “I wouldn’t mind being a Pastor, if it weren’t for all those people and their problems! Now, if I could just do the preaching part…”

    I’ve got kind of the reverse problem in re: academic jobs; I want to do the in-classroom student teaching only, with no interest for the ivory tower research work.

    But have you ever actually talked to anybody in the denom (careful not to misspell as demon!) about the need for ordinates? Have you considered volunteering as an intern? How about resuming your prison ministry under the CRC umbrella? (I can put you in touch with a guy who ministers at the Marine Brig, or a guy who ministers to American incarcerees in Mexico)

    Comment by son1 — October 10, 2005 @ 3:02 pm

  3. This doesn’t make any sense to me, Bruce. If you were called to preach, at least as pulpit supply, after you retire, why then are you now NOT called? Did you misread the call or do you feel uncomfortable now that you’re in this far with the notion of a call? And, if so (for either reason or one I haven’t figured out) what is wrong with being “called” to learn theology for its own sake and the sake of your own clarification and therefore spiritual maturity (cf. Col. 1 or Eph. 1–Paul’s prayer)?? Dad was wondering with me on the phone tonight whether they shouldn’t have given you this form to fill out before the class began if they are using it to weed people out (as it seems they might be). I love theology and read it as often as I can fit it into my schedule and use it in my teaching though I never intend to preach. I’d love to go to seminary (some day). Calvin’s fourth floor library “calls” to me all the time 🙂 I expect that Westminster’s does to you too.

    Comment by Sister — October 11, 2005 @ 12:44 am

  4. Hey, son1/nephew1–what’s attracting me more and more as a potential post-retirement ministry is something in the prisons. More young (black) men convert to Islam in the prisons of America than any other kind of conversion. How I would relate to such men is a question, but I do ok with the black and Pakistani students at Wooster, so….??? The S.D. locations are a little far away, but I’ll bet G.R. has a few such prisoners of its own.

    Comment by Aunt Barb — October 11, 2005 @ 12:47 am

  5. Wanting to preach must be analyzed in the context of your motivation to do so. More later.

    Comment by Bruce S — October 11, 2005 @ 3:17 am

  6. Pulpit supply? You want to be a door-to-door salesman of bibles, hymnals, and olive oil?

    Comment by son1 — October 11, 2005 @ 4:31 pm

  7. That is a tough form I can understand your hesitation.

    Comment by mike s. — October 12, 2005 @ 2:03 am

  8. You might benefit from reading Os Guiness’ book called The Call (or Calling–I can’t remember.) Lots of students find it helpful.

    Comment by sister — October 12, 2005 @ 2:50 am

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