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Kudos to Levi Skipper and the folks at the Georgia Baptist Mission Board

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No matter a person’s age, navigating the call to ministry can be a confusing journey. That’s why the folks at the Georgia Baptist Mission Board deserves a word of thanks for a new initiative they’ve started.

The Called to Ministry initiative is designed to help the next generation of ministers make sense of it all.

Levi Skipper, leader of church strengthening for the Mission Board, said students who sense a call to ministry will gather online once a month to talk with experienced Georgia Baptist ministry leaders about what lies ahead.

The initial meeting in August involved students from across the state.

“There really just hasn’t been a clear pathway for teenagers to take when they felt called to ministry,” Skipper said. “We want to change that in the state of Georgia. There are students throughout this state who feel called to ministry, but for whatever reason we have begun to pull away from challenging people to respond to that call. We want to revive that.”

The Called to Ministry initiative was born partially out of Skipper’s own experience as a teenager. He drew laughs from the Executive Committee when he joked that, as he wrestled with his call to ministry as a high school student, he randomly opened his Bible and haphazardly dropped his finger on a verse, hoping for a sign from God. His finger fell on the words: “Do you need a sign? You have the sign of Jonah.”

Skipper said he wants to create smoother pathways for the next generation of pastors, missionaries and evangelists. They’re get instruction and inspiration for their journeys into ministry as well as action steps to help guide them in the process.

At the Georgia Baptist Mission Board’s Impact Camp in June, 33 of the 514 students participating said they were feeling a call to full-time ministry.

Skipper said pastors across Georgia have students in their churches who are wrestling with God’s call on their lives, and those pastors, because of their packed schedules, could benefit from Calling the Called.

“That’s where we can really come alongside and really help a pastor and his church,” he said. “Just imagine the difference this could make for the state of Georgia as it continues to grow. We’re going to have leaders who are developed, leaders who are encouraged to join our Baptist institutions, and, when it comes time for you to look for a staff member, there’s actually going to be a pond filled with great, great leaders for you to fish from.”

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