My high school pastor did a lot of short-term mission trips. He talked about one particular trip to Brazil in which God was very clearly working in the lives of the students on the trip. Some ridiculous proportion of the students on the trip wound up in full-time ministry or some other deeper involvement in ministry, and this was taken as people responding to God’s work in their lives. Yesterday I was talking to a friend I made within the last week, and he was talking about a family friend of his from Nigeria who studied experimental chemistry. This chemist followed God’s leading in studying chemistry, and later on even felt called to go to seminary. More broadly, college friends sometimes struggled with whether God might call them to become pastors or missionaries, and they took their answers to the hypothetical call to be a measurement of their spiritual vitality. Why do people feel that knowing God more deeply implies that they must go into professional ministry and take themselves out of the world? Continue reading Responding to God: Why Professional Ministry? Really now.