My name is Trev Meardon and Im currently serving my curacy in Southmead at St Stephens church. Its a great community with a variety of things going on in the church and wider community. As the curate Im trying to get involved in as much as I can to gain experience and to serve in ways that I might not have before now, Im always surprised by what I learn and how God works in so many exciting ways!
I first felt that nudge by the Spirit towards ordained ministry when I was in my early 20s. That feels like a long time ago now. It was a sense of hearing the inner quiet whisper of God putting the thought in my mind and heart. To be completely honest it freaked me out if there was one thing I never wanted to do it was to be a Vicar! Id grown up in a Vicarage and seen the highs and lows of ministry from behind the scenes. At the time I was not keen to get involved, I was working as a Schools Evangelist for Eternity Youth Church, based just outside Bracknell in Warfield. I loved being involved with young peoples work, the school assemblies, the late nights, running mission events or church services. Eternity was a unique place where young people could be involved in leading their own church, experiencing God at work in their lives and seeing the Holy Spirit in action.
It was what I thought Id always want to do youth work was so much more simple than adult congregations. Then came the nudge again a few years later as I took on the role of being the Pastor of Eternity youth church in 2005. It seemed like a slippery slope to vicar school! I had always said that I would serve God wherever he lead me and when I was commissioned by the Bishop to be the lay Pastor, he asked me flat out when I was thinking of ordination. I had not spoken to him, or many people about it, and I knew God was putting this in front of me to consider again. So I did the only obvious thing and ran a mile, I said to God that this was too much of an ask, it was a step too far.
After my initial response I started praying a lot about this call. I prayed with leaders in our church and other churches, with family and close friends, basically anyone who I could. In those following years we went through some of the hardest times in our church, incredibly painful things that honestly made me doubt God's church was even the best plan! However, I wanted to take this seriously, I didnt want to go down this route if God wasnt with me. He confirmed it over and over with words of prophecy and pictures from people who had no idea I was considering it so I spoke with the vocations team and through to the DDO; all the time praying and seeking God's Holy Spirit to guide me and my family This was a life calling, it was to serve God in a way that I knew would not be easy but in God's strength He would turn my broken efforts into Kingdom work.
I find myself now having completed training at Trinity College, serving my curacy with a great incumbent, in a church that is incredible, one that isnt trying to gloss over the hard things in life and where everyone is welcome. As an extrovert in every way I love being around people, hearing stories of peoples lives and seeing God in action. The best thing about being in this role is the joy of seeing people meet Jesus whether its the first glimpse or the faithful servants unswerving love, it thrills me. I get to pray with people, live life with people, share in the joys and the sadness and all the time serving with others and listening out for the Holy Spirits nudges.
If youre thinking about ordination, or have not yet thought about it I would suggest that you take time, God is in no rush. Pray, listen and seek. What is the Holy Spirit saying to you? Offer yourself again to God, make that decision to follow Joshuas example and say: as for me and my house, we will follow the Lord. It may seem too scary or too much of a risk but God is faithful. He carried me through some incredibly tough times and they may come, but the joy of serving Jesus and helping others meet Him in whatever role you end up in is more than enough of a reward.