A pastor friend tells the story of a dear old soul he visited often in the nursing home. She would make ringing noises (BBBBrrrring! BBBBrrrring!), then turn her head and yell, "Somebody get the phone!"

Our conversation with Maxie Dunnam brought that story to mind. Often in ministry, we meet those who struggle with the concept of the call. They may not be certain whether they hear a call from God or if they're concocting the call themselves. And we wonder whether we should help them answer it.

During his lifetime of ministry, as pastor, denominational leader, and currently president of Asbury Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, Dunnam has helped many a prospective minister discern the call of God.

What do you say to someone who says, "I think I may be called to ministry"?

I say, "God bless you!"

The church as a whole and the academic community in particular aren't always friendly to the message that God intervenes directly in our lives, that he makes himself known by speaking to us. So I try to ...

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