A Combined Call

Kirby Kingby Kirby King, Minister of Adult Formation at Souderton Mennonite Church

To speak about call in my life for church work requires that I speak about my call to teach at Christopher Dock Mennonite High School (Dock) as well as my call to become a licensed leader of adult formation at Souderton Mennonite Church. Both calls are so intertwined that I cannot separate them.

As a student at Lancaster Mennonite High School in the early ’80s I began to see myself as a person who could possibly have gifts in presentation and publicly leading or teaching a group. This is largely due to several teachers who gave me an opportunity to explore the “stage” of the classroom with presentations. My youth group at Maple Grove Mennonite Church complimented this by opening up leadership roles for me; specifically leading/teaching Bible study. A call was beginning to form inside me from those around me.

Fast-forward a few years, Laura Stoltzfus challenged me to go to college and become a teacher. I shared this with a small group and found support and encouragement. Again, the words from brothers and sisters of the faith sparked an internal call.

At present I have been teaching at Christopher Dock for 19 years. Even though I have completed my Master of Arts in Education, I have enrolled in Eastern Mennonite Seminary (EMS) to work toward a second Master’s degree. I feel an internal call to continue my education but this call is also tested and confirmed by my colleagues at Dock, my professors at EMS, and my peers at church.

Over the past two years, my work in my congregation (Souderton Mennonite Church) has blended smoothly with my professional teaching career. I have been assisting and leading in the adult Sunday School classes as a support person, class room teacher, and mass session leader. I also have added what I can to the preaching rotation; some during the summer months and some during a pastor’s sabbatical leave.

Souderton Mennonite Church recently asked me to accept a call to become our first leader of adult formation. This fits well with my internal call to teach and my full time occupation at Dock. I remain open to God’s leading in this new role. Based on my experience with God’s call, some future calls will stir up within me and some future calls will be clarified or brought to light from those around me. My prayer is that I hear and listen to God’s call as this new role develops.