Divine Call - Human Protocol. An Evaluation of Calling Practices within the Christian Church
God directly called prophets and apostles to proclaim his Word. While God no longer directly calls Christians to proclaim his Word, he still calls individuals to do this work publicly – that is among and on behalf of other believers. The authority to call public ministers of the gospel is now given to the Church. Although this call comes through human hands, it is still divine. However, what is not divine is the protocol which carries out that call. God did not prescribe how the Church must deliberate and decide on calls. Those decisions are left up to believers in Christian freedom. In time, various protocols have developed and are practiced by different church bodies within the Christian Church. This thesis will examine some of those different protocols to identify positive practices and potential pitfalls. After examining the calling practices of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and Christian Missionary Alliance, I intend to demonstrate the commonalities these different church bodies share, the concerns some protocol brings, and the safeguards which mitigate those concerns.