May 01, 2023

Use this suggested order of worship to celebrate the call to ministry, prepared by two of our EPA pastors and members of the Board of Ordained Ministry. It’s titled Here I Am, Send Me: Call to Ministry Worship Service. Plan to use it in your church, and please recommend it to others.


Call To Worship

            One: Eternal God, you gave to your apostles many excellent gifts.

Many: Through the Spirit, you have granted your gifts of  wisdom, knowledge, faith,  healing, miracles, prophecy, administration, leadership and help.

One: For all these gifts given and used in Your name,

Many: We give thanks, O God.

One: Come upon us gathered here to call and equip us,

Many: So that we may fulfill your desire that we do justice, love mercy, and walk

humbly with you.

Opening Hymn                       “We Are Called”                      (TFWS # 2172)          

Reaffirmation of Baptism

One:    Through Baptism, we are all made one with the death of Jesus Christ

and raised with him to walk in the newness of life by water and Spirit.

(Water is poured into a bowl or Baptismal font)

The same Spirit who descended upon Jesus, like a dove, empowers us with many diverse gifts to serve as new creatures—renouncing evil, embracing and submitting to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and joining together in one body to serve as God’s representatives in the world. We all start here. The Spirit leads us all.

Remember you are baptized, and be thankful. 

(Worship leader may sprinkle the water towards the congregation with a hand or branch)

Many: We remember our baptism and affirm our common ministry. 

Thanks be to God!

Hymn Suggestions:                 “Wash, O God, Our Sons and Daughters”     (UMH # 605)

                                                “This Is the Spirit’s Entry Now”                       (UMH # 608)

                                                “Baptized in Water”                                         (TFWS # 2248)

                                                “We Will Follow (Somlandela)”                       (W&S # 3160)

(During the hymn, members of the body may come forward to remember the waters of their Baptism.)

Scripture Suggestions

            Exodus 3-4                  (The Call of Moses)

1 Samuel 3:1-18         (The Call of Samuel)

Isaiah 6:1-8                 (The Call of Isaiah)

Jeremiah 1:4-9            (The Call of Jeremiah)

Jonah 1:1-3, 2:1-10     (The Call of a Reluctant Prophet)

Matthew 4:18-25         (The Call of Jesus’ Disciples)

            Luke 4:14-22               (A Prophet in His Hometown)

            Luke 1:26-38               (The Call of Mary)

            Matthew 9:35-10:7      (Laborers for the Harvest / Sending Out the Twelve)

Sermon/ Preaching Moment

Hymn Suggestions                 “I Love to Tell the Story”                                 (UMH # 156)

“Tell Me the Stories of Jesus”                         (UMH # 277)

                                                “The Voice of God is Calling”                         (UMH # 436)

                                                “This Little Light of Mine”                                (UMH #585)

                                                “God the Spirit, Guide and Guardian”            (UMH # 648)

                                                “How Shall They Hear the Word of God”       (UMH # 649)

                                                “The Summons”                                              (TFWS #2130)

                                                “In the Midst of New Dimensions”                  (TFWS # 2238)

                                                “Gracious Creator of Sea and of Land”          (W&S #3161)

A Litany of Call:

One:    We worship you, the God of heaven and earth, who spoke a word and brought light and

life into being.

Many: Speak to us anew, Creator God!

One:    We delight in you, the God of covenant faithfulness, who worked through second-born

and unlikely heroes to call a chosen people.

Many: Work through us, God of faithfulness!

One:    We praise you, the God who called both reluctant prophets and eager ones, who

spoke through them to call your people to repentance, to faithfulness, to justice.

Many: May your call be heard once more, O God! May your prophets answer!

One:    We stand in awe of you, the God who walked along a seashore and called out to those

mending their nets, bidding them to fish for people.

Many: Walk among us, Lord! Call out to us!

One:    We give thanks to you, O God, for those you have already called:

For those who have proclaimed your gospel in word and action…

For those who have taught us, challenged us, mentored us, and formed us…

For those who have passed this life-giving faith to us.

Many: Lord, we give you thanks!

One:    We celebrate the unique and diverse callings you have placed on our lives, O God.

Many: Renew your calling within our hearts!

One:    We seek your transformation, O God:

For you are the God who turned a virgin into a mother and a shepherd into a king…

You are the God who does not merely call the qualified, but rather qualifies the called…

You are the God who equips your people and bestows on them your holy gifts…

You are the God of impossible transformations, made possible through your grace.

Many: Transform us, Gracious God!

One:    We call upon you, God of prophets and disciples and apostles! For the harvest is

plentiful, but the laborers are few.

Many: Lord of harvest, send your call once more! 

If desired, at this time the worship leader may:

  • invite any in the body to share a personal testimony of his/her own call from God
  • provide space for an altar call for any in the body who are experiencing a sense of call for prayers and/or anointing with oil

Closing Hymn                                           “Here I Am, Lord” UMH # 593


This Call to Ministry worship service liturgy was created by the Rev. Candy LaBar and the Rev. Nina Patton-Semerod.