Students Explore God's Call to Minister, Serve
WILMORE, Ky. — Nearly two dozen high-school students gathered at Asbury University this weekend to explore what it means to be called into ministry through The Call Conference 2012: Fully Known.
The annual conference draws participants from across the Eastern United States to get to know other students with similar interests and gain tools to minister in their current settings. There is also a youth leaders track in which adults who work in church youth ministry can be equipped to better guide their ministry-minded youth into fruitful service.
Professor Brian Hull remarked that this year’s participants often have already jumped into ministry at a young age.
“They’re very focused on doing ministry,” Hull said. “Not only do they feel called to minister in the future, but I hear them talking about how they’re doing ministry now. When God calls us, He calls us now, and it’s encouraging to see them doing that.”
This year’s speaker for the conference was Brooklyn Lindsey, minister to students at Highland Park Church of the Nazarene in Lakeland, Fla., and author of “Confessions of a Not-So Super Model.” Her own call to youth ministry, influenced by caring adults who invested in her as a teenager, is fueled by a love for an age group “with so much potentiality.”
“I believe that all of you are being called out to do something,” she told the students during Friday morning’s session, which also coincided with the University-wide Chapel service. “You’re being lifted up and elevated to do something very specific and individual and perfect for God in the body of Christ.”
Cassie Petersen, a high-school senior from Snellville, Ga., came to the conference with significant ministry experience already — she teaches a fifth-grade Sunday School class as well as an eighth-grade youth class on Wednesday night. For Petersen, working with kids in the church setting has also set the stage for a career calling.
“I love teaching kids and want to work with elementary ages in special education, particularly,” she said. “I started in the church in my call to teach and minister, and through a program at my school I’ve been able to work in local elementary schools. They’re public schools, so we don’t necessarily pray with the kids there, but I’m a witness.”
Asbury President Sandra Gray visited the group over breakfast Friday morning and asked the students to talk about their calls. Some had specific ideas of what ministry would look like for them, and some were still a bit unsure, but Hull found the eagerness to follow the call into unknown territory to be inspirational.
“To hear a high-school student being able to articulate their calling and show that willingness is thrilling,” he said.