In ecclecial circles it is a commonplace to say that the profession of the pastor is under pressure. Pastors know that and congregations know that. Knowing it in itself does not change much. However change starts with coming to understanding. In this sense change is in itself a hermeneutical function. This article is the first of two in which I will explore a way to change the way local churches should assist in the discernment of a call by a member to become officially involved in public ministry within a congregation and, if it exists, a denomination. In this article the background of this research, the corporate nature of 'calling', and ministerial perspectives on calling, recruitment and reviewing will be explored. The second article will explore the implications for theological education as it relates to the teleological core of theological education and recruitment, reviewing (screening), and training respectively.