Called to ministry: Tom MullanWednesday 19 September 2018
We’re looking forward to 18 new diocesan readers being commissioned in Dromore Cathedral on Friday evening. It’s a varied group of people, all of whom have successfully completed the 2 year training course, and each with their own sense of call to the reader ministry.
We’ve asked several of them to share their journey. Meet Tom Mullan from Holywood Parish:
Like many I had a real encounter with Jesus as a young teenager. I pursued a career in teaching and as I look back from a position of now being retired I really thank God for how he spoke to me in those teenage years and gave me the faith to respond. Coming to faith in Christ has influenced me in so many ways, shaping my thinking, forming my character and guiding me through the obstacles and trials life has put in my way.
I have been involved in serving God in different ways in my church life from teaching Sunday School to leading Home Groups, playing the guitar and leading worship. I have always had a pastoral aspect to my personality, I enjoy the company of others and value studying and learning with other Christians.
In terms of calling I believe God spoke to me some years ago from John 21 where Jesus speaks to Peter and asks Peter, “Do you love me?” and then says “Feed my sheep”. The question for me was what did that mean for me. It was about twelve years later that the opportunity arose for my wife and I to go to Regent College in Vancouver to study theology. When I received an emailed invitation, two years ago, to consider training as a Lay Reader it seemed a logical step and I began the training.
There were a number of parts to the course, some parts I enjoyed more than others. We spent about six Saturdays over the two years at the Theological Institute in Dublin and I thought those days were interesting and they gave me an opportunity to interact with others on the course. Also Willie Nixon, Bryan Follis and Andrew Brannigan did a good job in organizing the diocesan dimension of the course. I appreciated the focus on preaching and I enjoyed the food and discussion.
As I look forward I am not sure were this is going to take me but my desire is that I become more fruitful for God and that he enables me to teach and communicate his word and his truth. As in Ephesians 4:12 the role of pastors and teachers is to “equip his people for works of service” and my prayer is that God would use me to build up the body of Christ that we all might be better able to build God’s kingdom.