Blog Posts

New study helps reset the mind, body and soul

Todd Seifert


I sat down to read the new book “Soul Reset” by the Rev. Junius Dotson over the Labor Day weekend. I quickly found myself wishing he had written it about six years ago. I say six years ago because I was the guy that Dotson’s six-session Bible study and discussion guide is written to help. In 2013, I was a newspaper editor working incredibly long hours, taking barely a day off, and not taking good care of myself at all. My time with God was the minimal amount of time needed to prepare my Sunday...

In Layman's Terms: Network Benefits

Todd Seifert


I recently re-read the books of 1 and 2 Thessalonians, two letters from Paul to what was likely a group of small house-churches of new believers. What strikes me as I read these two books is how these people relatively new to the faith are trying to do the best they could in an environment that could be challenging at best and dangerous at worst for believers in the risen Christ. Paul obviously couldn’t be with them all the time, thus the two letters. In 1 Thessalonians 5:14-16, Paul gives some...

In Layman's Terms: Measuring the passage of time

Todd Seifert


I want to pause from the communications content this week to talk a little about time — particularly how it passes. As I write this, it’s only Aug. 13, and yet my Facebook feed is filled with parents posting photos of their kids as the youngsters head off to their first day of school. I recall that as a child I was jealous of the kids in school districts that returned to school after Labor Day. In Leavenworth, Kansas, we always started back in August, but it seems like it was always at some ...

Clergy Faith & Wellness: Help end stigma around clergy physical health

Rev. Shelly Petz


This is the faith and wellness blog I didn’t want to write. I have shied away from the topic of physical health, out of fear that I would hurt someone with whatever I would say. I feared that nothing I could write on physical health would be able to also express care for my clergy colleagues. I know too many who have experienced body shaming from other people, and I grieve this. I also believe that there is a stigma around talking about physical health for a variety of reasons. I would love to ...

Lay Servant Ministries: how will you develop your gifts?

Lay Servant Ministries


Can you believe’s almost August. I hope you had the opportunity to participate in some of the fun things of summer, swimming, camping, summer games, Vacation Bible School and maybe even some time away on vacation. August marks a time of new beginnings — kickoff to new programs at church, a new school year, fall sports, marching band competitions, fall festivals, cooler weather to name a few. As lay servants, it’s a time to review where you are in your journey as a lay servant. What do ...

In Layman's Terms: Register now for low-cost local church communications workshops

Todd Seifert


Anyone who has ever attended one of my workshops probably can attest to me saying something along the lines of “the days of opening the church doors and new people come flooding in are long gone.” It’s not all that profound. It’s really kind of a “Captain Obvious” statement worthy of those television advertisements. So, the statement may be obvious, but the answer to the question “What do we do?” is a little more difficult to pinpoint. Some churches do really well at using the tools ...

Clergy Faith and Wellness: address your stress

Rev. Shelly Petz


"I just can't do it anymore," — a statement made by a clergy colleague.  Maybe you've made the statement at some point in ministry, as well. There are times when being clergy is an incredible gift, an honor, a calling that exceeds any expectation.   There are times when being clergy is exhausting, overwhelming, and frustrating. The results of the 2019 Clergy Well-Being survey conducted by Wespath were recently shared. Did you notice it said, "Stress continues to be a factor, with notable ...

In Layman's Terms: Helping pastors with their email

Todd Seifert


Monday marked the start of a new appointive year in the Great Plains Conference and across The United Methodist Church. In Kansas and Nebraska, we have more than 100 pastors learning new names, trying to grasp local culture and history, figuring out which light switches turn on various lights and searching for where the bathrooms in the church are located. It’s also that time of year for those who are changing appointments to make sure they still have access to their email. I’ve said this many...

Hearing Voices from the Lawn Mower

Lay Servant Ministries


It’s my turn to share again. What do I have to say? Each time I contemplate this I struggle for a topic. I spend time alone waiting for inspiration. And somehow something comes to mind. This time it came to me during a chore… It’s summer again. Hours are spent each week mowing the grass. Seems like I mow half the town from my local church to my dad’s property to my own lots. Lots of time to let your mind wander—to contemplate. After all, as long as you don’t mow a stump, it’s just back and ...

In Layman's Terms: Churches can fill the gap in our communities

Todd Seifert


I set a goal for 2019 to read 30 books throughout the year. I didn’t know what topics I would choose, mostly because my tastes change from time to time, and I didn’t want to pin myself down to a particular genre. I also don’t take into account my daily Bible reading and devotion time. As we near the halfway mark of the year, I am nearly at the halfway mark toward my goal. I am midway through book No. 15. The mixture so far has included a true crime novel about a prison break from the federal ...

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