Lay Servant Ministries

Lay Servant Ministries participants from across the Great Plains are writing a blog aimed at helping the laity understand how it can get involved in a wide variety of ways to fulfill the United Methodist Church's mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Check the bottom of each one to see who has written the blog.

Opportunities abound as laity prepare to serve enhanced roles

June 21, 2017

The following is a summary of the message I gave to Great Plains Conference laity during the annual conference session, June 8, 2017: I am very proud to stand before you, representing the more than 600 certified lay servants of the Great Plains Conference. We are challenged to become an integral ...


That still small voice

May 31, 2017

When you hear that small still voice calling you to do more to serve God and your church, where do you begin? Starting with your pastor is a good start.  Don’t be embarrassed; you’re not the first person to experience this. Your pastor can direct you to the Lay Servant Ministries (LSM) webpage, www....


Tips for a successful lay ministry

May 16, 2017

What does it take to be successful in lay ministry?   Willingness to be inconvenienced – Neither training nor serving are going to conform to each person’s specific, customized needs.  Travel should be anticipated. This is what it means to be itinerate.  Serving takes time, so clearing your ...


Have faith to get started with basic course

May 01, 2017

When I go shopping for clothes to wear for my work as a school bus driver and custodian for the Moundridge school district, I always look to make sure there are deep pockets.  I carry keys for the 54-passenger bus that I drive on a morning and afternoon route and to the shed where keys for all the ...


Lay Servants called to help those who are seeking

March 20, 2017

Today, many of you across our conference and beyond will hear and experience the story of the woman at the well from the gospel of John Chapter 4. Reading and contemplating the verses which relate Jesus’ journey through Samaria brings to mind the words of the song by BeBe & CeCe Winans, American ...


Add God to your morning coffee routine

March 08, 2017

I picked up a package of coffee beans to grind for my coffee this morning and saw this printed on the back of the package: “Our Calling Your Coffee.” It struck me as interesting that we now talk about “Our Calling” to describe lots of thing in our everyday life. We are called to an occupation, what ...


Think 'outside the box' like Jesus

February 23, 2017

A number of years ago, we in the former Kansas East Conference were fortunate enough to have the Rev. Emmanuel Cleaver preach at our annual conference session. His topic was "Thinking Outside the Box.” I'll never forget how he ended his sermon.  He said “ … and our founder was so far outside the box...


Exciting things happening in Lay Servant Ministry

February 08, 2017

Bishop Saenz’s recent announcement of administrative changes in the organization of the conference can have a beneficial impact on the Great Plains Conference Lay Servant Ministries. The stronger focus on mission fields and community service opens up all kinds of opportunities for lay servants to ...


Consider how you were called to be a servant for the Lord

January 23, 2017

“You were called by him to partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” - 1 Corinthians 1: 9 This verse is an important reminder to us as Christians.  It appeared in an online devotional that I receive each day.  The author varies each week, and the devotional’s target audience is high school-...


New procedures for approving CLMs

January 10, 2017

A major change in Lay Servant Ministry responsibilities occurred during the 2016 General Conference. In a nutshell, the responsibility of oversight of training and final approval of Certified Lay Minister (CLM) status was added to the Great Plains Conference Committee on Lay Servant Ministries ...


Stories won't stay bottled up thanks to Lay Servant Ministry opportunity

November 15, 2016

I confess that I felt a great degree of trepidation late last year when I accepted the role of Wichita East District director of the Lay Servant Ministries program. How much time would it take? How much would it cut into my own march toward lay speakership? Would I be spending my all my time ...


Be thoughtful, creative in discerning your calling in Lay Servant Ministries

October 31, 2016

So you took the leap. You completed the Lay Servant Ministries Basic course. Maybe you have completed an Advanced Course. Now what do you do? First, welcome to Lay Servant Ministries. Your next step is to figure out how your ministry takes shape. This is as varied as the number of Lay Servants ...


Lay Servants appreciate the mountains but do their work in the valleys

October 18, 2016

We have rebooted, and the fit feels great! The Salina District just completed a very big weekend. We had three large classes with a total of 47 students from all across Kansas. We offered the Basic course, Go PREACH! and Lay Pastoral Care. Meeting on the beautiful Kansas Wesleyan University campus,...


Lay Servants called to witness, inspire in the local church

October 03, 2016

As Lay Servants we are entrusted with a calling that goes beyond us!  “Lay Servants are to serve the local church or charge in any way in which their witness or leadership and service inspires the laity to deeper commitment to Christ and more effective discipleship. This includes the interpretation ...


The joy of serving

September 20, 2016

Being involved with the Lay Servant Ministries has been a true blessing. Unique to the lay servant program are the wide range of ministries offered to and by each of us. The only restrictions to the good that we can do are the limitations of our own passions. Isn't it a joy to have such a broad ...


Amid many changes, why we serve remains constant

September 06, 2016

Lay Servant Ministries are constantly evolving and growing. New courses are being created and approved. How we are structured is being modified.  What should not change is why we are doing what we do. I sometimes feel we get too wrapped up in what we are doing and forget why we are doing. Those ...


Lay Servants get chance to see things from different points of view

August 17, 2016

One of my favorite pastimes is reading, so when I go to a thrift shop, garage sale, flea market or any other place where there might be books, I’m always looking for good, used, inspirational and/or spiritual books by good authors.  Of course I have my favorites, but I do occasionally pick up one ...


Changes made to Lay Servant Ministries program

August 09, 2016

Trying to keep up with the many changes happening in our conference can be a huge challenge.  Two of the newest changes affecting Lay Servant Ministries comes from General Conference.  As we expected, the Local Church Lay Servant position is no longer included in the ministry, however, individual ...


