Here I am Lord, Send Me
Lay Servant Ministries
… “Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.
I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you…
Because I am God, your personal God,
The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
Isaiah 43:1-3, paraphrased from The Message
It is hard for most of us to find time to do extra study and make another commitment, even to God. Our lives are so busy, whether we are still working outside the home full time, working at home or are retired. And yet, God is calling, calling each of us, calling us by name and summoning us to open our ears and eyes and hearts to join the journey of a lifetime, a journey of faith. While some will hear that call as a call to become a pastor, many of us will hear the call as a layperson to serve in our local church or at the district or conference levels of the church.
God calls each of us, whether young or old or in between, to join in the journey, to reach out and care for all of God’s creation. Our calling involves making a commitment of time, study and service.
Each of us is both gifted and called. Each of us have God-given gifts that when used enable the work of God in the church and in the world. And just as thousands of years ago, God called to Abraham and Sarah, to Ruth and Esther, to Peter and John, to Mary Magdalene and thousands of others whose names are known or unknown to us, God calls to us. Just as they listened and heard their name spoken by the Holy One, so may you, so may I. Let’s keep our ears and eyes and hearts open to hear the new things God has to say, to see the new tasks to be done, the new thoughts to think, the new places to show God’s love. Let’s find our place in the journey and share our story with others.
Music can be one of the ways we hear God’s all. The words of the Hymn – Here I am Lord – can be one of the ways we hear God’s call… Here I am Lord, Is it I, Lord? I have heard you calling in the night. I will go, Lord, if you lead me. I will hold your people in my heart.
When you hear God calling you, to serve, the first step as a layperson is talk with your Pastor. It’s also a time to consider taking the Basic Course in Lay Servant Ministry offered in your District. In that course, you along with the others in your class will begin to explore even more deeply how you as a layperson can answer God’s call to serve. The areas of lay servant ministry are as unique as you are, as unique as each of our local congregations. Depending upon your call, there will be other advanced courses in lay ministry for you to participate in such as “Using our Gifts for the Common Good,” classes on prayer or caring ministries, or leading small groups or Bible Studies. The district director of Lay Servant Ministry is available to help you choose the courses that help you on your journey to answer God’s calling. Some of you will choose to serve only in your local church, others will look at how you might serve at the district or conference levels, some will hear the call to preach through doing pulpit supply in local churches when a pastor is away.
For more information about Lay Servant Ministry, check out the information about options and courses at https://www.greatplainsumc.org/laity
Listen, can you hear it? God is calling your name. How will you answer? Will you like the young prophet, Jeremiah answer – “Here I am Lord, send me.”
-- Esther Hay, Blue River District Director of Lay Servant Ministry