Resources For Your Ministry: Culture of Calling

Heather Entrekin

Dr. Heather Entrekin
Des Peres Assoc. Professor of Congregational Health
and Director of Doctor of Ministry






Guiding Youth Toward Authentic Living

God has more to say than we can hear by ourselves.*

A few months ago, pastors, seminary students, and denominational leaders sat around a table at Central Baptist Seminary answering the question:  Who helped you find your way into ministry?  We discovered that all of us had been guided and encouraged from childhood on by teachers, parents, pastors, and friends.  At critical points, they helped us name our gifts and provided opportunity to use them, asked questions and listened as if our lives mattered.  We experienced nurturing Christian communities.  None of us had traveled this path alone.

We also realized that most of our churches could have done better and that churches today continue to face obstacles in creating “cultures of calling” to encourage and guide youth in their vocational journeys.  In response, Central Baptist Seminary is making resources for churches nurturing youth a priority. 

Vocation allows us to be most fully ourselves – and most fully God’s.*

Through the Transformed by the Spirit Leadership Center, Central is gathering resources and creating events to support churches that wish to grow in this critical aspect of congregational life.  They are designed to promote an environment of prayer, conversation, understanding, and friendship grounded in a community of faith leading to authentic, purposeful life. 


  • Greenhouses of Hope:  Congregations Growing Young Leaders Who Will Change the World, Dori Grinenko, Baker, Ed.

A collection of stories of churches discovering imaginative, effective ways to help youth find themselves and their vocations.  Instead of formulas, the reader will find practices and possibilities as unique as the congregations that developed them.  This is a word of encouragement and hope.

  • Vocational Journey:  Resources for Congregations Nurturing Youth, Beth Kennett, Center for Congregational Health,

Organized, accessible plans for activities, classes, small groups and mentor orientation retreats designed to help churches become “incubators of vocation.”  The process of vocational formation includes passion, gifts/talents, world’s needs and invitation.

  • GPS/Go.Proclaim.Serve, April 6, 2013, Central Baptist Theological Seminary

A day for youth and their pastors and youth leaders to explore together vocation as God’s call to authentic living.  “Gospel Slam” – a three minute creative proclamation of a scripture text – will be a focal point.  The day will include scripture-based, small group conversation and activities on knowing how to become the person we are created to be. 

  • GPS/God’s Positioning System, Youth Group Programs on Vocation

Youth groups interested in a taste of “Gospel Slam” and conversation on vocation may contact Heather Entrekin at Central Baptist Seminary ( to schedule a seminary student or culture of calling team member to come lead a session or to receive an outline to use on their own.

  • Prayer Partners

Contact Heather Entrekin ( for a copy of guidelines developed by Christian Education Vision Team of the Central Region to guide churches in intentional, sustained prayer for young people, especially as they venture to camp and youth pilgrimages.

  • Vocation:  Journey Toward Authentic Living, Molly T. Marshall *Headings are taken from this resource

Seven critical elements to ground thinking, preaching and teaching on vocational discernment. (click here for this worksheet)


Brian Kirk and Jacob Thorne blog theory and practical ideas for new expressions of ministry with teens. These two Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastors from Missouri have over 25 combined years of experience in youth ministry between them.