October 1981 · Vol. 10 No. 4 · p. 2 

In This Issue: Vocation and Call

Allen R. Guenther

Thirty years ago the majority of Mennonite Brethren were living in rural communities with farming as the primary vocation. Other acceptable vocations were business, especially those related to agriculture, teaching and medicine in addition to the full-time ministry in the church. Urbanization, increased education, the increasing complexity of our society and the resultant explosion of vocational choices has significantly altered the vocational composition of the Mennonite Brethren. This issue of Direction is devoted to explore some aspects of the two faceted issue of vocation and call.

Carly Friesen surveys the Western classical and Christian concept of manual labor, variously viewed as sin or sacrament. Her concluding question calls for an answer.

Service in the church has generally been viewed as the result of God’s call. Loyal Martin surveyed the twin churches of Delft (Carson) and Mountain Lake, Minnesota and suggests reasons why those congregations have produced so many missionaries, pastors and other full-time church workers.

John Friesen explores the social sciences, especially psychology and sociology, for aids they offer the vocational counselor.

Thirty years ago Mennonite Brethren women were confined to a limited number of vocations: homemaker, teacher, nurse, missionary. The vocations and professions are as wide open today to women as to men. John Regehr reminds us that parenthood is a noble calling too and that it applies equally to men and to women.

Finally, Mike Klassen surveys recent literature on premarital counseling which will be particularly helpful for pastors and others involved in counseling young people.

Elmer Martens who has given many years of creative and steady effort to the editorial oversight of Direction has resigned. The editorial chairmanship is being assumed by Allen Guenther. We welcome George Shillington to the managing editor’s role. David Ewert, continuing as book review editor, is now the Board of Christian Literature’s representative.

The readers’ criticisms, suggestions, submissions and prayers are welcomed by the editors.