Discerning God's call
Helpful questions to ask as you prayerfully discern God's call might include:
Do you have a passion or interest you could share with others?
Passions are often the starting point of fresh expressions. One person goes kite-flying with friends, both because he enjoys it and in the prayerful hope that this will evolve into church. Can you imagine how you might share your passion, share your life, share your faith and eventually share the journey of others in the group as they travel into the heart of God's love? If this – understandably – seems rather daunting, remember that it is best not to do it on your own. Is there a Christian friend or work colleague who could join you?
Are you fully committed to the values that inspire fresh expressions?
For example, are you willing for your views to change as you listen to the people you are called to serve? Are you prepared to leave some of your preconceptions about church behind? Is forming community a priority for you? Are you willing to keep learning and to share what you have learnt?
Who do you want to work with?
In particular, do you want to be a cross-cultural missionary within your own country, serving people from a very different culture to yourself? Or do you want to work with your friends and colleagues, who are more like you?
Can you see any openings for a fresh expression?
For example, if common interests can be a starting point for fresh expressions, what are the passions of people round you? Might they provide an opportunity for fresh expressions? In particular:
- can you see any opportunities among your friends, or among colleagues and contacts in your school, workplace, club or neighbourhood?
- are there opportunities on the fringe of your local church, or beyond the fringe?
- who are the networkers in your congregation, the individuals with plenty of contacts? Might they see opportunities among their networks?
- what are the passions of members of the congregation or of your friends?
You may well want to seek advice
Which of your friends might you consult? Have you spoken to your minister? Have you talked this through with your spiritual director or mentor? If they asked the following questions, how would you respond?
- What's your motivation?
- Have you got a love for the people you want to work with?
- Are you being realistic about what would be involved?
- Have you got time?
- What gifts would you bring?
- Would you need to be released from other activities in the church?
- Are you tuned into God?
Might you take time out for extended prayer and reflection?
As you do this, you might ask:
- what themes has God built into my life - do they suggest a call?
- what stirs me?
- what means a lot to me?
- what vision for my life has God given to me?
- has he confirmed that vision?
- what do others see in me?
- what has been asked of me by my church or denomination?