A calling is a member's area of responsibility within the workings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Most active members of the Church fill some calling or position within the Church organization. The length of time for a calling can vary, and most members have served in multiple callings throughout their lives. Callings on a local level are issued through the inspiration of the Spirit by the Bishop, who then extends an invitation to the member for the calling. The member is then presented and sustained in a church meeting. After the sustaining, the member is then set apart for the calling and is free to do the work that the calling requires. Some callings issued in a local ward are Young Women's president, Sunday school teacher, chorister, Relief Society teacher, activities committee member, etc.
Callings are necessary, because the Church has no paid clergy. The membership fulfills all roles necessary for meetings, leadership, and activities in the Church. Callings not only benefit the Church, but the people who fill them. For instance, a person called to teach learns to prepare a lesson and present it before an audience. Such a person may begin the call to teach with fear, trepidation, and inexperience. Before long, however, if he fills his calling prayerfully, he will grow into the calling. His talents, even those which are undiscovered or latent, are developed, his fear subsides, and his experience in the calling magnifies his abilities. In LDS lingo, members are encouraged to "magnify their callings" and to "magnify their talents." According to Christ's parable of the talents, this is what the Lord expects of His children. The willingness to serve, plus the act of service, magnifies the talents of the individual as well as magnifying the Church. Through church service, knowledge is gained and testimony of Christ is strengthened. The promptings of the Holy Ghost necessary for the Lord's servants to fulfill their callings enhance the spiritual sensitivity of the individual. Thus the Church and the servant are blessed together.
(See also Lay clergy.)