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.


November blogging

November 13, 2019

As I am not an active (or anytime) blogger, I have wondered about its intent and usage. Is blogging intended to promote interest and response by stating controversial topics and positions? Or is its purpose to provide a platform for basic truths to be shared and/or critiqued?     So, how does the ...


United Methodist Church of the Future

October 30, 2019

I was honored to represent my church at the Leadership Summit held at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection last week, September 25-27. We were challenged in many ways to imagine our church of the future. Most importantly I was given hope that our church will survive but will likely look ...


God adores you

September 30, 2019

I attended the installation of our new district superintendent on Saturday here in Lincoln. I have known Nancy for several years and wanted to celebrate her new role and offer my support. As part of the service, Nancy gave a very uplifting sermon describing our faith journey that can be stormy and ...


A song to inspire your ministry

September 18, 2019

Thank you for giving to the lord Song by Ray Boltz   I dreamed I went to heaven.  You were there with me.  We walked along the streets of gold, beside the crystal sea.  We heard the angels singing, then someone called your name.  You turned and saw a young man, he was smiling as he came.  He said ...


Lay Servant Ministries: how will you develop your gifts?

July 30, 2019

Can you believe it...it’s almost August. I hope you had the opportunity to participate in some of the fun things of summer, swimming, camping, summer games, Vacation Bible School and maybe even some time away on vacation. August marks a time of new beginnings — kickoff to new programs at church, a ...


Hearing Voices from the Lawn Mower

July 01, 2019

It’s my turn to share again. What do I have to say? Each time I contemplate this I struggle for a topic. I spend time alone waiting for inspiration. And somehow something comes to mind. This time it came to me during a chore… It’s summer again. Hours are spent each week mowing the grass. Seems like...


Lay Servants Are Underutilized

June 21, 2019

In talking with lay servants across the conference, the most frequent complaint I hear from them is “I keep up my certification, but no one asks me to do anything.” We need to continue to keep our gifts and talents before the church and church leadership and be more assertive in offering our ...


Tidying Up

May 01, 2019

Recently I was invited to preach at the close of a sermon series called The Gospel of Tidying Up (credit to Rev. Jeff Prothro, DeSoto United Methodist Church). The end of the series coincided with the church’s annual garage sale (brilliant!) and there was clearly excitement about the sermon series. ...


The folded napkin

April 24, 2019

On a shelf in my kitchen, I have a stack of paper napkins. When it’s my turn to be hostess for United Methodist Women’s meetings, I bring snacks and also try to find napkins for the occasion. And, of course, there are family gatherings that call for special napkins, so I end up with a mixture of ...


Fill Your Cup and Get To Work

April 15, 2019

A couple of times of late I've felt compelled to Facebook post one of those "My heart is heavy" posts, and the UMC has certainly provided lots of opportunity of late. I'm not one to just throw stuff out there on a daily basis,  but rather I sit on it and stew for a while...sometimes as a way to ...


About Lay Servant Ministries

April 02, 2019

What is the importance of Lay Servant Ministries? It is to better equip laity to help them serve in their ministry to help make disciples of Jesus Christ.     Who should take part in Lay Servant Ministries? Anyone who feels called to the ministry of making disciples of Jesus Christ.    Isn't Lay ...


Servant-Leadership in the Local Church

March 18, 2019

I have been giving the role of servant-leader some thought recently. I believe if one were to ask the pastors of our United Methodist Churches of the Great Plains Conference, “What is one of the greatest needs for the church?” the reply would be, “Leadership among the laity.” Lay Servant Ministries ...


This is MY church!

February 20, 2019

I was in a meeting at a local church with the district superintendent when a lady burst into tears and proclaimed: “This is MY church!” The DS replied hotly “this is GOD’s church!” Who was right? Who was wrong? They both were! Say what? How can they both be wrong AND right? The woman was right in ...


Yes, Virginia, We Need Lay Servants

December 17, 2018

This week we have completed the 3rd Sunday in Advent, and light a candle recognizing the Joy of the season. As I contemplated joy, I recalled the story of little Virginia O’Hanlon and the response she received from the editor of The Sun regarding her question, “Is there a Santa Claus?” (If you aren’...


Balcony People

November 28, 2018

Years ago, I had a devotion that has stuck with me. I do not remember the source, but I do remember the theme. I was to recall who my “balcony people” were and write them a note of thanks.” In the devotion “balcony people” were described as those who cheer you on and help you find your potential and...


Be Bold

November 04, 2018

As we have been enmeshed in the current political campaigns in states across the nation, I have felt the pressure to judge candidates by the often negative comments rather than the positive ones. Sadly, polarization and negativity are rampant in our daily lives. That fact can make us feel ...


Do it afraid: conquering my fear of the children's message

October 09, 2018

First, let me say on the front end that my entire adult life has been devoted to caring for children. My day job is school nursing and I love to be around children. Second, as a Lay Speaker, I am (relatively) fearless and unafraid, prayed up and prepared. Why then am I so afraid of the children’s ...


