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 other busses are kept in case I need to check some of them. In the past as a custodian, I had a ring with 12 keys to various doors, light switches, paper towel holders, etc., inside the school building. I also picked up mail for the school, so had three keys for Post Office mail boxes.
Then, there are all my personal keys – vehicle, house, my developmentally disabled son’s home, a safe deposit box, jewelry boxes, the church, etc. Each of these many keys are different, and each key is made to fit only a certain box.
As we go through daily life, we come upon many doors or openings of challenge, opportunity and experience. So much of our identity is wrapped up in where we’ve been and what we’ve done. We can’t deny our roots or our heritage, but we can let go of the notion that things will always remain the same. Our experiences bring us to a place where we can choose to open new doors in our lives to new experiences. It takes faith to let go of the past, which isn’t easy. It’s so comfortable. The future is uncertain, a blank page, a question mark.
But if we step out in faith and let Jesus rule in our lives, we can open new doors. The key, then, that unlocks life’s problems is our faith in Jesus Christ. Perhaps we can use our key – our faith – to help unlock the door for others.
A door that was opened for me was learning of Lay Servant Ministry. It was a big step for an introverted, busy mother of five to take that first, basic class. But it has been such a blessing. I’m sure there are some out there who are thinking, “I could never do that.” The key is putting your faith in Jesus and stepping out.
There are opportunities in every district in the Great Plains Conference. Classes are conducted at all times of the year and on many different topics. You may not be interested in speaking from the pulpit, but want to know more about the heritage or history of The United Methodist Church. There are classes in prayer, worship, caring for others, evangelism, spiritual gifts and many other topics.
Find a training session near you and take that basic course, and you’re on your way to holding the key for yourself and others as you share what you learn.
Learn more about Lay Servant Ministry, including upcoming training opportunities.
Phyllis Stoppel is the Hutchinson District director of Lay Servant Ministry.