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 fans. Usually this interaction involves answering fans’ questions about their work, and often the question is “where do you get all those ideas?”
The second most common question seems to be “How did you get started writing?” One author I read said that it was to get out of the sewer — literally! He was employed as a night watchman on a sewer construction project at that time. And at this point the author usually admits to hemming and hawing around, because explaining where they get “all those ideas” seems to be particularly difficult for them.
It can be difficult for Lay Servant Ministries as well. Where do we get all those ideas?
Those of you who checked the little box on your annual report that said “Yes, I’ll do pulpit supply” face that problem every time you get a call to go preach somewhere. (Please note that the clergy face that problem on a weekly basis.) I’ve been in that position a number of times and usually find that when I go to the scriptures, something almost always jumps out at me — and I’m off and running. I attribute that to the Holy Spirit.
Many others of us also face the problem of what to do. Are you "in the sewer" when it comes to ideas? Where do we get all those ideas anyway?
Well, your local church missions (or outreach) committee can be a good source. Your pastor is another — do you talk to him or her on a regular basis? How about my favorite pastime – reading? There are quite a few books at the Christian bookstore that are full of ideas. Seminars, classes, interaction with other lay servants, even social media and the news, can all provide ideas.
When God created the universe, He also created ideas. They’re all around us. We just have to scratch our heads a bit and look for one that will work in the setting we’re in. It’s a bit of work, but it’s also not all that hard – with a bit of practice.
And don't forget to let the Holy Spirit in too. That makes it a lot easier!
Learn more about Lay Servant Ministries, including upcoming training events.
D.R. Wasserfallen is the Lay Servant ministries director in the Five Rivers District.