The Ministry of All

September 24, 2018

What gives you strength?  Look back at your own life experiences. In those times when you found yourself strengthened to face some difficult task, to speak a word you might have otherwise kept to yourself, what gave you strength?   On May 13, 1974, my family survived a tornado that destroyed our ...


Lay Servant Ministry may lead to role of licensed local pastor

September 12, 2018

Once-in-a-while I feel the message that lay servant leaders give out and the message within the culture of call are at odds with oner another, when in truth they just might be one in the same. To avoid scaring a potential or newly trained lay servant by NOT mentioning Lay Speaking or Lay Ministry, ...


“Here I am, Lord….Maybe…”

July 31, 2018

Do you ever hear a call to do more than fill a pew? Do you feel at a loss to know what else you can do to contribute to your church life? Ever wonder how the United Methodist Church (UMC) relates to other denominations? What about why the pastor you REALLY liked got transferred to another ...


Always with us

July 13, 2018

The last month has brought more than its share of family challenges: a cancer scare with a child, a major heart attack of a family member, the death of another, and the effects of these events on us all. Our family is not unique, as we all deal with the challenges of life. What we are reminded of is...


Narrative preaching: Who knew?

May 09, 2018

Last month my preaching world was turned upside down by taking the Certified Lay Minister preaching course offered online by the Great Plains Conference.  The course was based on “The Homiletical Plot,” by Gene Lowry. This book is a classic for those who are seminary trained but was unfamiliar to ...


Ministry not just reserved for the pastor

May 01, 2018

What gives you strength?  Look back at your own life experiences.  In those times when you found yourself strengthened to face some difficult task, to speak a word you might have otherwise held to yourself, what gave you strength? Paul’s counsel to Timothy is to find strength in grace.  In 2 ...


On being a district director of Lay Servant Ministry

April 17, 2018

Since having taken early retirement from the insurance industry (required, for self-sanity!) this has left me with time for things I once could not do, and being Lay Leader at Colby, Kansas, United Methodist Church for the past 25 years (“member of everything and chairperson of nothing”... the way I...


Answers to your Lay Servant Ministries questions

March 20, 2018

Recently I have answered several questions about Lay Servant Ministries. These inquiries have led me to share some of the information found in my responses to them. Question: Why should I be trained in Lay Servant Ministry? Answer: Effective lay ministry is intentional, with oversight by the local...


Spring is just around the corner

March 15, 2018

As we all know, spring is just around the corner. Also, Easter is just around the corner. As I look out my window today, I see some snow and lots of wind. It doen’t feel much like spring. But just two days ago it was warm and sunny, so I was out looking at my garden plot thinking about what I was ...


Ideas for sermons, ministries come from many sources

February 21, 2018

Those who know me, know that I read – a lot! I think I've even mentioned that on here a time or two. In the course of my reading, once in a while I even read the author’s blurb tacked on to whatever book he or she has written. Even more occasionally, the author talks about their interaction with ...


Where do we go from here?

February 06, 2018

Lay Servant Ministry has traveled many miles in the past few years – a journey that has taken laity from a dependent, minor role in the mission of the church to recognition as a major player in making disciples. Lay Servant Ministry has moved into a leadership role in making disciples that make ...


Assess your soul as you start the new year

January 23, 2018

The beginning of each new year is a time when I pause to do a “how is it with your soul” assessment. It is the opportunity to reflect on the precious gift of God’s grace and an opportunity “to start again” with a fresh slate by, along with God, erasing the past year’s hurts, failures and sins and to...


Monsters in the dark

November 29, 2017

Ephesians 5:8-10 The Message (MSG) You groped your way through that murk once, but no longer. You’re out in the open now. The bright light of Christ makes your way plain. So no more stumbling around. Get on with it! The good, the right, the true — these are the actions appropriate for daylight ...


Called to do more?

October 24, 2017

Feeling a bit underutilized?  Looking for something to do?  Want new ideas for service?   We have this cat (well, actually, my stepdaughter has) that is in the habit of coming in wherever I am several times a day and either jumping up in my lap or laying down beside me within easy reach. When I rub ...


Be a whisperer

September 26, 2017

You have heard of horse whisperers, cat/dog whisperers, all sorts of wild animal whisperers, but how about a Holy Spirit whisperer? You can probably identify individuals in your own church or district who you believe would make great lay servants. As a whisperer, you could mention (whisper) that ...


Are you a sheep? Respond to a need

August 01, 2017

I recently was asked, “In what type of ministries do Lay Servants participate?” Wow! What a loaded question! The possibilities are endless. As I pondered a response the following came to mind. First, what does the Book of Discipline say about Lay Servant Ministries? Paragraph 266 is the source for ...


Emergency Spiritual Technician

July 19, 2017

Most of this blog is copied from a Facebook post that I know is true because one of the individuals is related to me. A quick background: Visiting missionaries to Kansas fell through a pond ice skating this winter. The mother and son died that day. This is what has transpired in the 6 months since ...


Called to serve the Lord

July 14, 2017

Romans 12:11 “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” (NIV)   Laity and clergy alike are called to serve for the glory of God. We all must admit, though, that we do lack zeal in serving the Lord from time to time. Read this verse backwards and break it into ...


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 ...