November 6, 2020
East Texas Baptist University hosted its sixth annual Calling Conference on Wednesday, November 4, for ETBU students who are drawn to vocational ministry. The conference provided students with a deeper understanding of how to identify and pursue their callings with opportunities to learn from experienced ministry professionals and special guest speakers Dr. Jonathan Grenz, Dean of the School of Ministry at Palm Beach Academy, and Phil Miller, acting Director of the Great Commission Team for Texas Baptists (BGCT).
“This year’s Calling Conference was a much-needed breath of fresh air, both figuratively and literally,” ETBU Director of Ministry Guidance Jeremy Greer said. “Our conference leaders inspired students by reminding them that God is at work in the world, and he has invited us to participate in that work in ways uniquely suited to each of us. These discussions were all the more enriched by our outside venue, where we enjoyed a beautiful sunny and breezy day in God’s creation as we considered our place in the work of God’s redemption.”
After the opening session, the Calling Conference continued during the University’s chapel service with a message from Dr. Grenz, who encouraged students to respond to God’s call on their lives even in the midst of doubt.
“You are on your own path, and you are discerning the way that it works for you,” Dr. Grenz said. “Your specific calling, the unique thing that God wants to do in your life is progressive. It is unfolding over the course of your life. Where you are now is a great place to be, and where you’re at tomorrow is a great place to be, and where you’re going to be at 20 years from now is a great place to be. Focus on now and then let that calling unfold.”
Following chapel, participants attended a luncheon where they could hear from both Dr. Grenz and Miller in a more in-depth conversation about vocational ministry.
“The Calling Conference has always been a great blessing as it equips students for the real world,” senior religion major Jose Hi said. “ETBU does a very good job of preparing students to discover their calling. They offer great opportunities to work in ministries, but also in other areas where one can explore to see if their calling fits there.”
As a Christ-centered institution, East Texas Baptist prepares and equips students to excel academically and spiritually. Each year, the Calling Conference impacts many East Texas Baptist students as they receive wisdom and advice on responding to God’s calling on their life.
“Vocational ministry is not something you do by yourself in isolation, and it is not just a job.” Miller shared. “Your assignment might be broader than what your passion is. Don’t let that get lost in what God is calling you to do.”