Blog Posts

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 ...

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 ...

Lay Servants Are Underutilized

Lay Servant Ministries


In talking with lay servants across the conference, the most frequent complaint I hear from them is “I keep up my certification, but no one asks me to do anything.” We need to continue to keep our gifts and talents before the church and church leadership and be more assertive in offering our passions and skills. LSM is still an under-utilized resource in our conference but keep the faith. We are making progress.   If you have a new pastor this year, be sure to introduce yourself as soon as ...

In Layman’s Terms: Taking a Sabbath

Todd Seifert


I’ll confess that I’ve spent the past two days at my desk digging out from a pile of emails and associated tasks that needed to be completed. It’s only fair since I was returning from being out of the office for 10 days. I’ll also confess to feeling a little guilty for being gone that long. In 20 years as a journalist — the last 14 as an executive editor of a newspaper with two daily newspapers, a weekly newspaper, a monthly magazine and four websites — I never took more than five work days off...

Clergy Faith and Wellness: Moving as a spiritual discipline

Rev. Shelly Petz


I am not a big fan of moving. Growing up, I moved one time, from in-town to out-of-town. I didn’t have to leave friends, my church, or my community. Then I was ordained and agreed to live into this new life of itinerancy, which I had no idea what exactly that would mean. I didn’t know that with each move I would experience varying levels of depression for several months. I didn’t know that with each move I would have to explore more deeply what it was that I needed for physical, mental, ...

In Layman's Terms: Using YouTube videos

Todd Seifert


We’ve been exploring topics the past few weeks about copyright law compliance. We’ve taken a look at song lyrics and movies. To wrap up this series, let’s take a look at what you can and shouldn’t use from the popular videos website YouTube. First, YouTube is a site popular with many demographics, but especially with young adults and teenagers. You can find hours upon hours of entertaining videos on the website, and it can serve as a great archive for your church’s videos, such as recordings of...

In Layman's Terms: Movies in Church

Todd Seifert


So far in our journey to better understand how best to comply with copyright laws, we’ve been focusing on music. Today, we cross over to feature films, television shows and movie clips. Just as before, we’re talking about a license you can purchase from CCLI, but this time it’s CVLI — Church Video License. This feature is a little more expensive than the music elements we talked about in previous blogs in this series, but if you intend to use video in your church, it’s an investment to save ...

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