If you are wondering whether the Methodist Diaconal Order might be where God is leading you, take some time to think about your response to these questions:
Questions to ask yourself
Are you a member of the Methodist Church and actively involved in your local church and community?
Do you feel that your spiritual life is continuing to grow and mature?
Are you at a stage in your life where you are ready for a deeper commitment, prepared to uproot and move to new places physically, mentally and spiritually?
Would you be able to commit yourself to the disciplines involved in being a member of a Religious Order as well as being under the authority of the Methodist Church?
Are you prepared to undergo training?
Do you feel a particular concern for people on the margins of society and a longing to share God's love beyond the confines of the Church?
Do you tend to relate well to people both inside and outside the church?
What evidence is there that you work well in a team situation?
Are you able to carry responsibility?
Do you find yourself taking initiative and inspiring others to come with you?
Are you open to working ecumenically and alongside other faiths?
Are you able to offer a minimum of ten years service after training?
Are you willing to become itinerant?
Discuss and pray with others
If you haven't already done so, discuss and pray through your thoughts with your minister and superintendent, family and/or close friends.
You will be expected to be fully aware of other possibilities for service besides the Order, so be sure to attend a Vocational Exploration Day - these are held regularly in all Districts. Your minister will know about any forthcoming events locally. Also, the Order arranges Diaconal exploration days (contact details below).
Arrange to have an informal conversation with a member of the Order by contacting the Diaconal Centre at:
26 St. James Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2NX.
Tel: 0121 440 2318 .
There are no minimum academic requirements, though you must be able to benefit from study. You do not have to be a local preacher. However, you do need to have completed an approved Worship Leaders Course before candidating.
Be prepared to have your call tested through candidating, training and a period of probation. This can be quite time-consuming and extremely searching!
Apply & inform
If, after you have done all this, it seems right to go further in the connexional year in which you intend to candidate, please contact the Discernment and selection Office at Methodist Church House, 25 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5JR. (Searching for candidating on the Methodist Church website - www.methodist.org.uk - will lead to current information on the process, including the selection criteria used, the timetable for the current year and a handbook for candidates.)
Set up a support group
Set up a group of people who will support you and act as a sounding board during this part of your journey. Your minister and superintendent could help you to do this. We advise you not choose people who may be involved in any decision-making about you. Try to find wise people who will challenge you as well as support you.
Timetable of candidating procedure
Please Contact Discernment and selection at Methodist Church House. Tel. 02074865502