Those who care about the future of the church have a vested interest in both the quantity and the quality of candidates preparing for ministry in this generation and into the next. And it is easy to see those pastors as the product of a series of independent and individualized decisions. A college student, for example, meets with her pastor to discuss her future. Or an engineer sits at the kitchen table with his wife asking if they have the money for him to quit his job and head off to seminary. The future of ministry does indeed depend on these decisions. But those decisions depend on something else. They depend on a system, a system of formal organizations and informal relationships. They depend on the system in just the same way that a flowering bush depends on the ecosystem of the meadow in which it grows.
Journal of Religious Leadership
Cormode, Scott, Emily Click, Terri Martinson Elton, Theresa F Latini, Susan L Maros, and Lisa R Withrow. “The Ecology of Vocation.” Journal of Religious Leadership 11, no. 2 (September 2012): 81–155.
Elton, Terri L., "The Ecology of Vocation" (2012). Faculty Publications. 206.