Blog Posts

In Layman's Terms: Give app a try to hold you to your spiritual disciplines

Todd Seifert


This week’s subject is part resource, part shameless self-promotion. But it’s aimed at helping you stay connected with other United Methodists across Kansas and Nebraska while helping you stay in tune with your spiritual disciplines. Earlier this year, the Great Plains Conference launched its new app. Available both for iPhones, iPads and for Android devices, the app really is two pieces of software in one. My purpose for writing this week is simply to ask you to give the app a try. First, ...

In Layman's Terms: Is your church ready for microphone changes?

Todd Seifert


Wireless microphones have become as much a part of the worship experience as the organ and hymnals. Preachers who don’t want to be tied to a pulpit rely on these devices to allow them to move around to engage their congregation while delivering their messages. But as our communications staff has reported before, the rules for use of some of these devices is about to change. And churches that haven’t budgeted for this occasion really need to do so quickly. Consider this post to be a friendly ...

Pastoral leadership interns share their experience -- Rachel Shepherd

Great Plains Interns


I am absolutely as happy in this picture as I look. This photo was taken during my very last week working at Columbus First United Methodist. I had the honor of joining the youth for their senior high summer mission trip to Lorain, OH. We spent the week under the leadership of an amazing organization called Next Step: worshiping together, in fellowship with, and in service to the community of Lorain. Our work-site group helped to finish up a play ground and shed for a local daycare owner. We ...

Pastoral leadership interns share their experience -- Rebecca Borgman

Great Plains Interns


The Pastoral Leadership internship program is for young adults aged 18-22. This 10-week program provides young leaders the opportunity to experience pastoral work in the most “hands-on” way possible, while being supported by a mentoring pastor and a teaching congregation. Rebecca Borgman served at Manhattan First UMC in Manhattan, KS, for the summer of 2018. As an intern at the First UMC church in Manhattan KS, I had many opportunities to work alongside the people of the church. I like to be ...

In Layman's Terms: Free photos for use in your churches

Todd Seifert


You’re preparing for Sunday worship. The pastor has given you his or her scripture. You have photos to represent sermon points – maybe even a video. You’re all set to build that week’s audio-visual presentation and start promoting the upcoming worship experience on social media. But you are lacking options for backgrounds – for the hymns, for prayer requests, maybe even announcements prior to the service starting. It’s frustrating, and I understand completely how much time is wasted trying to ...

In Layman's Terms: Don't fall for spoof of bishop's email

Todd Seifert


The folks who like to wreak havoc with email and get you to pay for things they want are getting more and more sophisticated. It wasn’t all that long ago that many of us were receiving emails from sudden royalty in Nigeria or some other country who just needed a little money to leave their homeland for the United States. If you were to give this person your bank account numbers or wire him or her money, the person could escape and would pay you with millions of dollars upon arrival in the ...

Pastoral leadership interns share their experience -- Mikayla McClure

Great Plains Interns


The Pastoral Leadership internship program is for young adults aged 18-22. This 10-week program provides young leaders the opportunity to experience pastoral work in the most “hands-on” way possible, while being supported by a mentoring pastor and a teaching congregation. Mikayla McClure served at Fremont First UMC in Fremont, Nebraska, for the summer of 2018. Mikayla's story: Two weeks into my internship, I preached on David and Goliath. Through this experience, I learned how to write a ...

In Layman's Terms: Podcasting

Todd Seifert


While I’m a big fan of video – and still prefer that medium – there’s no denying that podcasts are quite popular. And it’s actually easy to see why. People these days are busy. You can play a podcast from a mobile phone like an audiobook while exercising or while driving to work or hitting the highway for an extended trip. If it’s good for people to “read” the latest best-seller, why not provide a podcast of the weekly sermon? Clergy and laity alike can use podcasts to record discussions on ...

“Here I am, Lord….Maybe…”

Lay Servant Ministries


Do you ever hear a call to do more than fill a pew? Do you feel at a loss to know what else you can do to contribute to your church life? Ever wonder how the United Methodist Church (UMC) relates to other denominations? What about why the pastor you REALLY liked got transferred to another congregation? How about an organized way to built relationships outside of your own congregation? Where do you go for answers? Maybe Lay Servant Ministries has at least one answer for you. “But,” you say, “I ...

In Layman's Terms: Gaining some Fresh Expressions

Todd Seifert


First of all, I apologize for not having written in a while. But it’s been for a good reason. As most of you are aware, the three Great Plains Conference offices in Lincoln, Wichita and Topeka have been consolidated to a new, single conference office in Topeka. Toss in the upheaval that comes with moving your office, all the gear that comes with serving in communications ministry and your home, and writing had to move fairly far down the priority list. Well, starting today, I’m trying to get ...

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