Missions » Invitation to Call

Invitation to Call: Waiting and Preparing

In our ongoing effort to invite and engage young adults into an understanding of call, CBFNC would like to encourage pastors to add a “sentence of call” to their invitation for the Sundays of Advent and Lent this year. This is why: 

As children who were at church almost every Sunday, the cadence of the invitation at the conclusion of each service went something like this,  “As we sing this hymn of invitation, we would like to invite you to make a public profession of faith in Jesus Christ; join this church by transferring of letter, rededicate your life to Jesus or make a public decision to surrender to God’s call for full-time Christian service.”

It was said so consistently and so definitely, it became part of our faith language. Each time the invitation was offered, each line ran through our mental filters and we considered each component of the offer. Since for us, making a public profession of faith came early, that part of the invitation ruminated in our minds and hearts. 

Over the years CBF has engaged in a great deal of talk about call for our youth and young adults, but often that conversation has not been in the context of a church community nor connected to communal worship. During the last few decades, we have de-emphasized (at best) or even eliminated the invitation to call as part of our worship. Consequently, that neglect has effectively removed the rhythm of call and response within the context of many congregations.

Therefore, CBFNC is offering a challenge to preachers in partner congregations to include a phrase about “a call to serve” or “a call to ministry” within their invitations during the Advent and Lenten seasons.  We hope to start a conversation to increase awareness of God’s investment in all of God’s children and how each one may respond to that stirring in each life and the lives of our churches.

A Call to ministry

Let us raise an awareness of call within the context of congregational ministry.
Let us begin to look at our young adults as ministers in their chosen walks of life.
Let us encourage them to integrate their call into their daily lives.
Let us equip them to be empowered to serve in ways they may not have considered.

 

Churches that have joined this challenge are:

Mars Hill Baptist Church, Mars Hill -- Tommy Justus
Zebulon Baptist Church, Zebulon -- Jack Glasgow
Rock Creek Baptist Church, Nashville -- Blake Dempsey
Mt Pisgah Baptist Church, Fayetteville -- Paula and Scot McCosh
Westwood Baptist Church, Cary -- Mike Ettinger
Emerywood Bapitst Church, High Point -- Bob Ferguson
First Baptist Church, Ahoskie -- Daniel Glaze
First Baptist Church, Sylva -- Jeff Mathis
Yates Baptist Church, Durham -- Christopher Ingram
Immanuel Baptist Church, Greenville -- Wm. Scott Conner
Memorial Baptist Church, Buies Creek -- Barry Jones
First Baptist Church, Southern Pines -- David Helms
Oakmont Baptist Church, Greenville -- Greg Rogers
Wingate Baptist Church, Wingate -- Derrill Smith
First Baptist Church, Liberty -- Brian Harrington
Macedonia Baptist Church, Raleigh -- Dennis Herman
First Baptist Church, Mocksville -- Shane Nixon
United Baptist Church, Winston-Salem -- Will Watson
Ardmore Baptist Church, Winston-Salem -- Don Gordon
First Baptist Church, Burnsville -- Tommy James
First Baptist Church, Shelby -- Tony Tench
Goshen Baptist Church, Leland -- Barbara Bell
Millbrook Baptist Church, Raleigh -- Andrea Dellinger Jones
Temple Baptist Church, Durham -- Mark Mofield
First Baptist Church, Bryson City -- John Tagliarini
St. John's Baptist Church, Charlotte -- Dennis Foust
Central Baptist Church, Spruce Pine -- Jody Griffin
 

Will your church accept this challenge to cultivate God’s call in the lives of our people? If so, please respond to CBFNC and we will add your church to a section of our website dedicated to this initiative.

Wanda Kidd, CBFNC College Ministry Coordinator
Larry Hovis, CBFNC Executive Coordinator

Invitation at the close
of a worship service
Don Gordon from
Ardmore in Winston-Salem

As we sing our hymn of response, we invite you to respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit as part of your worship today.  As usual, we invite you to profess Christ as your Savior and follow him in baptism, if you have never made such a decision public.  If you believe God is calling you to join hands with us in this faith community to serve our Lord, we would welcome you in that journey. 

During this advent season, we also are joining many other churches around North Carolina in calling out people into vocational ministry in the church.  God continues to call and use ordinary people to serve the church in extraordinary ways, including pastoral ministry, music ministry, youth and children’s ministry, and counseling, just to name a few.  My experience has been that God often calls those who have been in strong, healthy churches and have had positive experiences in those churches to become future leaders.  

Are you one of those?  If God is calling you to ministry in his church, we want to affirm that call and stand beside you as you discern what that means in your life.  However the Holy Spirit is speaking to you today, we encourage you to respond in faithfulness.

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