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Divine CallingsUnderstanding the Call to Ministry in Black Pentecostalism$
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Richard N. Pitt

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814768235

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814768235.001.0001

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“All the World’s a Stage”

“All the World’s a Stage”

How Congregations Create the Called

(p.72) 3 “All the World’s a Stage”
Divine Callings

Richard N. Pitt

NYU Press

This chapter offers a glimpse into the role originating congregations play in enhancing the very strong beliefs ministers have that they have been called to religious labor. It examines processes that, when viewed through a social psychological lens, explain why even clearly noncompetent candidates continue to pursue the credential. In particular, religious communities' reluctance to directly reject ministers' sense that they are called inadvertently strengthens aspirants' commitments to the called identity. In a process of acceptance herein referred to as “the horizontal call” (contrasted with the “vertical” call, which refers to interactions with the divine), the call creates a social identity—someone has to accept that ministry, if being a “minister” is to truly mean anything.

Keywords:   ministry, congregations, vertical call, horizontal call, religious communities, called identity, religious labor

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