You’ve heard God’s call, but how do you know what it means? Discernment is the determining of what the best solution is given the available options. Discernment is best done by searching outside of yourself. This could be done through research, conversations with God, conversations with others, or any other way you’re able to weigh options.
Here’s information on the options available through vocational ministry:
A United Methodist Chaplain is an ordained clergyperson who ministers outside the walls of the church, caring for those with deep needs.
Deacons are ordained clergy who lead the church in relating Christians to their ministries in the world through worship, scriptural educational (preaching and teaching), nurturing spiritual vitality, service to the community, and ministries of justice and compassion.
Elders are ordained clergy who lead the church through worship, scriptural education (preaching and teaching), nurturing spiritual vitality, administration of the sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion, and ordering the life of the church for service in mission in ministry.
If God is calling you to become a clergyperson, but you don’t see seminary as an option for you, then you may want to consider becoming a Licensed Local Pastor, whose authority is restricted to the local congregation they serve.
You may not feel called to vocational ministry but still feel inclined to leadership in the church. Work with your pastor or other church members to identify ways you can serve. Try out different ministries to discover what you enjoy doing and where your skills are. The Church has many options for lay (non-ordained) service.
Continue your exploration through responding.