We're delighted that you have accepted our invitation - what attracted you to Life Call?
I was delighted to accept the invitation because Life Call seeks to help men and women in the crucial task of discovering their life’s vocation. It’s my conviction that for the Christian the first step along that road is to respond to the call to be a disciple of Jesus. If we get that right, other things related to the specific roles and tasks that are right for us will follow on.
You are talking about a whole life discipleship - what does that mean?
Whole-Life Discipleship? Well, it does what it says on the tin! Whole-Life Discipleship is the recognition that all of life - the church part, the work part, family life, leisure time, everything - matters to God.
Is it important that people think about their faith beyond Sunday morning?
Absolutely. If faith involves only what we do in church it becomes just a leisure-time pursuit - something we do in our spare time, just like other people go fishing or bowling or whatever. Sunday mornings in church are very important when we meet together for worship, for the preaching of the word, for fellowship, and for the breaking of bread. But Sunday mornings - and all the other times we meet in church - only fulfil their purpose if they equip and inspire us to live well for God out in the world and all through the week.
You work for the London Institute of Contemporary Christianity - who are they and what do they do?
LICC was founded by John Stott in 1982 with the core belief that every part of our lives comes under the Lordship of Christ, and that all of life is a context for worship, mission, ministry and active Christian engagement. It was his conviction that there must be no artificial sacred/secular division and that all of life comes under the Lordship of Christ.
So today LICC exists to envision and equip Christians and their churches for whole-life missionary discipleship in the world, to serve them with biblical frameworks, practical resources, training and models so that they flourish as followers of Jesus and grow as whole-life disciple-making communities.
What was your experience of God's call on your life - what led you to where you are now?
My roots are in The Salvation Army. Indeed, the greater part of my ministry has been spent there and for 6 years until 2006 I was the denominational leader for The Salvation Army in Great Manchester and much of the North West. But after 35 years I felt a strong calling to step out of that denominational structure and devote my life to thinking, speaking and writing about what it means to be an authentic follower of Jesus in the 21st Century. Which explains where I am and what I’m doing now!
What advice do you have to those unsure about what God is calling them to do?
My advice would be this:
Recognise that your primary vocation is to be a disciple of Jesus, to live for him and to be like him wherever you are and whatever you are doing. Don’t wait for some dramatic moment of revelation. That comes to some people, but not to all of us. Be obedient to what you know of God’s calling on your life here and now, seek his will through worship, study and good conversations with good people. And then follow Mary’s advice to the servants at the wedding in Cana of Galilee: ‘Do whatever he tells you’.
Chick Yuell will be speaking at our Life Call vocations event on September 10th at the Cathedral. This event is open to all, and features vications advice for both formal ordained and informal ministry, as well as charities and overseas work. See www.liverpool.anglican.org/life-call