Blog Posts


In Layman's Terms: A prayer that a fire rekindles the Spirit in many

Todd Seifert

4/16/2019

My news alerts started firing off on my phone and watch in fairly rapid succession Monday. The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was burning. I’ve never been to Paris. It’s on my bucket list, along with about a dozen other European sites to satisfy my craving to see the world with my own eyes. But the cathedral that lost its roof and its iconic center spire in a major fire apparently caused by construction is one of those structures that many people know by sight on television or in pictures before...


Fill Your Cup and Get To Work

Lay Servant Ministries

4/15/2019

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 verify if it is just my mood for the day or that it truly is something...discerning, praying, reflecting. In this Lenten season time of reflection I find myself reflecting. A lot.   This is not a blog ...


About Lay Servant Ministries

Lay Servant Ministries

4/2/2019

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 Ministries just basically pulpit supply? There are many different paths for a Lay Servant to follow in this program. This is why we have many different types of classes. You can reach out to your...


In Layman's Terms: Nebraska flooding

Todd Seifert

3/19/2019

It’s truly amazing how much damage water can do.   By now you’ve seen either with your own two eyes or via photographs the havoc being spread by water coming out of the banks of rivers and water standing because there’s simply no place for it to go. A much snowier winter than in recent years, accompanied by freezing temperatures, froze the ground up to two feet down from the surface. The rain that followed had nowhere to sink into, so it either sat and accumulated or ran into streams and rivers....


Servant-Leadership in the Local Church

Lay Servant Ministries

3/18/2019

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 is all about training up servant-leaders for the church of Jesus Christ. Training courses in a variety of ministries and roles within the local church are offered in the Great Plains Conference on a ...


In Layman's Terms: 5 questions for livestreaming

Todd Seifert

3/13/2019

We have to come to grips with the reality that the days are long gone when all we need to do is make sure someone is on time on Sunday morning to open up the doors so people can come flooding in to hear a sermon.   These days, people look at “church shopping” much like they envision shopping for a new car. They go online and look through a church’s website, paying attention to such things as what activities the church has for their kids. And if there’s a link there to a livestream, you just may ...


In Layman's Terms: Arch serves as symbol for UMC's journey

Todd Seifert

3/6/2019

Many tears. A few smiles. Strong resolve on both sides. Those are the images burned into my memory from the special session of General Conference last week in St. Louis. To be honest, it was a draining experience — one from which I am still attempting to recover.   I won’t belabor any points that you’ve heard time and again since the close of the special session. The Traditional Plan passed — to the joy of some and the dismay of others. A disaffiliation plan passed so churches can streamline ...


In Layman's Terms: Some poignant moments on a difficult day

Todd Seifert

2/25/2019

After the prioritization votes for the legislative committee portion of the special session of General Conference on Sunday, it probably wasn’t surprising to too many people that the Traditional Plan moved on to Monday’s plenary phase, and the One Church Plan failed to move on to that step. Or did it? The One Church Plan has an uphill battle, to be certain, but there is a way for delegates to debate the virtues of the plan recommended by a majority of bishops one more time. It comes via a ...


In Layman's Terms: Quick change of atmosphere

Todd Seifert

2/24/2019

An environment of praise and elation one minute. The air seemingly sucked out of the room the next. That’s how I experienced Sunday afternoon at the special session of General Conference in St. Louis. After a morning filled with engaging preaching from Bishop Ken Carter, president of the Council of Bishops, and a poignant report from the Commission on a Way Forward that included how the diverse group built relationships and maintained the dignity of all its members, the 864 delegates got down ...


In Layman's Terms: Worldwide challenge, opportunities

Todd Seifert

2/24/2019

After the first day of the special session of General Conference — a day set aside for prayer and praise — I was struck that a unifying embrace of cultures from outside the United States also poses one of the larger challenges for The United Methodist Church. That’s neither good nor bad. It just is what it is. I’m hoping we can turn it into an opportunity. Let me attempt to explain. Saturday’s prayer service included time to pray in the languages of European countries and Russia, at least one...


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