Many people feel the calling to follow a religious career in their local churches or abroad, but qualified candidates are hard to find. For instance, some of these positions require a strong commitment from the interested party, as is the case with deacons. In fact, the word derives from the ancient Greek and it means servant. A deacon in the Catholic Church serves in three different areas, namely the word (proclaiming the gospel, preaching and teaching), the liturgy (both being a minister of Holy Communion and the proper minister of the Chalice) and charity (service to the poor). Deacons may also perform an active, but limited, role in the sacraments of baptism and matrimony, as well as funeral rites not involving Mass.
However, people who take up a religious occupation are not confined within the limits of a religious building, and may perform their duties in a secular institution. This is the case of chaplains, which can be found at hospitals, prisons, military units, police departments, and universities. A previous background on different disciplines may aid the person looking to become a chaplain to find a position. For example, an army trained soldier who also has theological training may find it easier to become a military chaplain. Other types of chaplains may have to pull double duty, such as those working at law enforcement agencies and fire departments.
The most famous religious occupation in the world is probably that of missionary, but it may also be one of the hardest. Not only should missionaries be prepared to live in a foreign country for extended periods of time, but are also expected to offer services in different fields, such as education, literacy, social justice, health care and economic development. As opposed to what many people may believe, missions are not sent by religious groups in an attempt to convert as many people as possible, but to economically and socially impaired countries that are in need of much help.
Ushers are a very good example of an often overlooked yet important position. Ushers are the very first church official representative that people see when entering a church. This is usually a voluntary position, but it may also be regarded as an honor within the community. The duties of church ushers usually include greeting people when entering, seat attendees, collecting the tithes and offering, keeping order at the entrance, cleaning and preparing the church, counting people in service, distributing pamphlets, bulletins and service programmes and preparing the altar for service.