As a woman in the church, it's difficult to know what it means to say "I'm called to ministry." Whether you have been wrestling with that calling for years or are just starting to ask what it means, Now That I'm Called will provide you with guidance and direction on your journey. Perhaps you are feeling the Holy Spirit leading you toward vocational ministry but are unsure of what that means or if you are hearing the voice of the Lord correctly. This book will help you answer these questions and serve as a guide as you walk down this new and unfamiliar path.
Author Kristen Padilla answers questions like:
- What does the Bible say about ministerial calling?
- Can I, as a woman, be called to gospel ministry?
- What is the difference between spiritual gifts and ministerial roles within the church?
- Is there value in obtaining a theological education?
- Should I go to a Bible college, seminary, or divinity school, and what is the difference between these three?
- What is the value in having a ministerial mentor and doing internships?
- What if I feel called to ministry but do not know what type of ministry?
Each chapter ends with further questions, exercises, assignments, and stories of real women doing vocational ministry. This is a book that will prepare you for a lifetime of vocational service to God. You will walk away with a biblical understanding of ministerial calling and a robust view of women in gospel ministry, as well as practical tools to help you pursue God's call for your life.
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About the Author
Kristen Padilla received a Master of Divinity degree in 2008 from Beeson Divinity School of Samford University and has been involved in mentoring young women called to ministry, writing Bible studies, and teaching Scripture at women's events since graduation. She also has written for Credo magazine, IVP's The Well, and The Gospel Coalition. She currently serves as the marketing and communications coordinator for Beeson Divinity School, where she produces a weekly podcast, magazine, and devotional booklets and she mentors seminary women. Kristen, along with her husband and son, are actively involved in their church, The Cathedral Church of the Advent. You can find her at www.kristenrpadilla.com.
Table of Contents
For the Introduction, I will begin by describing how God called me to ministry. This will include my initial call, obstacles to my call, seminary, and what ministry looks like for me today. At the end of sharing my story, I will ask the question, Where are you today in your call? Secondly, I will provide a map of the book, briefly outlining the chapters and stating the purpose and goal of this book. Lastly, I will provide blank space and encourage each young woman to write out her calling story in the space provided.
Chapter 1: Is there really such a thing as a call to ministry?
In Chapter 1, I will address questions frequently asked: what does it mean to be called? Aren’t we all called to evangelize the lost and make disciples? Are some people really set apart for ministry? I will show, in this chapter, that there really is such a thing as a call to ministry. In order to achieve this, I will look at calls in the Bible, beginning in the Old Testament and moving canonically through the New Testament. I will include the callings of Moses, Joshua, David, Jeremiah, Peter, and Paul. I will examine the way in which God called them and to what task he called them. I will conclude with the following: God calls to ministry imperfect, sinful people; God calls people in a variety of ways; obedience and faithfulness is required of those whom he calls; and the ministry to which God calls people will always involve either the Word of God or the people of God, and many times it includes both. But what may be in the mind of readers as they reflect on this chapter is: what if I am a woman? Is there a vocational call for me? This leads to the next chapter.
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Chapter 2: Can I be called if I’m a woman?
So much of the conversation centered on women in ministry within evangelical circles is about what women cannot do. In this chapter, I will attempt to put the focus on what women can do. First, I will begin with a biblical survey of roles held by women. This is briefly mentioned in the first chapter; it is developed in this chapter. This will include those who were prophets, judges, disciples, laborers in the Word, deacons, and the possible apostle. Next, I will address the prohibition passages in Scripture regarding women, as well as the most popular interpretations of those passages. I will conclude with the following: 1. Women are created in the image of God and are meant to be used in the church to display God’s image; 2. There were many exceptions to the rules, so to speak, where God used women in typical male-type roles; this is noteworthy given the ancient culture in which men ruled. 3. God gives women spiritual gifts to use in the church. 4. God calls women to specific tasks regarding Scripture and the church. At the end of the chapter, I will provide a list of modern day roles held by women in full-time ministry. How a woman works out her calling and in what roles will largely depend on her own conscience and denomination. Once a case from Scripture is made that God calls out both men and women for ministry, I will prompt the reader with the question, How does one prepare for ministry? This will be a prelude into the next chapter.
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Chapter 3: Is theological education necessary?
This chapter will be written from my belief that theological education is important and necessary. While I do not believe that one can only do ministry if she has received theological education, theological education is the ideal toward which I want to push my readers. Even though the Holy Spirit enlightens and illumines God’s Word, we are not supernaturally given interpretations of passages of the Bible. Given the vast amount of space and time between the world of the Bible and our world, we nee