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 to lead worship, how to preach, how to pray and how to understand our church history.
All these things give us a point of reference when we try to discern our niche from which to serve. But don’t you sometimes wonder if there is more? Are the books we use in our classes the only source for movement in our journey as lay servants?
I often think there is more. For starters, I have not yet attended a single training seminar that had only one instructor. The classes are almost always structured to so that all of the participants teach me something. I leave the sessions enriched not only by the lesson material, but by the experiences of my fellows, not to mention the fellowship itself. I have made many acquaintances/friends from across the Great Plains Conference. And I find great value in that time of fellowship.
Next time you attend a Lay Servant Ministry training session, think outside the box. You may not only be learning but teaching. You may not only be serving, but being served. The exchanges we make during our time together can be invaluable. You may hear of a way to minister that you never considered. Or you may be the source of that new way to serve. Or your experience may color how someone else approaches their experience.
Maybe you will inspire an improvement in some one delivers their service. Maybe you are the recipient of the inspiration. Or maybe you are the word of caution because your service failed. Either way it can be a learning experience.
We already know that there are many gifts of the spirit. Serving each other is one more way to serve in God’s kingdom.
Learn more about Lay Servant Ministry in the Great Plains Conference, including the latest on new training opportunities.
Kirk Pemberton is the Lay Servant Ministry director for the Topeka District.