Unity allows us to share in the work, satisfaction of ministry

July 20, 2016

Have you ever been to an annual conference session?  I’ve been there quite a number of times, and it always leaves me feeling a bit funny — what the psychiatrists call ambivalent. Sitting in one of those cramped, usually less-than-comfortable seats for hours on end, trying to keep track of what’s ...


Sure, you're busy; but are you being fruitful?

June 20, 2016

These days, my personal planning calendar has a way of filling up with activities and obligations. Some of the dates are filled by appointments and meetings. Others I have filled by planning neighborhood cook-outs and family trips. As I review these calendar dates and the plans associated, I try to...


Annual Conference session is worth putting up with the hassles

June 07, 2016

Have you ever been to Annual Conference?  I’ve been there quite a number of times, and it always leaves me feeling a bit funny — what the psychiatrists call ambivalent. Sitting in one of those cramped, usually less-than-comfortable seats for hours on end, trying to keep track of what’s going on, ...


Drop by the Lay Servant Ministry booth during annual conference

May 25, 2016

Annual Conference is coming up this next week, and we have some exciting events happening in Lay Servant Ministries.  Be sure to stop by our booth in the vendor area. We have some giveaways, and I would love to meet and/or greet you.  Also, Tuesday evening there is a meet-and-greet for clergy and ...


Lay Servants can help with media during worship services

April 25, 2016

In the April 1 blog, Mary Feit closed her blog with this statement: “Gone are the days when we believed clergy had to do it all!” What is a unique, yet needed way that Lay Servants can serve their congregations?  They can serve their worship services with multi-media in mind.  Pulpit supply is not...


Days of when we thought clergy had to do it all should be gone

April 01, 2016

Several weeks ago, I was asked for my vision of the future of small-membership churches. I didn’t have a clear-cut answer at the time. But imagine this:   Way off in the distance, a small, black speck can be seen on the horizon.  As I watch, the speck becomes larger and larger as it approaches my ...


Lay Servants might be the recipients of your service

March 01, 2016

As Christians – and, specifically, United Methodists – we are called to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. As lay servants, we respond to this call by looking to see how we can serve in this capacity. So we attend seminars to help us learn what gifts we may have, how...


Many changes under way in Lay Servant Ministry program

February 15, 2016

There are many, many changes happening in Lay Servant Ministries.  The General Conference of 2012 made several changes in the Book of Discipline regarding Lay Servant Ministry.  The most encompassing change are in the requirements for the Lay Speaker designation.  Not only are specific course ...


Explore God's call for your life

January 25, 2016

I am a church member now what? I did not start going to church until after my husband and I were married. I was in my mid-20s. When I first started going to church. I helped with a few things here and there. I was involved in the things I wanted to be involved in and was a happy pew warmer the rest...


Lay Servants play vital role in Great Plains Conference

December 18, 2015

The Lay Servant Ministry program serves the Parsons District in a variety of ways. Located in the very southeast corner of the conference, Parsons District is blessed and challenged to have a number of small-membership congregations.  Certified Lay Servants have a strong tradition of serving in ...


God has a plan for each of us to serve

December 15, 2015

When you hear that small, still voice calling you to do more to serve God and your church, where do you begin?  Talking with your pastor is a good start.  Don’t be embarrassed; you’re not the first person to experience this. Your pastor can direct you to the Lay Servant Ministries (LSM) website. ...


Small churches could be the next big thing

November 23, 2015

My first experience as a member of the United Methodist Church was at Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas. A little overwhelmed by the size and unsure of Methodist theology, I joined the staff. While in ministry at Resurrection, God called me to “preach from the pulpit of small United ...


Discovering spiritual gifts a humbling, exhilirating experience

November 11, 2015

My favorite Lay Servant Ministries course over the years is the “Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts” advanced course that I took several years ago.  We were led through a process designed to put us in touch with ourselves, with each other, and with the practice of knowing and using various ...


Great West District working toward goal of 1 Lay Servant in each church by end of year

October 20, 2015

In the Great West District, we have many miles and luckily many lay servants. We try to have at least one class each month in the fall to help train new lay servants and to provide advanced training to United Methodists who already have completed the basic course. We skip December and then again ...


Lay Servant courses provide knowledge, fellowship

October 06, 2015

As a participant several years ago in the first of the lay servant courses, the “Basic Course,” I was moved by the connections that were built among the class members in just 10 hours. The lay servants of the Great Plains Conference are a very special community that welcomes all seeking to follow ...


God has great things planned for the Great Plains

September 23, 2015

Lay Servant Ministries has been a big part of my life for many years. I began as a Certified Lay Speaker in the early 1980s and have preached, pastored and been active in the church ever since.  In 1999, I became a licensed local pastor and served until I retired last year.  Now I am a member and ...


Don't be confused by what Lay Servants do to serve God

September 02, 2015

Did you ever find so many things roiling around in your mind that you couldn’t make sense of what was going on?  Isn’t being a Lay Servant confusing? That’s my situation right now.  I have this epistle passage, a recent article from the Five Rivers District Lay Servant Ministries newsletter, an old...


Lay Servant Ministries: Networking, Training, Advocacy

August 05, 2015

It seems to me there is such potential for making disciples using the framework of the Lay Servant Ministries program. Let’s call it honing discipleship skills. How do we best move the Lay Servant Ministries program forward as a dynamic part of the Great Plains Conference? I believe we do this by ...